Theories of Personality

Several philosophers have posited that personality development is solely a matter of education. Locke’s followers argued that newborn children are tabula rasas and therefore can be shaped by educators. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, on the other hand, argued that heredity is the most important determinant of personality and that child development follows its inner biological timetable. He even sent his own children to an orphanage to prove his point.

Characteristics of personality

The person-situation debate focuses on the relative power of personality traits and situational factors on behavior. Situationist critiques of the person-situation approach claim that people overestimate the consistency of personality traits. The HEXACO model of personality structure has both theoretical and empirical advantages. Ashton, M. C. and Lee (2007) present two examples of this theory and describe their empirical use. Both theories have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Theories of personality

Psychoanalytic theories have been formulated to explain human differences. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud described three levels of personality: id, ego, and superego. The id adheres to the principles of reality and the superego instills moral judgments and societal rules in the id. Theories of personality are based on these three levels of human personality. It is important to know that each individual has their own unique set of personality variables, but it is not easy to pin down exactly what makes a person unique.

Tests of personality

Psychologists have long debated the utility of tests of personality, but they have agreed on some basic principles. First, personality is related to intelligence, and intelligence affects personality. The relationship between the two is not necessarily static; it can be altered with intervention on effort. Then, personality and intelligence can be measured through decision-making in a game-like task. It’s a fair assumption that personality correlates with intelligence, but the exact mechanism remains obscure.

Influence of culture

The influence of culture on personality has long been debated. Theorists including Pitirim Sorokin and Melford Spiro have attempted to unpack this debate by arguing that culture influences the biological substrates of personality. Culture, he argues, plays an important role in shaping an individual’s behavior by preventing potential individuals from being born. Cultural practices such as contraception and abortion also have an impact on genetic variation.

Genetic influences on personality

Although we tend to think of genetics in terms of inheritance, it turns out that our personality traits are heavily influenced by genetics. In a recent longitudinal twin study, researchers studied the effects of genetics on personality traits during young adulthood. The twins shared 100% of their genetic makeup, whereas monozygotic and dizygotic twins shared 50%. Despite the genetic similarities, monozygotic twins tend to differ more in their personality traits than their dizygotic counterparts.