The Role Of Environment In Personality Development (2022)

Often, you’d come across such quotesyour inner self matters more than your external shell. Sayings that emphasize on something that lies inside of you and something that makes you up.
Perhaps, you’d find them scrawled on books and walls, or maybe, presented aesthetically on your Instagram feed. Either way, seeing it so often might ring some curious bells. What are they even referring to? Soul can’t be it, for we were all born with one. And so, that leaves us with only one other thing: our essence, our personality and our personality development. But the conflicting point, here, is that very often the latter is a consequential entity, rather than a carefully-crafted one.

It is a product of several influencing factors than a thoroughly thought-out thing. So, how can one possibly align it with one’s will? How can one develop a desired personality? Or is that even possible? Well, here in this post, we’re going to find answers to these very questions. There is a way that can help us align it with our will, i.e., understanding and adjusting the environment.
The mention of the environment in all this talk about personality development may confuse you a bit.

You might as well be wondering: what’s the connection? But this post is meant to eradicate the very confusion. The two do not only have a connection but a very strong one.

So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into the pool of answers.

What is Personality Development?

Every individual in this world possesses a different personality. It is what makes each one of us unique and extraordinary. And, amazingly, the personality of a human is distinguishable from as early as infancy. Two human children can have similar personality traits, but never the same!

However, the development of personality is what continues to increase this line of a difference either positively or negatively. Well, before diving into details, let’s first clarify the fundamentals. So, what is Personality Development exactly?

(Video) the importance of the environment for personal development

The term, Personality Development, refers to the change as well as growth in personality throughout the lifetime of an individual. It is the development of certain traits, behaviour, and attitude that differentiates one person from another.

As per studies, the process depends on three main influential factors, including:

  • Temperament
  • Character
  • Environment

Temperament, also referred to as nature, are the genetically determined personality traits. It affects a child’s approach towards the world and his learning abilities. The genetic materials play their role by influencing the nervous system development, which in turn affects the behaviour.

Character is a collection of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural patterns adopted from experiences. These experiences determine our perspective, feelings, and actions. Over time, the character continues to evolve with experiences. However, it is also dependent on one’s morals.

The third and most influential factor is the environment. Psychologists suggest that the environment surrounding an individual plays an almost 50-70% role in personality development. Continue reading to find out how!

The Role Of Environment In Personality Development (1)

Environment’s Impact on Personality Development

It’s been a long time since the world’s trying to figure out whether or not the environment has an impact on personality development. It’s now known as the nature VS nurture debate.

(Video) Psychology Lecture 2|| Role Of Heredity And Environment in Personality Development ||

Some choose to go with the opinion of Pablo and Descartes, saying that our attributes are in-born. Meanwhile, some people consider the idea of Tabula Rasa proposed by John Locke, to be more rational. His concept says that the human mind comes in the world as a blank slate. Everything that it learns is only by experience. John B.Watson further supported this idea by suggesting that a man can learn anything or behave like anything irrespective of their background.

Although the research and debate continue, a current analysis declares the two equivalent to one another. According to this research, the environment’s effect on personality development is just as intense as hereditary factors.

Hence, we can say that, yes, the environment has a noteworthy impact on personality development. Now, the influential environment does not only refer to your work, school, college, university, or home environment. It also refers to all the surroundings wherein you have experienced things. It may even mean your culture, society, and childhood experiences. Whether it’s operant learning or observational learning, it applies to all.

Along the same lines, this research confirms that environmental influences have the largest impact in shaping personality because they are mainly accidental. And hence, the best source of generating natural response and leading to the development of learned behaviour.

Does it Apply on Both Children And Adults?

Unfortunately, a common misconception persists amongst societies worldwide. People believe adults have a developed personality, which remains unaffected by the environment.

However, personality is an ever-changing part of a human. The development rate may lower with age, but it is still present.

According to one study conducted by psychiatrist Erik Erikson in 1956, personality development consists of 8-phrases that occur from infancy to adulthood.

(Video) What Causes our Personality? Genetics vs. Environment

In the early years of infancy, a human learns fundamental trust or mistrust. Better care and love develop reliance, security, and optimism in a child. During toddlerhood, a child will learn about Will. He learns regarding self-confidence, control, and shame.

In the third preschool stage, an individual experiences the learning initiative and guilt phase. While a school child goes through the learning industry and inferiority phase.

Later, like adolescence, the child is in the learning identity phase. A child clarifies sexual identity and establishes goals.

The other three stages occur throughout adulthood, where an individual alters himself/herself according to per environment.

The Role Of Environment In Personality Development (2)

Types of Environment Influencing Personality Development

Up till now, we learned about the environment’s importance in personality development. However, did you know that different types of environment affect a child’s personality differently? Let’s unravel the details!

Family

Ever since birth, a child spends the majority of time with family. Hence, this type of environment is most influential. Teachings provided by parents, relationships between different members, and parental behaviour towards the child influence the development of personality traits. For example, excessive restriction and limitation upon a child can establish rebellious features.

(Video) Lecture 06 - Environment and Personality

School

A human’s school life plays an important role in personality development. The academic challenges, socialization, and co-curricular activities provide an opportunity for self-grooming. It is the phase when the hidden traits of the personality are dominant as the child attempts to adjust on his own.

However, this process can get negatively influenced by a troubled environment. Peer pressure, socializing issues, bullying, and other factors can develop anger as well as frustration in one.

Culture

The cultural environment surrounding a child determines the norms for him and develops personality accordingly. For example, Asian cultures focus more on community and society norms, which is why cooperation is a more dominant trait amongst Asian people.

Final Thoughts

Undeniably, the environment surrounding an individual has a significant impact on personality development. While the temperament and character play a part, the environment affects a big chunk of your personality. And, it continues to influence throughout a human’s lifespan.

Consequently, all adults and parents must understand the importance of environmental influence. You see, the personality development of a child is a sensitive matter. One wrong action and you can be responsible for triggering the development of a destructive trait, such as indecisiveness and uncontrollable anger.

In severe cases, a child surrounded by a toxic and manipulative environment may develop personality disorders. These can be difficult to treat and have a permanent effect.

Hence, if you do want your child to lead a healthy and stable life, it is essential to educate yourself as well as others about the role of environment on personality development. And, you must learn to deal with situations patiently and wisely.

(Video) Role of Heredity and Environment on Development| K TET Psychology

FAQs

What is the role of environment in personality development? ›

Environmental factors, such as upbringing, culture, geographic location, and life experiences, greatly influence our personality. For example, a child raised in a harmonious environment may have a more positive or calm outlook and disposition.

What is the role of personality development? ›

Personality development helps you gain recognition and acceptance from the society as well as people around. Personality development plays an essential role not only in an individual's professional but also personal lives. It makes an individual disciplined, punctual and an asset for his/her organization.

How does our environment affect our behavior and personality? ›

The environment can influence mood. For example, the results of several research studies reveal that rooms with bright light, both natural and artificial, can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, and sleep.

Is personality development influenced by environment? ›

It is true that environmental influences, including parenting, affect personality. Based on genetic data, researchers have concluded that environment accounts for approximately 50 to 70 percent of personality.

How does your environment affect your personality essay? ›

Most of the studies have revealed that environment and heredity both play an important role in determining human personality. If mental factors are much influenced by environment physical and physiological characteristics are more affected by heredity. Environment alone cannot determine an individual's personality.

What is the role of personality? ›

Personality plays a key role in organizational behavior because the way that people think, feel, and behave affects many aspects of the workplace. People's personalities influence their behavior in groups, their attitudes, and the way they make decisions.

What is personality development in simple words? ›

What Is Personality Development? Personality development refers to the process by which the organized thought and behavior patterns that make up a person's unique personality emerge over time. Many factors influence personality, including genetics and environment, how we were parented, and societal variables.

What is the 4 personality types? ›

The four temperament theory is a proto-psychological theory which suggests that there are four fundamental personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

What are the benefits of environment? ›

The natural environment gives us a wealth of services that are difficult to measure in dollars. Natural areas help clean our air, purify our water, produce food and medicines, reduce chemical and noise pollution, slow floodwaters, and cool our streets. We call this work 'ecosystem services'.

What environmental factors affect behavior? ›

People's mood and wellbeing are affected by various elements of the built environment including spatial allocations, lighting, access to nature, colour, indoor air quality, noise, thermal comfort, user control of space, and preferred environments (i.e., those that are coherent and engaging).

What are the five environmental factors? ›

Air, water, climate, soil, natural vegetation and landforms are all environmental factors. By definition, the environmental factors affect everyday living, and play a key role in bringing health differences across the geographic areas.

What are environmental factors? ›

Environmental factors include temperature, food, pollutants, population density, sound, light, and parasites. The diversity of environmental stresses that have been shown to cause an increase in asymmetry is probably not exclusive; many other kinds of stress might provide similar effects.

What is known as environment? ›

Definition of environment

1 : the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded. 2a : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.

Which is more influential personality or the environment? ›

Overall, genetics has more influence than parents do on shaping our personality. Molecular genetics is the study of which genes are associated with which personality traits. The largely unknown environmental influences, known as the nonshared environmental effects, have the largest impact on personality.

How does environment affect mental health? ›

Loud noises and larger crowds can be overwhelming, which increases cortisol levels and stress. Higher rates of pollution also affect mental health. Scott points to research that shows increased rates of depression in more polluted areas.

Does our environment shape who we are? ›

Our environment continually influences our lifestyle, our decision-making process and the way we interact with the world around us. Each one of us has an innate awareness of our surroundings, which impacts us knowingly and unknowingly.

What is the role of environment in individual differences? ›

Environment brings individual differences in behaviour, activities, attitude, and style of life characteristics. Personality etc. Environment does not refer only physical surroundings but also it refers the different types of people, society, their culture, customs, traditions, social heritage, ideas and ideals.

Do you think environment plays a vital role in a person's? ›

Our environment plays an important role in our healthy living. It matters because not only is it our home, it provides air, food and other needs. Humanity's entire life support system depends on the well-being of all the environmental factors.

What are the 4 factors that influence personality? ›

There are 4 major determinants of personality which include the physical environment, heredity, experiences and culture.

Which is more influential personality or the environment? ›

Overall, genetics has more influence than parents do on shaping our personality. Molecular genetics is the study of which genes are associated with which personality traits. The largely unknown environmental influences, known as the nonshared environmental effects, have the largest impact on personality.

Why are environmental factors important? ›

Environmental factors significantly impact human livelihoods, health, and well-being. About one quarter of the global disease burden and one quarter of all deaths result from modifiable environmental factors.

What are some environmental factors that influence development? ›

Contributory factors include material deprivation, poor parental health, low parental education, family stress, exposure to intimate partner violence, neighbourhood deprivation, and poor school environment.

What are environmental factors? ›

Environmental factors include temperature, food, pollutants, population density, sound, light, and parasites. The diversity of environmental stresses that have been shown to cause an increase in asymmetry is probably not exclusive; many other kinds of stress might provide similar effects.

How does the environment play a role in learning? ›

Research has shown that an engaged learning environment increases students' attention and focus, promotes meaningful learning experiences, encourages higher levels of student performance, and motivates students to practice higher-level critical thinking skills.

Why is it important to know one's culture history and environment *? ›

It gives you a chance to understand traditions that are specific to your ancestors. You can gain a historical perspective of your family and culture, including details about your heritage that are unique. Some of the information gathered will be based on environmental factors and others on genetic factors.

What are the steps in personality development? ›

According to Erik H Erikson, the eight distinct stages, each with its own psychological conflict and resolution, contributing to a major aspect of personality, are: infancy (oral/sensory); early childhood (anal/muscular); play age (locomotor/genital); school age (latency); adolescence; early adulthood; adulthood; old ...

What is development personality? ›

What Is Personality Development? Personality development refers to the process by which the organized thought and behavior patterns that make up a person's unique personality emerge over time. Many factors influence personality, including genetics and environment, how we were parented, and societal variables.

What are the three main influences on personality development? ›

There are three main influences on personality development that we are going to look at in this lesson. Those are heredity, environment, and situation. Heredity: This refers to the influences on your personality that you are born with.

Does our environment shape who we are? ›

Our environment continually influences our lifestyle, our decision-making process and the way we interact with the world around us. Each one of us has an innate awareness of our surroundings, which impacts us knowingly and unknowingly.

Is nature more important than nurture in personality development? ›

Research has shown that one's genes and their environment are inextricably intertwined, suggesting that both nature and nurture are important. The interplay between a person's inherited temperament, which defines how they think, and their environment constantly reshapes personality.

Is personality environmental or genetic? ›

Personality traits are complex, and research suggests that genetic and environmental factors shape traits. 3 These two forces interact in various ways to form our individual personalities.

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