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PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

5.1
Personality Development
Objectives:
1) What are the four main factors that affect the
development of personality?
2) How does isolation in childhood affect
development?

Introduction
Social scientists refer to:
personality: as the sum total of behaviors, attitudes,
beliefs, and values that are characteristic of an
individual
Determines:
how we adjust to our environment
react in specific situations
No two individuals have the same personality
Each person:
own way of interacting with others and with their social
environment
Own temperament, or emotional nature

Personality Development
NATURE VS NUTURE
Argument 1:
Genetics (heredity)-Nature: transmission of genetic
characteristics from parents to children
Argument 2:
Social environment- contact with other people-
Nurture

Genetics vs. Environment
Nature vs Nurture
Personality Development
NATURE ARGUEMENT
Much of the nature viewpoint held through the 1800s
states that much of human behavior is instinct
Instinct- unchanging, biologically inherited behavior
pattern
Often applied to animal behavior
Humans are driven instinctually to:
laugh, motherhood, warfare, religion, capitalism, and even
creation of society
1900s: social scientists claimed to have found over 10,000
human instincts

Personality Development
NUTURE ARGUMENT
Persons behavior and personality are the result
of his or her social environment and learning
Pavlov and his dogs..
Sociobiology: systematic study of the biological
basis of all social behavior
Argue that most human social life is determined by
biological factors
Most social scientists assume that personality and
social behavior result from a blending of hereditary
and social environmental influences

Personality Development
Four factors that influence personality and
behavior:
1) Heredityphysical traits, aptitudes, inherited
characteristics, biological drives, limits
Aptitude- capacity to learn a particular skill or acquire
a particular body of knowledge
Examples: sports, music, drawing etc
Environmental factors: how parents responds to
their children aptitudes; encourage or discourage
or do nothing at all
Personality Development
Sets limits on human in individuals- not good at
music probably will not become a great musician;
five feet tall wont play in the NBA
Place limits on what a person can do but does not
determine what a person will do

Personality Development
2) Birth Orderpersonalities are shaped by
siblings and the order in which we are born
Children have different views of the world as only
children
1
st
born: more achievement oriented and
responsible; defender of status quo
Latter born: less responsible, tend to be better in
social relationships and to be more affectionate
and friendly; risk takers and social and intellectual
rebels

Personality Development
3.) Parental Characteristics: influenced by
parental characteristics, such as age,
education, religion, and economic status
Parents who have children in their twenties relate
differently to parents who have their children in
their thirties

Personality Development
4.) Cultural Environment: determines the
basic personality types found in a
society
Culture gives rise to a series of personality traits:
model personalities- typical for that society
U.S. -competitiveness, assertiveness, and individualism

Personality Development
Boys and girls are treated differently at the
time of birth
Nudged in different directions- clothing, toys,
types of play, speech habits
Family traditions: Italian, Polish, Chinese etc.
and American

Personality Development
Isolation in Childhood
Raised without the influence of cultural
environment
Feral children- wild or untamed children-
found living with animals
Some children isolated in their homes by
parents or family members so that no one
knew of their existence
Personality Development
Isolation in Childhood
Both had few human characteristics
No reasoning ability, no manners, and no
ability to control their bodily functions
Isolation can have severe consequences such
as developmental disabilities (mental,
physical, social, and psychological),
malnutrition, and death