What is Personality ?
“It refers to a unique mode of response to life situations.”
Personality is used in terms of influencing others through external appearance.It may mean different things to different people.To some, it may means a general sum of traits or characteristics of the person. The term personality has been derived from Latin word ‘persona’ which means ‘to speak through’. According to Ruch , personality should include:
- inner awareness of self as a permanent organizing force;
- external appearance and behaviour;
- the particular pattern; and
- organization of measurable traits, both inner and outer.
The unique way of responding to-day to-day life situations is the heart of human behaviour. Accordingly, personality embraces all the unique traits, and patterns of adjustment of the individual in his relationship with others and his environment. Taking these aspects of personality, Maddi has defined personality as:
“Personality is a set of characteristics and tendencies that determine the differences in the behaviour ( thoughts, feelings, and actions ) of people that have continuity in time.”
With this context, we shall take personality as the traits and characteristics of an individual because of which he/she shows consistent pattern of response to environmental stimuli.
How Personality Develops :
It starts since the child is in fetal stage. After birth, the child develops and learns. This process continues throughout his life. Therefore, personality development can be seen through different stages of age of an individual. At each stage, a person develops different aspects of personality. so we can say that Human personality development is a continous process.
Personality develops as a result of interaction of four main sources of stress. These sources affect differently at each stage of the life of a person and these stages are classified as follows:
Oral Stage – This stage cover the period from Birth to 18 months of age. In this stage the child satisfies his sexual instinct by sucking from mouth, lips and tongue. or he satisfies himself by sucking his thumb or finger.
Anal Stage – This stage covers the period from 18 months to 3 years. In this stage the child satisfies his sexual instinct by releasing urine and faeces.
Phallic Stage – This stage covers the period from 3 to 7 years. In this stage the child’s sexual instinct is satisfied by touching the sex organs. Children may start discriminate gentals.
Latency Stage – This stage covers the period from 7 to 12 years. In this stage the child’s sexual instinct are usually at sleep because of social fear. he enjoys playing and talking with his friends.
Genital Stage – This stage covers the period from 12 to 20 years. In this stage they see their genitals – as their sex organs grow. Day dreaming , telling false stories and Masturbation generally happens at this stage.
Early Adulthood – This stage covers the period from 20 to 25 years. In this stage the sense of identity developed which helps the person to develop deep , trusting and lasting relationships.
Young Adulthood – This stage covers the period from 25 to 30 years. In this stage the person tries to become innovative and creative. But they don’t show concern for future generation at this stage.
Mature Adult hood – This stage covers the period from 30 years to his remaining life. In this stage the persons gets maturity, wisdom, and perspective that can guide the young generation.
Factors Affecting Personality :
Generally, the determinants which may affect personality is categorized into four broad categories:
- Biological Factors : The general characteristics of human biological system influence the way in which human being tends to sense external event data, interpret, and respond to them. The study of biological factors can be divided into three categories:
1) Heredity – Heredity is the transmission of qualities from adults to their young ones. Heredity predisposes to certain physical , mental , and emotional states.
2) Brain – Brain is supposed to play the role in shaping personality. Brain is divided into two parts -left hemisphere and right hemisphere. Depending on this structure of the brain, an individual’s personality develops.
3) Physical Features – Personality referred to physical features of a person. A person’s physical features have some influence on his personality because he will influence others and in turn, will affect his self concept.
- Family and Social Factors : Family and social groups have most significant impact on personality development. Total home environment is a critical factor in personality development. In which parents and other family members have strong influence on personality. The study showed the high correlation between attitudes of parents and children with a further consistency in patterns. The relation between parents and children was higher than that between the children and their teachers. Besides parents, Siblings also contribute to personality development. There are other influences arising from the social placement of the family, particularly the school, friendship and other work groups.
- Cultural Factors : Culture is the underlying determinant of human decision making. It generally determines attitudes towards independence, aggression, competition and cooperation. Each culture expects and trains its members to behave in the ways that are acceptable to the group. The child’s cultural group defines the range of experiences and situations he is likely to encounter and the values and personality characteristics that will be reinforced and hence learned. Despite the importance of cultural contribution to the personality, a linear relationship cannot be established between personality and a given culture. One problem stems from the existence of numerous subcultures with a given culture.
Changes which takes place after developing as a mature people :
1.Individual as a child, does not have an habitual set of attitudes about himself . As adult, he thinks about himself and has an ego.
2.Individual as a child, is subordinate to everyone. As an adult, he moves to equal or superior position to others.
3.Individual as a child, behaves only in few ways and he is less predictable. As an adult, he behaves in many ways and he is more predictable.
4.Individual as a child, is exclusively concerned with the present. As a mature, his always concerned with the past or his future.
5.Individual has erratic, casual and shallow interests as a child. Gradually, he acquires a fairly well defined set of interests.
6.As a child, he develops from a state of dependence and as an adult he develops from a relative state of independence.
7.As a child his life is a series of events occurring withot his choice. On the other hand, adult knows how to control the occurrence of events.
CONTENT SOURCE : The book -Organizational Behaviour ( L M Prasad )