PERSONALITY THEORY 10
Personalitiesare the qualities that people possess making individuals react orbehave differently. Children are born without characters, but as theymature, their personalities start to shape up. Diverse people areaffected in unique ways by various events that happen in their lives.Some will cry or even faint during a burial of their loved ones whileothers will appear to be strong. This shows that some people areemotional while others are rational. Besides, others get excitedeasily while some get angry quickly. Therefore, the personalitycausal theory will explain the factors that determine the characterof a person such as the culture, environment, personal experiences,and heredity.
Thefirst aspect that can influence the character of an individual is theenvironment. Human beings from different regions have diversepersonalities. The context in which a child is brought up willestablish the type of traits that the juvenile will have (John etal., 2008). For example, people living in the desert are more likelyto be hard, powerful, and bold than those residing in the highlands.Moreover, a man settling in the wilderness will have perseverancethat shall be cultivated by the harsh conditions of the desert.However, in case this man was staying in an area with friendlyconditions, he would have been emotional or lack the character ofperseverance. Besides, those living in an area with high temperaturesare prone to building up a negative feeling towards work while peoplein an area with moderate temperatures are likely to be industriousand have a positive attitude towards toiling. Moreover, anenvironment can influence the culture that people will adopt and inturn, culture shapes up the traits of an individual. Societies indiverse regions have varied cultures. Topography, as well as aclimate of a region, can determine the type of characters that aperson will possess. However, environment alone cannot fully controlthe way an individual will behave.
Personalexperiences can also contribute towards the sort of personality thatpeople will possess. However, repeated experiences are more likely toinculcate certain traits than the experiences that occur only once.During childhood, the nature of individuals that juvenile interactswith regularly or on a daily basis have higher chances of influencingthe kind of character that a young person will develop. A child has agreater likelihood of adopting the qualities that her or his familymembers have since they interact regularly, and family is the primarysource of socialization. In case the parents are generous, then thekid will grow up being as openhanded as they do. If the parents areusually interested in certain games, their children will have higherchances of liking the same games. For example, if the parents likefootball their children will develop an interest in football.
Also,there are some manners which can be transferred from the parents tothe children. For example, if the guardian is respectful and getsalong with other people in the public, the offspring will grow to bea respectful individual in the community. Characteristics that areacquired during childhood are often difficult to change. However, ifthe parents are keen to encourage the interests of a child, there isa probability that the youngster will acquire personalities that aredissimilar from those of the father or mother.
Apartfrom the parents, teachers and schoolmates can also influence thecharacter of an individual. If instructors are humble, students willalso acquire the virtue of humility. However, if the educators arearrogant, learners are likely to adopt the quality of arrogance too.Schoolmates or playmates determine a person’s personality either ina negative or positive direction. In case a person chooses friendswho are morally corrupt, then he or she is likely to be ethicallycrooked (John et al., 2008). However, if a learner relates withpeople who are obedient and hardworking, the student will also becomediligent.
Thereare some experiences which are not repeated, but they can leave alasting effect on the personality of a person, especially if theencounter is traumatic. For example, if a person gets involved in adeadly vehicle accident, there is a high probability that he or shewill live with the fear of boarding or driving a car. Alternatively,if one encounters rape during an early age, it is likely that theindividual will opt to stay single throughout her or his life sinceit would be hard to associate with others.
Anotherissue that can determine the nature of an individual is heredity.Biologically, a child takes the characters of his or her parents(Matthews et al., 2009). An individual can have some inborncharacteristics depending on those of the parents. For instance, anoffspring may have a boldness that may be as a result of genes forself-confidence inherited from both parents. Genes also determine ifa person will be a coward, courageous, active, or lethargic. If aperson belongs to a family of individuals, who are known to becourageous, there is a probability that the individual will be bravetoo. The nervous system is also inheritable, and it affects theintelligence and talent of people. The nervous system produces somehormones that determine the personality of a person. However, thesehormones have to be in balance to produce the desired traits in humanbeings. If the hormones are released in excess, an individual isexpected to be overactive or over exaggerated in some qualities. Forexample, a person with excess hormones is likely to get angry quicklyeven with the slightest provocation or be overjoyed by simple events.On the other hand, if these hormones are formed in small quantitiesthan the required ones, a person is prone to be inactive or lazy.Therefore, heredity plays a significant role in determining thecharacters of an individual.
Theculture also contributes towards establishing the kind of behaviorthat a person will possess. Both culture and personality are closelyrelated because individuality of a person can reveal the likely wayof life of that person since culture is considered to be a concept ofcharacters. Culture is the principles, attitude, and norms that aremutual in a group of individuals and are passed from parents tochildren. These values, norms, and beliefs can determine the waypeople will behave, learn or live in a community. Children in thesame ethnicity have a high probability of showing some common traits.However, one culture can consider certain deeds to be good whileanother ethnic group believes the same conduct is a sin. For example,a society with an individualistic culture will encourage her peopleto be financially independent, competition will be taken as healthyfor personal improvement, and individual achievement will be highlyencouraged. On the other hand, an ethnic group with a collectiveculture will endorse group needs instead personal wants as well associal harmony. As a result, an individualistic culture is likely tomold men and women who are industrious while a collective culturewill encourage laziness.
Ifpeople are living in a community that openly condemns corruption andtheft, it is possible that these natives will have the virtue ofhonesty as well as integrity (Matthews et al., 2009). This is becauseno one will be willing to go against his or her culture. Also, incase the traditions of a given society do not allow polygamousmarriages and at the same time they condemn the issue ofunfaithfulness harshly, then all the married couples in thiscommunity will be monogamous and respectful to their marriagespouses. Furthermore, some cultures help in molding people byemphasizing on appropriate behaviors. For example, among the Whites,time is valued a lot such that many people have acquired the qualityof punctuality. However, among the Indians punctuality is not a traitthat many Indians possess. This shows that if a person is brought upin a culture that insists on certain behaviors, it is possible thatthe members of this particular population will adopt thosecharacters.
TheNature Vs Nurture Debate
Thiscontest is about whether it is the nature or nurture that influencesthe personality of an individual. There is an argument that theenvironment in which a person is brought up in is the one thatdetermines the behavior that one will develop (Goldhaber, 2012). Forexample, if a person grows up in a ruthless setting, there is aprobability that he or she will be rigid and vigorous. Also, in casean individual lives in a community where people care for each otherespecially the poor, there are chances that he or she will begenerous and kind. On the other hand, the nature side argues that thebehaviors of people are natural and often inherited (Tabery, 2014). Aperson can be naturally rude, gloomy, kind, honest or humble due tothe genes of the parents. However, according to the personalitycausal theory, both nature and nurture determine the characteristicsthat individuals develop or possess.
Thepersonalities of people that are found in childhood can be used topredict the likely adulthood behaviors. Also, some of the charactersacquired when individuals are young do not change or rather they aredifficult to change when one becomes an adult (Matthews et al.,2009). Prediction of behaviors is usually based on how regularly aperson portrays a particular trait. For example, in case a person isemotionally unstable or is hot tempered during the childhood years,there is a chance that the person will be an alcoholic in theadulthood. Also, girls who are less agreeable during the childhoodperiod have high chances of being smokers in adulthood.
Thepersonality causal theory is relevant to the ethnic minority becauseit can help in understanding why the minorities behave in particularways or else why they have certain qualities. The theory clearlyexplains the factors that determine the traits in a person. Asindicated above, culture is one of the factors that influencecharacter. Therefore, by understanding the culture of other people,it becomes easier to accommodate other people’s behaviors,especially the minorities. People from different socioeconomicclasses are likely to have diverse personalities due to the variedenvironments that they live in (Matthews et al., 2009). For example,a child from a well-up background is likely to have more confidenceand higher self-esteem than a teen from a humble background.
Thepersonality causal theory states that the setting that an individuallives in can shape up his or her character. Thus, the theory can helpin understanding why a person behaves in a particular manner. Thehypothesis further states that personal experiences can determine aperson’s character, and this is important especially in sexual andgender orientation. The encounters that a person had in the past canestablish whether this individual will get attracted to other peopleor not, especially from the opposite sex. For example, if a girlexperiences molestation by the father during her childhood years, itis likely that she may develop a fear of males, and may end up singlesince she would have poor relation with men. Alternatively, she maybecome a lesbian. Personality causal theory is important because itcan give insight to psychologists who advise people with abnormalsexual and gender orientation (Elliott, 2015).
Personalitycausal theory is closely related to other theories like cognitivepersonality theory, behaviorist theory, and Freudian theory. Forexample, the personality causal theory and the behaviorist theoryagree that nurture plays a part in shaping the character ofindividuals (Matthews et al., 2009). Also, the two theories concurthat behavior can be learned through interactions or directobservation.
Iconsider some personality theories to be weak. For example, thepsychoanalytic theory lacks an extensive focus in evaluating humancharacters. This approach mainly focuses on the mind as the onlyfactor that can influence one’s character. The method does notconsider other determinants of behavior like inheritance,environment, and personal experiences (Elliott, 2015). Also, thepsychoanalytic theory is not falsifiable meaning that it lacksempirical evidence. Moreover, the behaviorist theory is inadequate inethics because of using animals in experiments while the cognitivepersonality theory is mechanical since it compares people tocomputers. Human beings are more complex than computers because theyhave emotions, but computers do not have emotions.
Thebasis of ideas is from personal experiences as well as observation.For example, the people I have interacted with since my childhood,including my biological parents, are honest, kind, and hardworking.As a result, I have grown up being a kind, honest, and industriousperson. My parents, especially my father, like volleyball and this isan observation I have made since my childhood years. Every time therewas a volley match in the nearby schools, I used to accompany him.Consequently, I developed an intense interest towards volley andup-to-date, I play volleyball. Also, in my culture, it is a taboo totalk when an older person is talking. This makes young people in thesociety have a virtue of respect due to the strict culture in thecommunity.
Tosum up, understanding the factors that influence the nature of peoplesuch as the culture, environment, personal experiences, andinheritable factors are important. Individuals in a community willlive in harmony if they appreciate why particular people behave inspecific ways. This will prevent any wrong judgments among thecitizens in a society thus promoting a peaceful co-existence. Also,if parents understand that the way that they behave can shape up thebehavior of their children, then guardians will conduct themselves ina manner that will reinforce a positive character in a child. Forexample, if the father or mother were using offensive words in thehouse in front of their kids, they are supposed to stop such actionsor else the youngsters will start using the same abusive words onother people, either their age-mates or seniors. This will be adisgrace to the family. Therefore, the personality causal theory isrelevant because it will help communities to live well byaccommodating each others behavior.
Elliott,A. (2015). Psychoanalytictheory: An introduction.Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Goldhaber,D. (2012). Thenature-nurture debates: Bridging the gap.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
John, O. P., Robins, R. W., &Pervin, L. A. (2008). Handbookof personality: Theory and research.New York: Guilford Press.Matthews, G., Deary, I. J., &Whiteman, M. C. (2009). Personalitytraits. Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press.Tabery, J. (2014). Beyondversus: The struggle to understand the interaction of nature andnurture. NotreDame Philosophical Reviews,MIT Press.