Personality is derived from the Latin word persona meaning mask . Personality can be defined as the dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influence his or her cognitions, action, motivation and behaviors in various situations.
A brief definition of personality would be that personality is made up of characteristic pattern of thought, feelings and behavior hat makes a person unique. In addition to this personality arises from within the individuals and remain fairly consistent throughout life. Personality is the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics of an individual. It is the sum total of all the behavioral and mental characteristics by means of which an individual recognized as being unique.Behavioral Theories of Personality:
Behaioural theories suggested that personality is a result of interaction between individual and environment. Behavioral theorist includes B.F. Skinner and Albert Bandura.Psychodynamic Theories of Personality:
Psychodynamic theories of personality heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud and emphasized the influence of the unconscious mind and childhood experience on personality (it includes psychosexual and psychosocial theories)Humanist Theories of Personality:
Humanist theories emphasized the importance of free will and individual experience in the development of personality. Humanist theorist emphasized the concept of self actualization, which is an innate need of personal growth that motivates behavior, Humanist theorist includes Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.Trait Theories of Personality:
The trait theory approach is one of the largest area within personality psychology. According to this theory personality is made up of number of broad traits. A trait is basically a relative stable characteristic that causes an individual to behave in certain ways. Some of the best known trait theory includes Eysenck’s three dimension theory and five factor theories.
Factors Influencing Personality:-Heredity Vs Environment:-
You got you green eyes from your mother and your Freckles from your father. But where did you get your thrill seeking personality and talent for singing? Ultimately, the old argument of nature us nature has never really been won. We do not yet know how much of what we are is determined by our DNA and how much by our life experience. But we do know that both play a important part in our life.Nature vs. Nurture
Some scientist thinks that people behave as they do according to genetic predisposition. This is known as the nature theory of human behaviour. Other scientist believe that people think and behave is certain ways because they are taught to do so. This is known as ‘nurture’ theory of human behavior. Recent study made it clear that both sides are partly right. Nature endows us with inborn abilities and traits, Nurture takes these genetic tendencies and molds them as we learn and mature.The Nature Theory : Heredity
Scientist has known for years that trait such as eye color and fair color are determined by specific genes encoded in each human cell. The nature theory takes thing a step further to say that more abstract trait such as intelligence, personality, aggression and sexual orientation are also encoded in an individual DNA. Criminal act can be explained as an example. An article in life magazine by George House colt, claimed that ‘it mostly in your gene’. If genetics didn’t play a part, then fraternal twins reared under the same condition would be alike, regardless of differences in their genes, but while studies show they do more closely resembles each other.Nurture theory : The Environment
The nurture theory emphasized on the following points:
• Behavioural aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing.
• American psychologist John Watson, best known for his controversial experiments, with young orphan named Albert, demonstrated that acquisition of a phobia could be explained by classical conditioning
• A strong proponent of environmental learning. He said “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed, and may own specified world to bring them up in and I will guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist, I might select regardless of his talents abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.
• Psychologist B.F. Skinner early experiments produced pigeons that could dance and play tennis. Today known as the father of behavioural science, went on to prove that “Human behaviour could be conditioned.”
• A study suggested that sense of humor is a learned trait, influenced by family and cultural environment and not genetically determined.
• If environment didn’t play a part, then identical twins should theoretically be exactly the same in all respects.