Influences On A Person's Personality Essay

562 words - 2 pages

Influences on a Person's Personality

The enduring characteristics of an individual's behavior, attitude, and feelings in

everyday social situations make up personality. There are many influences on an

individual's personality, including culture, genetic makeup, and early family life. Studies

have shown that people with certain personality characteristics are more suitable for

specific occupations or special activities. Personality studies can also reveal the

relationship between specific types of personalities and the incidence of disease, divorce,

and stress-related problems.

There are many different theories concerning the nature and development of

personality and the causes of personality changes. The ancient Greek physician

Hippocrates believed that people behave differently because they have a predominance of

one type of bodily fluid, or humor. According to this theory, people with calm or passive

personalities have one dominant humor, while impulsive and temperamental people have a

different dominant humor. In the 20th century, other classification schemes were

advanced. The German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer thought that personality was

determined by the person's body type--such as plump, lean, or athletic. He suggested that

short persons were more likely to be social, friendly, and lively. Both of these theories

remain unproven. Major advances have been made through behavioral genetics, the field

concerned with the relative influence of genetic and environmental factors on individual

behavior. One approach is to study the personalities of identical (monozygotic) twins who

have been separated since birth. Such individuals have the same genetic makeup but differ

in the environments in which they are reared. In a related method of study, the

personalities of individuals who are adopted from birth are compared to the personalities

of their adoptive and biological...

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