The Initial Assumptions About Personality Development

The Initial Assumptions About Personality Development

Ashford University

PSY 330: Theories of Personality

The Initial Assumptions About Personality Development

When explaining the impact of genetics and the environment on the development of personality first, we need to define personality. My understanding, from a personal viewpoint, is the way a person is in their behavior, the way they feel, and think. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas. One is understanding individual differences in their personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole. But if asked why we need to be concerned about our personality and its effect on the environment? There are three reasons.

1. It will help you narrow down your field. Some forms of personality are more artistic. Many of them are people whom are born to be leaders, but some are not capable of presenting themselves in a role such as leadership. Its like some teachers who are teachers, but they can’t teach. Knowing where you fall can help you choose a field that matches your personality and enables you to thrive (Stahl, 2017).

2. It can help you identify your most persuasive skills. Many forms of personality are more logical than others. Some are more organized. Some prefer to learn by doing so.  If you are a hands-on learner and do better with visual aids than paper and pen instructions, you need to make that known. There are others who know what their strengths and weaknesses are and let it be known so as not to suffer in silence. If you have a deeper level of awareness of your strongest skills, tell it. It can help guide you to a career that does showcase those skills (Stahl, 2017).

3. It can reveal the best type of work environment for you. Some types of individuals perform better in specific settings than in other introverts. For example,there are those who can perform better internally than externally and can work best with fewer people in a working setting (Stahl, 2017).

There are three main influences on personality development that we are going to look at heredity, environment, and situation:

1) Heredity applies to your birth temperament. So, there is nothing that can change that characteristic. Its in your DNA. Heredity provides your responses to circumstances and how responsive you are to them. It influences the way you get along with others and of course, your anatomy dictates how you look (Lecci, 2015).

2)The nutritional element of our lives is our environment(climate). That is the kind of world we live in and grow up in. The settings will include the home, education work or other areas you spend a lot of time in. Biological factors can consist of issues like culture, faith, and other experiences that we individually go through (Lecci, 2015).

3) Then, there are the situations we go through. The different skills that people experience leaves signs (internal marks) and these marks help us to grow our personality. Divorce, death, tragedy, and happier times fall into a category of “situations” that forms one’s personality. My personality developmental journey impacted these assumptions about personal development by helping me to comprehend the traits that affect growth in my life. Knowing how the personality governs the aspects of my relationships teaches me how to challenge my potential to improve (Lecci, 2015).

In our text, researchers claim that personality is stable. When they say this, they are concluding that a personality is formed at birth and does not change. For instance, if a child is born quiet and reserve, they remain that way into adulthood. However, we know that personality can vary, depending on the circumstances. In our text, a young man named Phineas Gage, while working on the railroad, had a steel tamping rod shoot through his frontal lobe in his brain. As a result of this accident that he lived through, his personality changes from a quiet, hard-working man to a childish indulgent and foul-mouth person. He became increasingly violent. Suffering brain damage was no fault of his own, but it did change him. There are also other cases where patients, after suffering brain damage, become violent. Furthermore, cases where, after taking drugs, peoples’ personality changes (Lecci, 2015). I have seen that first-hand from family members who were alcoholics.

My oldest brother lost his wife and five children in the process of being an alcoholic. He was also mild-mannered and quiet when he was sober, which was not too often. After serving three years in the Army, he came home changed. He became belligerent, restless, and depressed. He claimed the voices in his head made it difficult to sleep, and the only way to quiet them was to drink. But with the drinking came someone we couldn’t recognize. He changed to even a more out-of-control individual that sometimes didn’t even remember his own family. His demeanor was intolerable, and he became an unsafe person to have around his children. I was only thirteen, but I saw the pain he caused all of us. I was glad when he was arrested and sent to jail for domestic assault on his wife. I testified on her behalf because I stayed with them during the summers out of school and saw first-hand the physical, mental, and emotional abuse he exploited on this family.

Understanding personality theory is critical to be successful in my career. When making decisions on behalf of a person’s well-being, it’s essential to know and relate to the personality of the person being treated. Their personality, temperament, character, traits and factors, and mood states will determine the necessary treatments if needed (Lecci, 2015).

Temperament, which can be mistaken as the personality, was at one time misunderstood. When some children are born quiet and easy, others are born loud and demanding. I was born a crybaby and stayed that way through elementary school. I was silent, introverted, and nervous. But because temperament is reviewed as a result of something happening outside of the influence of the environment, it was determined not to be a synonym of personality, but a close resemblance to it. Both show genetic influence, are influence by the environment; both focus on positive and negative emotions, and they have traits that overlap with non-human species. So, the focus now is determining when in our lives, does personality changes (Lerner, 2013).

If we look at our character, we can generally refer to our moral and ethical responsibilities. Our integrity, honesty, morality, and stability are essential qualities to determine behavior. It shows how we act in various circumstances. An example: if we were to move to another country, we would have to evaluate their morals and ethics to be able to abide by and respect their laws. Keeping our heads covered as women in Iran to walking behind our husbands in Japan would be the customary way of recognizing the character of a culture. In literature, the word character is used more to define personality (Lecci, 2015).

When we look at the personality traits and factors of an individual, we visualize from their behavior, how kind, affectionate, and sympathetic or how angry, cold-hearted, and selfish they are. In our assessment, some of these factors have been mentioned as the “big five” factors of personality. They are Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The name “big five” came from psychologists who believed that the number of human personality traits can be reduced to five factors and that those other traits fit within the five. The acronym OCEAN was used to recall the five elements and comes from Paul Costa’s and Robert McCrae’s conceptualization (Stahl, 2017).

Critics argue that the five-factor model is limited in scope and is not theory-driven; they also point to limitations in its use of factor analysis. The difference between them is the level of study traits being at the lower level and factors at the top. My scores are for: Openness 69%; Conscientious 65%; Extraversion 52%; Agreeableness 77%; and Neuroticism 62.5%. As for the average score for the population, I score a little above average, which means I am creative and more likely to appreciate unusual ideas. I do agree with the results, for I love all sorts of classical and alternative music, and I love to learn about the different cultures and their styles and language (Stahl, 2017).

Moods, I can relate to, having been told many times how mine changes day by day. Mood states are conditions of our behavior that changes over time and circumstances. I can be happy and active today, and tomorrow, if it rains or is too hot, irritable, and fatigued. It depends on who or what ruins the mood for me. But sometimes, because I suffer from a long history of depression, medication is needed to get me back on board. It is essential to understand when we can and can’t control that area of our personality and where to go for help. Critics argue that the five-factor model is limited in scope and is not theory-driven; they also point to limitations in its use of factor analysis. The four tools used for assessing personality outlined in section 1.5 of our text are:

My personality developmental journey impacted these assumptions about personal development by showing me what my strengths and weaknesses are as well as what good and bad habits I have picked up along the journey. I can determine what is needed to happen to get me closer to my desired self. I now know what and where the resources are to help me to get to the state I wish in my growth in the development of my social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual traits. I can examine my self-image and work on improving the characteristics that may be holding me back and keeping me from being my best self. By utilizing personality assessments online, I can get a clear and accurate picture of my strengths and weaknesses and predict a target point to work from. I appreciate these kinds of information because it takes the answers to my questions into perspective in generalizing an overall picture of my personality and giving me crucial feedback to the process. In wanting the best life for myself, learning to present me with the best of personalities for total success is the main focus in the developmental process.

  1. Test-retest liability refers to a scale or test administered and then re-administered again after thirty days to determine the stability of the mood of that personality of the participant over time (Lecci, 2015).
  2. Internal reliability in research refers to the consistency of a research study or measuring test. An example is if I weigh myself during the day several times, I expect to see similar readings. That means the texts should be consistent across items in a test or measurement on the same topic which is me. Then I can total them all up and divide by the number of readings to get my average. This method is also known as Cronbach’s alpha (2015).
  3. Parallel (or alternate) forms reliability is used when researchers have two different versions of the same test, and the goal is to make the two as similar as possible (2015).
  4. And the last one is the Inter-rater-liability test. It refers to rating measurement. For instance, when children enter a room, if you had to rate how many were happy coming in versus how many did not smile when registering, you could use a scale from one to ten as a percentage of the amount. It is also essential to determine if the raters, when rating the children, calculate the expressions in a similar manner (2015).


Lerner, H. (2013). Understanding Peoples Personalities and Becoming Successful. personalities-and-become-successful/#1f1c9fda6701 personalities-and-become-successful/#1f1c9fda6701

Stahl, A. (2017), 3 Ways Knowing Your Personality Type Can Help You With Your Career.

Lecci, L. B. (2015). Personality. Retrieved from

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