What are the Factors Affecting Personality Development

The important factors in which the origin of personality lies:

(I) Heredity

It provides the child with certain endowments to? With- Hereditary factors may be summed as constitutional biological and physiological factors:

Heredity & Evolution

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Constitutional Factors

The constitution of an individual is an effective factor in determining the type of his Personality. There can be 3 bodily types of personality- (1) short and stout, (2) tall and thin, (3) muscular and well Proportioned. We are always impressed by an individual who has a muscular and a well proportioned body. Height, Weight, physical defects, health and strength affect Personality.

2. Biological Factors

The working of the nervous system, glands and blood chemistry determines our characteristics and habitual modes of behaviour. These factors form the biological basis of our personality.


Adrenal gland, thyroid gland, pituitary gland and endocrine gland affect personality.

Adler points out that personality defects lead to the development of inferiority complex and the mental mechanism of compensation. This aspect also includes the mental ability of the child.

It is this ability which enables him to mould the social environment according to his requirements.

3. Intelligence


Intelligence is mainly hereditary. Persons who are very intelligent can make better adjustment in home, school and society than those who are less intelligent.

4. Sex Differences

Sex differences play a vital role in the development of personality of individual. Boys are generally more assertive and vigorous. They prefer adventures. Girls are quieter and more injured by personal, emotional and social problems.

5. Nervous System

Development of personality is influenced by the nature of nervous system.

(II) Environment

The sociologists emphasize that the personality of the individual develops in a social environment. It is in the social environment, that he comes to have moral ideas, social attitudes and interests. This enables him to develop a social ‘self which is another term for personality.

The important aspects of the environment are as follows:

(1) Physical Environment

It includes the influence of climatic conditions of a particular area or country on man and his living.

(2) Social Environment

The child has his birth in the society. He learns and lives there. Hence, the social environment has an important say in the personality development of the child.

(3) Family Environment

Family is the cradle of all social virtues. The first environment, the child moves in, is his home. Here the child comes in contact with his parents and other family member his likes, dislikes, stereotypes about people, expectancies of security and emotional responses all are shaped in early childhood.

The type of training and early childhood experiences received from the family play an important role in the development of personality.

Besides this, economic factors i.e., economic condition of the family and the type of relations between the parents also influence the personality of the child.

(4) Cultural Environment

The cultural environment refers to certain cultural traditions, ideals, and values etc., which are accepted in a particular society. All these factors leave a permanent impression on the child’s personality.

(5) School Environment

Schools play an important role in molding the personality of the children because a significant part of a child’s life is spent in school between the ages of 6 and 20 years. In the school, the teacher substitutes the parents.

The school poses new problems to be solved, new taboos to be accepted into the superego and new models for imitation and identification, all of which contribute their share in molding personality

In addition to the above there are many other social factors which influence the development of personality of a child which are as follows:-

(a) Language

Human beings have a distinctive characteristic of communication through language. Language is an important vehicle by which the society is structured and culture of the race transmitted from generation to generation.

The child’s personality is shaped by the process of interaction through language with other members of his environment.

(b) Social Role

The child has to play several roles like son, brother student, officer, husband, father, etc., throughout his life at rent stages of his development. Social roles may be described as process by which the co-operative behaviour and communications among the society members are facilitated.

(c) Self Concept

Self concept influences our personality development in two ways-(1) If other people hold high positive “ergative enhances our self and (2) If others hold may us, it creates feelings of worthlessness and to self-defense or withdrawal from social situation.

(d) Identification

Identification is an important mechanism by which we try to imitate the physical, social and mental characteristics of our model. It is a very important relationship with others.

(e) Inter-personal Relations

Inter-personal relations among the members of a society are important means which help in the development of certain social personality characteristics like attraction towards others, concept of friendship, love, sympathy, hostility and also isolation which is a negative orientation.

(Ill) Psychological Factors

These include our motives, acquired interests, our attitudes, our will and character, our intellectual capacities such as intelligence i.e., the abilities to perceive, to observe, to imagine, to think and to reason

These factors determine our reactions in various situations and thus affect our personality, growth and direction. An individual with a considerable amount of will power will be able to make decisions more quickly than others.

Thus, we see that hereditary, environmental and psychological factors contribute towards the development of personality.

The Influence of Hereditary and Environmental Factors of Personality Traits

Determinants of Personality

The factors affecting personality can be divided into two classes-

(1) Biological and (2) social the biological factors affecting the development of personality are of three types: (1) Ductless Glands, (2) Physique, and (3) Body Chemistry.

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