“People are just different”. But why? And how? How do people get to be different from each other?
We need to understand the major determinants of the behavior of individual persons. The central theme of an individual person’s being is “needs and expectations”.
Understanding individual behavior requires that we know something about the influences that make a person behave in a particular situation.
The patterns of individual difference are the subject of the study of personality theory and development.
Personality means individual characteristics and ways of behaving which are organized in such a way that they reflect the unique adjustment a person makes to his environment.
These behaviors and adaptations that go to make up one’s personality are relatively stable over time. Any one individual’s behavior will certainly differ from one situation to another, but there will be some consistent pattern that will identify the behavior pattern as uniquely his.
Personality development takes place because of combined effects of heredity and environment. They interact to produce various personality characteristics.
Heredity provides for the potential development in physical and psychological terms. Whether the full potential is achieved or not depends upon the demands and requirements of a person’s social environment.
Certain characteristics are inherited from the parents. At conception each parent contributes twenty three chromosomes. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes, which seem to be transmitters of various traits. Different children of the same parents do not have identical genetic makeup.
Only identical twins, which develop from a single fertilized ovum, possess the same pattern of genes.
Physical attributes are inherited. The characteristics are as follows: physical structure, reflexes (i.e. direct response to stimuli), innate drivers (i.e. impulse to act based on physiological tensions), intelligence, temperament (emotional make up) etc.
The effect of environment of a person is quite strong. Knowledge, skill and language are acquired by learning. Learned behavior is to be acquired by the children. It has to be acquired by them through their own personal experience and efforts.
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