Five Common Personality Determinants
Before discussing the most common determinants of personality, it is necessary to answer the question, "What is personality?" For the answer, we turn to American psychologist Gordon Allport, who describes personality as:
The dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment.
What Are Personality Determinants?
Personality is not determined by a single factor, but by an accumulation of many factors. Some of those factors are psychological, while others are physical, biological, and hereditary. I have compiled some of the most influential factors when it comes to determinants of personality.
The brain is one of the most important personality determinants. It is generally believed the father and the child adopt almost the same type of brain stimulation. Later differences are the result of the environment in which the child has grown.
2. Physical Characteristics
One of the most important factors in determining personality are an individual's physical characteristics. These factors play a vital role in determining one’s behavior in a social organization. Physical characteristics include, but are not limited to:
- Skin tone
- Hair color
These factors influence interactions with other people, contributing to personality development.
3. Social Experiences
Social experiences play a vital role in determining one’s personality. The things that occur around a person on a regular basis determine how that person will behave and perceive themselves. A person's social experiences affect:
- Family relationships
- Organizational relationships
- Workplaces relationships
- Involvement in communities
4. Culture and Religion
The culture in which one lives almost always involves:
- Traditional practices
- Rules and regulations
These are all highly influential determinants of personality.
Perhaps the most surprising and astonishing personality determinant is heredity. The example given below is quite interesting, and comes from the book Essentials of Organizational Behavior by Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge, and Seema Sanghi:
Researchers in my many different countries have studies thousands of sets of identical twins who were separated at birth and raised separately. For instance, one set of twins who had been separated for 39 years and raised 45 miles apart, were found to drive the same model and color car. They also chain-smoked the same brand of cigarette, owned dogs with the same name, and regularly enjoyed vacations within three blocks of each other in a beach community 1,500 miles away.
Heredity is perhaps the most important factor in determining personality, since mostly all other determinants, such as physical characteristics, gender, psychology, and more, are passed down through genes.