Personality Development by 1MwuM7d


									    Personality Development
An individual's personality is the complex of mental
characteristics that makes them unique from other people. It
includes all of the patterns of thought and emotions that cause
us to do and say things in particular ways. At a basic level,
personality is expressed through our temperament or
emotional tone. However, personality also colors our values,
beliefs, and expectations. There are many potential factors
that are involved in shaping a personality. These factors are
usually seen as coming from heredity and the environment.
Research by psychologists over the last several decades has
increasingly pointed to hereditary factors being more
important, especially for basic personality traits such as
emotional tone. However, the acquisition of values, beliefs,
and expectations seem to be due more to socialization and
                                                                        an exuberant
unique experiences, especially during childhood.                        emotional tone

Some hereditary factors that contribute to personality development do so as a
result of interactions with the particular social environment in which people live.
For instance, your genetically inherited physical and mental capabilities have an
impact on how others see you and, subsequently, how you see yourself. If you
have poor motor skills that prevent you from throwing a ball straight and if you
regularly get bad grades in school, you will very likely be labeled by your
teachers, friends, and relatives as someone who is inadequate or a failure to
some degree. This can become a self-fulfilling prophesy as you increasingly
perceive yourself in this way and become more pessimistic about your
capabilities and your future. Likewise, your health and physical appearance are
likely to be very important in your personality development. You may be frail or
robust. You may have a learning disability. You may be slender in a culture that
considers obesity attractive or vice versa. These largely hereditary factors are
likely to cause you to feel that you are nice-looking, ugly, or just adequate.
Likewise, skin color, gender, and sexual orientation are likely to have a major
impact on how you perceive yourself. Whether you are accepted by others as
being normal or abnormal can lead you to think and act in a socially acceptable
or marginal and even deviant way.

                                              culturally deviant hair
                                              style chosen by these
                                              North American women
                                              to mark their socially
                                              marginal lifestyle
There are many potential environmental influences that help to shape
personality. Child rearing practices are especially critical. In the dominant
culture of North America, children are usually raised in ways that encourage
them to become self-reliant and independent. Children are often allowed to act
somewhat like equals to their parents. For instance, they are included in making
decisions about what type of food and entertainment the family will have on a
night out. Children are given allowances and small jobs around the house to
teach them how to be responsible for themselves. In contrast, children in China
are usually encouraged to think and act as a member of their family and to
suppress their own wishes when they are in conflict with the needs of the family.
Independence and self-reliance are viewed as an indication of family failure and
are discouraged. It is not surprising that Chinese children traditionally have not
been allowed to act as equals to their parents.

Despite significant differences in child rearing practices around the world, there
are some similarities. Boys and girls are socialized differently to some extent in
all societies. They receive different messages from their parents and other
adults as to what is appropriate for them to do in life. They are encouraged to
prepare for their future in jobs fitting their gender. Boys are more often allowed
freedom to experiment and to participate in physically risky activities. Girls are
encouraged to learn how to do domestic tasks and to participate in child rearing
by baby-sitting. If children do not follow these traditional paths, they are often
labeled as marginal or even deviant. Girls may be called "tomboys" and boys
may be ridiculed for not being sufficiently masculine.

                  risky activities which until the
                  late 20th century were allowed
                  only for males in most societies

There are always unique situations and interpersonal events that help to shape
our personalities. Such things as having alcoholic parents, being seriously
injured in a car accident, or being raped can leave mental scars that make us
fearful and less trusting. If you are an only child, you don't have to learn how to
compromise as much as children who have several siblings. Chance meetings
and actions may have a major impact on the rest of our lives and affect our
personalities. For instance, being accepted for admission to a prestigious
university or being in the right place at the right time to meet the person who will
become your spouse or life partner can significantly alter the course of the rest of
your life. Similarly, being drafted into the military during wartime, learning that
you were adopted, or personally witnessing a tragic event, such as the
destruction of the World Trade Center towers in New York, can change your
basic perspective.

                  Are there Personality Types?
We often share personality traits with others, especially members of our own
family and community. This is probably due largely to being socialized in much
the same way. It is normal for us to acquire personality traits as a result of
enculturation. Most people adopt the traditions, rules, manners, and biases of
their culture. Given this fact, it is not surprising that some researchers have
claimed that there are common national personality types, especially in the more
culturally homogenous societies. During the 1940's, a number of leading
anthropologists and psychologists argued that there are distinct Japanese and
German personalities that led these two nations to view other countries as trying
to destroy them.

The concept of national personality types primarily had its origins in anthropology
with the research of Ruth Benedict beginning in the 1920's. She believed that
personality was almost entirely learned. She said that normal people acquire a
distinct ethos, or culturally specific personality pattern, during the process of
being enculturated as children. Benedict went on to say that our cultural
personality patterns are assumed to be "natural" by us and other personality
patterns are viewed as being "unnatural" and deviant. She said that such
feelings are characteristic of all people in all cultures because we are
ethnocentric. Benedict compared the typical personalities of the 19th century
North American Plains Indians with those of the farming Pueblo          Indians of the
Southwest. She said that the bison hunting Plains Indians had personalities that
could be typified as being aggressive, prone to violence, and seeking extreme
emotional states. In contrast, she said that the typical Pueblo Indian was just the
opposite--peaceful, non-aggressive, and sober in personality.

                       Plains Indian
Benedict's views were especially popular in the 1930's among
early feminists such as her student Margaret Mead. This was
because if personality is entirely learned, it means that
feminine and masculine personality traits are not biologically
hard-wired in. In other words, culture rather than genes,
makes women nurturing towards children and passive in
response to men. Likewise, culture makes men aggressive
and domineering. If this is true, these stereotypical behaviors
can be altered and even reversed. Mead carried out
ethnographic field work among the Polynesian        and            Polynesian woman

Melanesian      peoples of the South Pacific to find examples of societies in which
femininity and masculinity have very different and even opposite characteristics
from those found in the Western World. She began her research in Samoa in
1925     where she discovered a relaxed adolescence in which sex is talked
about freely by boys and girls rather than hidden or suppressed.

NOTE: In 1983, J. Derick Freeman argued that Margaret Mead was wrong in her
assertion about a relaxed Samoan adolescence in regards to sexuality. He
described Samoan society as being comparatively puritanical as a result of
Christian missionary influences. Other researchers have countered by saying
that Freeman did most of his fieldwork a generation after Mead and that Samoan
society may have changed in that time.

Most anthropologists today believe that Benedict and her students went too far in
their assertions about the influence of culture on personality formation and in
discounting heredity. They also tended to over simplify by defining people who
did not share all of the traits of the "national personality type" as being deviants.
It is more accurate to see the members of a society as having a range of
personality types. What Benedict was describing was actually the modal
personality . This is the most common personality type within a society. In
reality, there is usually a range of normal personality types within each society.

In the early 1950's, David Riesman proposed that there are three common types
of modal personality that occur around the world. He called them tradition
oriented, inner-directed, and other directed personalities. The tradition-oriented
personality is one that places a strong emphasis on doing things the same way
that they have always been done. Individuals with this sort of personality are
less likely to try new things and to seek new experiences. Those who have
inner-directed personalities are guilt oriented. That is to say, their behavior is
strongly controlled by their conscience. As a result, there is little need for police
to make sure that they obey the law. These individuals monitor themselves. If
they break the law, they are likely to turn themselves in for punishment. In
contrast, people with other-directed personalities have more ambiguous
feelings about right and wrong. When they deviate from a societal norm, they
usually don't feel guilty. However, if they are caught in the act or exposed
publicly, they are likely to feel shame.

Advocates of Riesman's concept of three modal personalities suggest that the
tradition-oriented personality is most common in small-scale societies and in
some sub-cultures of large-scale ones. Inner-directed personalities are said to
be more common in some large-scale societies, especially ones that are
culturally homogenous. In contrast, the other-directed personality is likely to be
found in culturally diverse large-scale societies in which there is not a uniformity
in socialization processes and there is considerable anonymity for city dwellers.

While Riesman's analysis of personalities was insightful, critics have pointed out
that individuals may have characteristics of all three of his identified modal
types. For instance, most North Americans probably do not feel guilty about
exceeding speed limits when they are driving on freeways, however, they would
feel very guilty hitting someone with their car and would likely call the police. In
other words, for some infractions of the law they are other-directed (or shame-
controlled), and for others they are inner-directed (or guilt-controlled). Likewise,
many people like to do some things in the same way every day but seek new
experiences in other areas of their lives. You may like to wear the same style of
clothes and spend your leisure time at the same place with your friends most
days. However, you may easily get bored eating the same kinds of food every
day and regularly try new restaurants when you go out to eat. In other words,
you are tradition-oriented for some things but not others

1. Read aloud in English for 15-20 minutes every day
Reading loudly helps in developing confidence.

2. Until you learn the correct intonation and rhythm of English, slow your speech down
If you speak too quickly, and with the wrong intonation and rhythm, people will have a hard time
understanding you. Don't worry about your listener getting impatient with your slow speech - it is
more important that everything you say be understood. When you read loudly, take a 3 second
pause after every word that you read.

3. Think in English – 30 minutes daily
People who speak fluent English have a habit of thinking and speaking in English at the same time.
Think “simple & short” sentences in English whenever you have free time.

4. Pronounce the ending of each word
Pay special attention to 'S' and 'ED' endings. This will help strengthen the mouth muscles when you
speak English.

5. Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes
Many people hate to hear the sound of their voice and avoid listening to themselves speak.
However, this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you become conscious of the
mistakes you are making.
6. Observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and try to imitate them
When you are watching television, observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what
they are saying, while imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech.

7. Be patient
You can change the way you
speak but it won't happen
overnight. People often expect
instant results and give up too
soon. You can change the way
you sound if you are willing to
put some effort into it.
The development of psychological theory tends to oscillate between optimistic advances
and self critical analyses and retrenchment. Personality theory is no different. In the past
40 years personality research has seen at least one full cycle of uncritical enthusiasm turn
into bleak pessimism and again to enthusiasm. Recent events suggest that the field is
again becoming a focal area of psychological study. Exciting discoveries are being made
in behavior genetics, there is a growing consensus about the relationship between
personality traits and emotional states, biological theorists of adult personality are
exchanging ideas with theorists of childhood temperament, and long term studies of
personality development across the life span are delivering on the promises made many
years ago. Upon reading the most recent Handbook of Personality (Pervin 1990a) one can
not help being excited by the progress that has been made since the previous edition
(Borgatta & Lambert 1968). Many of the tentative findings of the early fifties (H.
Eysenck 1952; MacKinnon 1951; Sears 1950) have led to substantial contributions that
continue to influence our thinking. This claim of a renaissance in personality theory has,
however, been made before (Allport & Vernon 1930; Bronfenbrenner 1953; Pervin
1990b). Unfortunately, many promising approaches have led nowhere.

Personality theories attempt to account for individual behavior. The scope of such
theories is vast. They describe how genetic predisposition's and biological mechanisms
combine with experience as children develop into young adults who will show behavioral
consistencies over their life span. Personality researchers report heritability coefficients,
relate MRI scans and EEG activity to intellectual performance and emotional reactions,
and predict job outcomes and lifetime satisfaction. They examine the dimensions of self
description and the many ways feelings, knowledge, and beliefs combine in behavior.
Personality research ranges from tests of evolutionary theories of jealousy to analyses of
the structure and content of one's life story.

After 20 years there is a resurgence of interest in the fundamental questions of
personality, including 1. What are the relevant dimensions of individual differences in
personality? 2. How do genetic mechanisms lead to individual differences? 3. Does
personality have a biological basis? 4. How does personality develop? 5. How does
personality change? 6. What are the social determinants of personality?

Personality constructs are again being seen in the literature of behavior genetics,
cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology,
physiological psychology, psychopathology and social psychology. This review focuses
on these related areas partly to clarify their links to personality theory and also to guide to
those who might be interested in recent advances in personality theory. In addition, it is
meant to guide personality researchers to developments reported outside the usual
personality journals. Because personality is the study of the whole person, this review
focuses on the interrelationships of personality theory with other areas of psychology.
Just as other areas of psychology have become more aware of advances in personality,
theoreticians within the field must be aware of recent advances in related disciplines.

The earliest reviews of personality were able to address the entire field. Starting with
Atkinson (1960) issues of personality dynamics were separated from those of structure
and development because it was no longer possible to give adequate coverage in less than
book form (if at all). Similarly, this review focuses more on the how and why of
personality processes than on the what of personality taxonomy and structure (Digman
1990; Wiggins & Pincus 1992). Before beginning, however, I consider the meta-theoretic
question of what is personality and what are the appropriate ways to study it?

A metatheoretic taxonomy of personality
theories and processes:
Three dimensions of personality theory
The questions that scientists ask about the world are driven by their scientific metaphors.
The chasm between the two disciplines of psychological inquiry so well described by
Atkinson (1960), Cronbach (1957, 1975), H. Eysenck (1966) and Vale & Vale (1969)
was a split between two world views, two scientific metaphors, and two data analytic
strategies. The experimentalists emphasized control, manipulation, and the t-test. The
individual differences psychologists emphasized adaptation, variation, and the correlation

Unfortunately, theoretical and research emphases have splintered beyond even two
disciplines. Even within the field of personality there are many different, seemingly
unrelated approaches. Current research in personality can be organized along three
dimensions: level of generality between people, levels of analysis, and degree of
adaptability of the behavior. The first dimension ranges from generalizing to all people to
focusing on single individuals and was captured by Kluckhohn & Murray (1948) as
emphasizing how all people are the same, some people are the same, and no people are
the same. These ways of knowing (McAdams 1994a) can be crossed with a second
dimension of analysis, ranging from analyses of the genetic code, through biological
mechanisms, learning and developmental processes, and temporary cognitive and
emotional structures and processes, to the study of overall life meaning and satisfaction.
Phenomena at one level of analysis are only loosely coupled with those at different levels
(Figure 1). The third dimension, not shown in the figure, is one of adaptability and
functioning. Personality theories need to account for normal adaptive processes as well as
extreme psychopathologies. Athough broad theories consider issues across these three
dimensions, most theorists focus on phenomena that range across levels of analysis at one
level of generality, or across levels of generality at one level of explanation.

Insert Figure 1 about here

Just as psychology is the study of behavior, personality is the study of individual
behavior. Although to many the study of individual behavior has meant the study of
individual differences in behavior, an adequate theory of personality process and
structure must also account for similarities in behavior. A complete personality theory
needs to focus on the three levels of personality identified by Kluckhohn & Murray

The classical test theory metaphor used by applied and personnel psychologists and the
analysis of variance metaphor used by the interactionists, although compelling, both
emphasize sources of variation rather than sources of consistency. Athough it is
important to consider the interaction of persons and situations as well as the effects of
individual and situational differences, by using either a correlational or an analysis of
variance metaphor we are unable to ask questions other than how some people are the
same and some are different.

A generalization of the analysis of variance metaphor is to consider the other components
of the general linear model. Estimates of any particular behavior are expressed in terms
of the central tendency across all people, the responsivity to particular situational and
person variables, the interaction between the situational and person variables, as well as
the reliable within person variance and that associated with unknown sources of variance.

Theories differ in their central focus as well as in their range of generalizability.
Evolutionary personality theory, psychoanalytic theory, behavior theory, and sociology
emphasize the commonalties of individual behaviors. Every member of every species
needs to meet the challenges of survival and of reproduction. How these challenges are
met within a species reflects species typical solutions. By understanding how these
problems are answered by humans as a species we can understand the fundamentals of
human nature. Trait theorists focus on systematic individual differences and similarities
among people. Although some emphasize how general laws lead to behavioral
differences (H. Eysenck 1990), at the extreme, this approach consciously shuns universal
theories (Hofstee 1991). Social constructionists, phenomenologists, and biographers
focus on the unique patterns of a life story after species typical and broad individual
differences and trait influences have been removed (Allport 1962, but see Holt 1962).

Levels of explanation -- from the gene to the society
Current research in personality and individual differences ranges from attempts to
identify particular genetic sequences associated with behavior to studies of how one's life
meaning can be affected by societal changes such as the depression or a world war.
Species typical behaviors that are the result of genetic selection are proposed by
evolutionary psychologists who ask about the origins and reasons for human nature.
Behavior geneticists examine the genetic architecture of specific traits as well as the
covariances of traits with each other and with different parts of the environment.
Behavior genetic analyses demonstrate within family and between family environmental
effects. Genes affect particular dimensions of individual differences by modifying
biological structures and regulating ongoing processes. Rather than the evolutionary
question of why, explanations at the biological level ask how . Although ultimately
rooted in biology, cognition, affect and behavior may be studied independently of
biological mechanisms. These are studies of what is human nature. Examining individual
differences in behavior in terms of cognitive structures and affective reactions is perhaps
the most common personality research. Broad questions of meaning tend to be associated
with philosophically and clinically oriented theorists who emphasize how people
organize their lives in terms of recurrent themes and problems. Research on the effect of
the self concept, self esteem, career choice, personality disorders, satisfaction, and
development throughout the life span also emphasizes this highest level of analysis

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