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Personality development is the psychological term which explains the persistent pattern of emotions, feelings, and thoughts which develop human behavior of one person for another person. The personality development makes the person unique from another because of specific behavior exposition. Personality development starts from the infant stage and continues till death. The most apparent personality development can be observed during the shift from the childhood stage to adulthood. Whenever a person reaches to his puberty period various emotions, feelings and thoughts emerge which shapes the future behavior of the person. Personality development depends on various factors including; life events, environment, genetics, religion, stereotypes, customs, and culture. All these factors are studied in three main categories that are personal factors, societal factors, and cultural factors. The purpose of the research is to understand the personality development, its importance and factors that influence it. Understanding of personality development and its trait is significant as it helps people to support and promote their wellbeing and health both at home and workplace. In addition, in case of any psychological disorder, there is a major chance that factors affecting personality development become the cause of that psychological problem for the person.
Personality development is an important psychological term for the scientist to understand the behavior pattern of the people. Since the 20th century, various theories emerged to understand personality development. For instance, Sigmund Freud's stage of psychosexual development. Sigmund was the founding father of psychoanalysis and according to the theory, he explained that human development or human behavior majorly depends on the events happened in the childhood. Therefore, it can be understood that since childhood different factors influence human development by making changes in the thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Positive events result in positivity in personality while the negative event may result in bad behavior or some kind of psychological disorder in the later stage of life. Characteristics vary from childhood to adulthood, there is no full development life is the continuity of changes, time and age lead to changes, and it promotes continuity and changes in personality. The main factors behind the discrepancies are the age-sensitive difference, inefficient focus towards measurement error, and a different perspective while observing and self-reporting. Various methods are significant to personality development, especially that has an interest in adult development.
Personality development can be understood through the number of theories established with the passage of time. However, some research methods are useful to study the development of any person. A cross-sectional study is the most useful research method. In the cross-sectional study, the researcher simply develops the survey of people from different age groups and analyses the five major traits of the personality. Personality test score or S-data is used to analyze the transition from childhood to adulthood. During the cross-sectional study, there are the chances of cohort effects. Cohort effects indicates the inaccuracy in results due to the study of the different age group from different places in the same research where the significant result can be made only when same age group from the same environment is selected for the data. Therefore, a cross-sectional study can be useful only when people from the same age is considered as part of the research.
The longitudinal study is another method which is better than the cross-sectional study. In the longitudinal study, the same group of people is studied over the years and different stages of life that is from childhood to adulthood. As the same group of people is observed in the research, therefore, it provides deep and accurate information regarding the personality development of the same people. During the investigation of personality development, the criterion group method is ineffective. Instead, the proper layout should be designed that should have writing, analysis, and answer scale format. QOL should evolve from all age group through proper and advance method. Also, there should be a useful starting for the synthesis of the literature on developmentally informed knowledge.
Factors affecting personal development:
There are a numbers of factors that have an impact on personality development. These factors are majorly divided into three major categories that are personal, societal and cultural factors.
Factors lie under personal factors includes the relationship and close bond with family, and the home environment. To understand the consequences of personal factors it is important to know about the concept of temperament. Temperament helps to understand the initial state of personality development and correlate behavior differences to the underlying neural network. Personality development has five traits in which temperament is the most prominent trait. Temperament can be explained as the difference in individuals in terms of motion, emotion, and attentional reactivity. These differences are genetically based and linked to the behavior of parents. Temperament and events collectively develop a personality. Temperament in the newborn is crucial for future social behavior. For instance, some infant shows fear while meeting with strangers and start crying while other enjoy gathering and meeting up with new faces. These fear and happiness is the type of temperament which helps to develop social behavior in later stages.
Secure attachment is the key factor to develop a positive or negative personality development. It is obvious a child develops an attachment with his mother and then other family members. The reason behind the attachment is the close bonds and security within the relationships. When a child finds the secure attachment at home he starts developing bond and relationship with other people around him. For instance, a child playing in the playground trust his parents that they are sitting for him. However, he will keep on checking while playing. This is the type of secure attachment. Insecure attachment or lack of attachment develops negative behavior in the child. For instance, a child who grows up in a daycare center or have the least contact with parents or one of the parents, he develops an insecure attachment with him/her. It results in dysfunction within the relationship. The other factors that are linked to the insecure attachment are neglecting abuse and economic condition of the family.
The area of attachment gets wider with time. For instance, the child gets attached to his friend at school and when he enters into adulthood he most probably finds the love partner. However, though out a life individual develops attachment only with certain people depends on the situation in which he finds the others in at that particular event.
The societal factors that are linked to the personality development include technology, economic condition and environment of the community. Personal factors that develop a secure and insecure attachment with the help of temperament in a child, later on, correlate with the societal factors. When the child starts interacting with outsider the condition of the society impact the most. For instance, technology and war are crucial societal factors. War is the condition which results in highly emotional and psychological changes. People living under armed forces in a fearful environment get negative personality development. Psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, and stress are common among these people. It is also observed that people living in the war zone have more chances to get involved in rivalry and violence. The emotions of anger and hate develop within the personality which can be harmful to themselves and for the other people of the society. On the other side, people living in a peaceful society have positive personality traits. They are more confident about life and the people around them. The positive and emotional feelings help personality to develop in a positive way. There are fewer chances of psychological disorders among these people as they are more independent and have access to resources and opportunities.
Recent researches indicate that advancement in technology has a great impact on personality development, especially in adolescences. Computer and internet become a significant part of society. They are used in both studies in the workplace. Therefore, affect both the children and adults. The computer at the workplace help in developing intelligence, convenience, efficiency in educations and jobs. Therefore, it resulted in a positive factor for personality development. However, it also plays the role of a negative factor. For instance, a video game is the most debated area of technology studying in personality development researches. A number of researches indicate that adolescents who are engaged in violent games have a negative impact on development. They are found more aggressive and violent than the adolescence those do not play such games. On the opposite side of the spectrum, adolescents engaged in pro-social video games acquire a positive impact from the game for development. These games increase pro-social behavior and decrease anti-social behavior.
Cultural behavior is the pattern of behavior which passes from generation to generation. Factors involved in these categories include traditions, religion, customs, values, immigration, and stereotypes. Personality development is directly linked to the origin of people from childhood to adulthood, for instance, a child born in a specific culture with a specific religion and set of norms and traditions. Early emotions and feelings have a great impact on the religion of the child. Before a child gets able to question and analyze the things around, he gets unconsciously agreed to them due to his religion and culture. If a child grows up in a stable and relaxed cultured society there are the maximum chances that he will not get any psychological issue in his adulthood. In addition, religion provides a way of life and circumstances in which people behave entire life. Such cultural factors have a positive impact on personality development. In the past, there was a tradition that the son will adopt the profession of the father. Therefore, there can be a conflict in adolescence as he may want to choose some other professional. A person choosing his own choice of profession feel more happy and productive than the person who had to choose the profession as a result of society and family pressure. For instance, factors that have an impact on the personality of musicians include, independence, gender, introversion, depression, sensitivity. These factors help musicians choose different forms of music, i.e. singing, orchestral playing, or conducting, also the type of music, i.e. pop, rock, and folk, etc. according to their personality development.
In the case of immigration, there can be a mixed outcome for the immigrant family members. For instance, children get adjust in the new society and their culture rapidly than the older family members. However, children face difficulty in the new society because of the conflict between the new society culture and old society culture that their parents want them to follow. They try to gain new characteristics of the personality while following the old culture which becomes a big challenge for adolescences and children. It is believed that the increase in urbanization and modernization leading to the cultural change and shift in customs and values. Urban living may cause negative personality development. For instance, communities like Hispanic and African American experience psychological disorders like stress, depression, and suicidal ideation due to urban living.
Another crucial factor of the culture is the stereotypes which most often acquires the negative traits for personality development. Stereotypes define the characteristics of the people on the basis of gender, race, color, and religion. For instance, it is believed that women are weak and dependent on men and men have more power and physical strength. These types of stereotypes develop aggression in women and develop their violence pattern. Discrimination and stereotypes often represent the contradiction for the specific cultural group. For instance, there is discrimination in America on the basis of color and race. African American often face discrimination in academic life as well as at the workplace. These stereotypes develop aggression, sorrow, helplessness, violence, and other negative emotions and feelings. These negative emotions and feelings result in psychological disorders like traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disorders like depression and suicidal ideation.
Erik Erikson’s Theory of personality development:
Like Sigmund Freud who believed that events and experiences of childhood have a great impact over the personality development of the person, Erik Erikson's theory discussed the same aspect of the development. Erik Erikson's theory divide childhood into different stages and discuss it in detail to understand the social behavior of the person throughout his life. Besides attachment, the adapted ego is another stage which plays a vital role in personality development. The secure and insecure attachment develops during the childhood and interaction with family members while ego is the conscious sense which develops with the increase in social interaction. Therefore, it can be true that after making attachment the next child acquires ego which shapes the behavior of that child. Mostly sense of ego influence personality development when a child moves towards adulthood. On the other hand at the last stages of life, the emotions and feelings of the person are mostly attached to the past. For instance, a person who gets a stable lifestyle for his later life feels more secure, happy, and lively. On the other hand, if a person sees his life as unproductive and wasted there is the chance he acquires the feeling of regret, guilt, and dissatisfaction. This negative feeling can cause psychological disorder as well as bad physical health in the last stages of life.
The lifetime experiences maintain, disrupt, and balance the relationship of the individuals with the people around them. The attachment-related functions of the people change with the time and therefore results in the development of personality. Different experiences make people secure as well as insecure for their close ones and can change their perspective towards life. Therefore emotional attachment and healthy relationships have vital importance in positive personal life. Origin of personality changes and its growth is correlated with past whether positive or negative, the negative experience had more impact on personality. The participants who have a stable life in childhood are more positive and relaxed in adulthood. An individual acquires more feelings and emotions with the passage of time as he gets more and more experiences whether positive or negative in his life. Starting from the family relationship, social interaction and influence of culture develop the behavior. The person living in a peaceful society with no discrimination and stereotypes affecting their life have positive personality development. The person who lives in an unstable society and face discrimination often acquire negative personality development which may result in various psychological issues like PSTD, depression, anxiety, and sometimes suicides.
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