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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Personality - Determinants of Personality


The term personality is derived from the Latin word “Per sonnare” which means to speak through. This Latin term was used to denote the mask, the actors used to wear in ancient Rome and Greece. Personality thus traditionally referred to how people influence others through their external appearances. But for academician personality includes 1. External appearance and behaviour  2. The inner awareness of the self as a permanent organizing force and 3. The particular organization of measurable traits, both inner and other.

Definitions

            Personality is a pattern of stable states and characteristics of a person that influence his or her behaviour towards goal achievement. Each person has unique ways of projecting these states.
            The most frequently used definition of personality was by GORDON ALLPORT. According to him personality is “the dynamic organization within the individuals of those psycho physical systems that determines his unique adjustments to his environments”. Hence personality is a sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others.

Determinants of Personality

Biological factors: The general biological characteristics of human biological system influence the way in which human beings tend to see external data interpret and respond to them. The study of biological contribution to personality can be divided into three major categories hereditary, brain and physical stature.
 Hereditary: Hereditary is the transmission of the qualities from the ancestor to descendent through a mechanism primarily lying in the chromosomes of the germ cell. Hereditary predisposes a certain mental, physical and emotional states. It has been established through research that those psychological characteristics can be transmitted through hereditary. However such conclusive proof is not available for human beings.
Brain: The second biological factor is brain, which is supposed to pay a role in personality. The structure of brain determines personality, though no conclusive proof is available so far about the role of brain in personality formation.
 Physical Features: The third biological factor determining personality formation is physical characteristics and rate of maturation. An individual external appearance, which is biologically determined, is an important ingredient of personality. Ina narrow sense personality is referred to the physical features of a person. A person’s physical feature has some influence over his personality because he will effect influence on others and in turn will affect his self-concept.
Family and social factors: Family and social groups have most significant impact on personality development. These groups have their impact through socialization and identification process.
Socialization Process: Socialization is process by which the individual infant acquires, from the enormously wide range of behaviour potentialities that are open to him at birth, those behaviour patterns that are customary and are acceptable according to the standards of his family and social group. Socialization process starts with initial contact between mother and her new infant. Later on other members of the family and social group influence the socialization process.
Identification Process: The identification process occurs when a person tries to identify himself with some person to whom he feels ideal in the family. First identification can be viewed as the similarity of behaviour between the child and model. Second identification can be looked in as the child motives or desires to be like the model. Third it can be viewed as the process through which the child actually takes on the attributes of the model.
Home environment: Total home environment is critical factor in personality development. For E.g. children with markedly institutional upbringing or children in cold unstimulating home have much greater potential to be emotionally maladjusted than children raised by parents in warm and loving and stimulating environment.
Family Members: Parents and other family members have a strong influence on the personality development of the child. Parents have more effect on the personality development as compared to other members of the family.
Social Groups: Besides a person’s home environment and family members there are other influences arising from the social placement of the family as the person is exposed to agencies outside the home, particularly the school, friendship and other work groups. Similarly socio economic group also affect personality.
 Cultural Factors: Culture is the underlying determinant of human decision making. It generally determines attitude towards independence, aggression competition and co-operation. Each culture expects and trains its members to behave in the way that are acceptable to the group. To a marked degree the child’s cultural group defines the range of experiences and situations he/she is likely to encounter and the values and the personality characteristics that will be reinforced and learned.
Situational factors: Apart from biological, sociological and cultural factors situational factors also determine personality development. Situation exerts an important press on the individual it exercises constraint and may provide push. This aspect is very important for organization behaviour because manager has control over the organizational situation.


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