The Development and Formation of Personality
September 28, 2015
This paper will discuss the foundations and progression of personality throughout an individual’s lifespan. Nature versus nurture, the view of self, and the unconscious are foundational to the formation of an individual’s personality. These factors all contribute to the psychological health of the individual. Development, maturation, and motivation all contribute to the progression of an individual’s personality. These aspects of personality are crucial in the formation of an autonomous, mentally healthy adult.
Foundations of Personality
Nature versus Nurture
Taking sides in the nature versus nurture debate is a scientific mistake. It was long believed in the scientific community that nurture was not even comparable to the effect that nature had on the development of personality (Buss, 27). What psychologists should be doing in this longstanding debate is working to see how nature and nurture work together to form personality. To do this they must shift their focus from solely behaviorism or or solely genetics and see how genetic and environmental influences both characterize one’s personality (Krueger, 287).
Nature is heredity and nurture is environment. Inherited personality traits are usually the Five Factor Model of personality traits proposed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa. These traits are: agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and neuroticism. However, we often give heredity too much credit in terms of personality development. While heredity does typically effect initial reactions and motivations, they do, over time, become influenced by environment (Buss, 29).
Many psychologists still do not view the unconscious as its own entity, but as the “shadow” of the conscious. This stems from the cognitive psychology view that the...