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When we meet a person, the first thing that strikes us are his features, i.e. his height, build, voice,
smile etc. we often confuse the external appearance of a person with his personality. But in
psychology, personality is deeper than external appearance and looks.

The word ‘personality’ has its origin in the Latin word ‘PERSONA’ which means mask. In Greco-
roman theatre, the actors wore masks and the colour and the type of mask depicted the qualities and
personality of the character they played. Similarly, in India, the kathakali dancers too wear masks that
depict the character taken from the mythology and folklore


Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that
determine his unique adjustments to the environment.” - Gordon allport

Determinants of personality:

• Biological Factors
• Cultural Factors
• Family Factors
• Social Factors
• Situational Factors

Biological Factors


• It refers to physical stature, facial attractiveness, sex, temperament, muscle composition and reflexes,
energy level, and biological rhythms are characteristics that are considered to be inherent.
• It plays an important part in determining an individual's personality.
• Heredity approach argues that the ultimate explanation of an individual's personality is the molecular
structures of the genes, which are located in the chromosomes.
• Recent research studies shows that young children lend strong support to the power of heredity and
finding shows that some personality traits may be built into the same genetic code that affects factors like
height and hair color.


• Brain is the second biological approach to determine personality.

• It plays an important role in determining personality.
• Electrical Stimulation of the Brain (ESB) and Split brain psychology results indicates that a better
understanding of human personality and behavior might come from a closer study of the brain.
• The definite areas of the human brain are associated with pain and pleasure. Research study shows
that these things are true.


• It is third biological approach to determine personality.

• Physiologists and psychologists felt that biological functions like brainwave patterns, gastric and
hormonal secretions, and fluctuations in blood pressure and skin temperature were beyond conscious
control. Recent research shows that these functions can be consciously controlled through biofeedback
• For this purpose, individual can learns the internal rhythms of a particular body process through
electronic signals that are feedback from equipment which is wired to body.
• In this process, the person can learn to control the body process through questions.
• It is one of the interesting topics to do future research work in personality.

Physical Features:

• It is third biological approach to determine personality.

• It is vital ingredient of the personality, it focus an individual person's external appearance which also
determined the personality.
• Physical features like tall or short, fat or skinny, black or white. These physical features will be
influenced the personal effect on others and also affect self concept of individual.
• Recent research studies shows that definitely this features influence to individual personality in an
In totally, heredity would be fixed at birth and no amount of experience can be altering them through
creation of suitable environment. Apart from this, personality characteristics are not completely dictated
by heredity. There are other factors also influenced to determining personality.

Cultural Factors

"Each culture expects, and trains, its members to behave in ways that are acceptable to the group. To a
marked degree, the child's cultural group defines the range of experiences and situations he is likely to
encounter and the values and personality characteristics that will reinforce and hence learned". -Paul H
• Cultural factors are also major factors which influence to determine individual personality.
• It refers to traditional practice, customs, procedure, norms and rules and regulation followed by the
• It significantly influence to individual behavior compare to biological factors.
• Cultural factors determine attitudes towards independence, aggression, competition, cooperation,
positive thinking, team spirit, and a host of the human being and discharge his/her duties towards
valuable responsibilities to society.
• Western culture influence to Indian society. It is best example of the cultural factors also determine the

Family Factors

• Family factors are also major factors which influence to determine individual personality.
• Family consists of husband and wife and their children's.
• Family role is very important for nurturing and personality development of their children.
• Family will be guided, supervised, take care of all family members, cooperation, Organizational Behavior
coordination and cooperation in work and also explained the role and responsibilities towards the family,
society and real life.
• Family either directly or indirectly influence to person for development of individual personality.

Social Factors

• Social factors are also major factors which influence to determine individual personality.
• It involves the reorganization of individual's in an organization or society.
• It refers to acquiring of wide range of personality by acquiring and absorbed by themselves in the
society or an organization.
• Socialization process is starting from home and extending to work environment in an organization or
• It focuses on good relationships, cooperation, coordination and interaction among the members in the
society or an organization or a family.
In totally, environment factors consist of cultural factors, family factors, and social factors.

Situational Factors

• Situational factors also influence to determine of personality.

• Situational factors are very important to change the individual behavior in a different circumstance at
different situations, it also influence to personality of individual person.
• In general term, personality is stable and consistent and it does change in different situations. The
Interaction of Personality and Situational Factors are outlined:
• Strong situational pressures
• Personality may not predict behavior
• Example: enforcement of rules
• Weak Situational pressures
• Personality may predict behavior
• Example: Customer sales representative
• A strong situation can overwhelm the effects of individual personalities by providing strong cues for
appropriate behavior.

Components of Personality
While there are many different theories of personality, the first step is to understand exactly what is meant
by the term personality. A brief definition would be that personality is made up of the characteristic
patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. In addition to this, personality
arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.

Some of the fundamental characteristics of personality include:

• Consistency - There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. Essentially,

people act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations.

• Psychological and physiological - Personality is a psychological construct, but research

suggests that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs.

• Impact behaviors and actions - Personality does not just influence how we move and respond
in our environment; it also causes us to act in certain ways.

• Multiple expressions - Personality is displayed in more than just behavior. It can also be seen in
out thoughts, feelings, close relationships, and other social interactions.

Theories of Personality

There are a number of different theories about how personality develops. Different schools of thought in
psychology influence many of these theories. Some of these major perspectives on personality include:

• Type theories are the early perspectives on personality. These theories suggested that there are
a limited number of "personality types" which are related to biological influences.

• Trait theories viewed personality as the result of internal characteristics that are genetically

• Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud,
and emphasize the influence of the unconscious on personality. Psychodynamic theories include
Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial

• Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and
the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting
theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. Behavioral theorists include B. F.
Skinner and John Watson.

• Humanist theories emphasize the importance of free will and individual experience in the
development of personality. Humanist theorists include Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.


There are lots of misconceptions regarding the personality and personality development among the
people, they are
Personality is all about external appearance: external appearance is one aspect of personality but it is
not the only aspect. While personal grooming is important, the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of
personality are also important. The ‘inner being’ and ‘inner self’ are the essential aspect of personality.

Personality is limited to body language:

Body language has to supplement personality, “not replace “it. If you are a calm balanced person, your
body language will automatically match your behavior not Vice versa

Some people have a ‘personality’, some do not:

All of us have a personality. When we understand that personality is also about thinking, creativity,
intelligence, adjustment to environment, we can break the myth that only ‘macho males and beautiful
females’ have a personality. According to psychologists all of us have personality.

Personality = character: moral and ethical values of a person are also a part of his /her personality. But
personality is not limited to only to these values, it extends beyond them.

Similarly, a lot of times personality development is also understood in a very superficial, mechanical way.
While workshops and training in personality do offer an insight into the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of personality
development, they cannot serve as short cuts to achieve overnight personality development.

The process of personality development is a life long one. It is an arduous process of

• Thinking and questioning

• Learning and growing
• Doing and experiencing
• Flexibility and adjustment
• Achieving maturity and happiness, success.

Our habits, hobbies, our goals and aims in life are shaping and reshaping our personality. Our values,
philosophy of life make us the person we are , experience, exposure, new learning are contributing to out
personality make up. Communication skills, assertiveness, confidence, positive thinking is all factors that
contribute towards the development of personality.


1. Subconscious Programming:

Most of us sometimes get programmed / conditioned by a wrong messages that “ donot do that”, “don’t
take the risk”, “you can not do that” you are not good in …and so on…..
You can imagine the bad effect such message can have on any person.
Our Conscious Mind is like a watch man. And the Subconscious Mind is a store of all the previously
programmed or conditioned information / knowledge/ believes. Now programming personality means
putting positive believes/ information into the store with out the knowledge of the watchman (conscious

Suppose you tell yourself that “you are good at Public Speaking”. And the store has stored based on
peoples comments and experience that “you are poor in communication” “you can not speak well in
public”, “you don’t have an impressive body language” …..
The watch man sees your sentence and compares it with the knowledge in its store and says “this
information is wrong”. The watchman throws the new information away. He does not allow the new
positive information into the store. This is the fundamental difficulty in changing personality & behavior of
a person.

Now the question is how and when we could programme our mind for positive personality trait with out the
obstruction of watchman…

The answer is we can programme our mind for positive personality traits during the Twilight period just
before sleeping and just before waking up. This is the time when the conscious mind is active enough to
generate the positive traits for entering into store but inactive to judge/compare and will not obstruct to the
positive traits to enter into the subconscious store house.

2. Reinforced Programming / Conscious Programming:

Autosuggestion and Repetition of the positive traits despite negative response from comparison with the
store house also gives success in programming for personality traits.

Auto-suggestion is a statement made in the present tense, of the kind of person you want to be. Auto-
suggestion is like a commercial about “Super you”, or “Future Super you” for yourself what you want to be
or achieve. They influence both your conscious and subconscious mind in the long run shaping your
personality and attitude.

Auto-suggestions are the conscious way to programme the subconscious mind for positive traits. It is the
effective method of voluntary development of positive traits and attitudes.

Auto-suggestion should be mixed with emotions. All such reinforced / conscious programming which have
been emotionalized (giving feeling) and mixed with applied faith, begin immediately to translate
themselves into physical or real equivalent.

Auto-suggestive thoughts which are mixed with any of the feeling of emotions constitute a “psycho-
magnetic” force which attracts other similar or related thoughts.
Our subconscious mind resembling a fertile garden spot, in which weeds will grow in abundance if you the
seeds of more desirable crops are not sown therein. Auto-suggestion is the agency of control through
which an individual can voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of creative/ positive nature or
by neglect permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into the rich garden of mind. So
Caution should be taken while programming your mind for positive traits only.
3. Defensive Approach:
One of this type of approach is protest or deny the negative traits at it’s very beginning of the entering in
the subconscious store. And the second is to consciously avoid this type of environment or situation. In
real life situation it is very difficult because it may lead to confrontation and argument or Inaction.

Another problem in this is that most of us have some negative traits previously in our store house due to
our past experience and conditioning.

4. Physical Action / Body Language Approach:

In general it is the positive practice or experiencing desired traits whether the desired perfection achieved
or not.

It is generally said that our personality traits control our body language. But it is a fact that the reverse is
also true. This means we can change our negative traits towards positive traits by consciously practicing
the body language for positive traits.
5. Domino-effect. Direct exposure to good personalities or environment:

Here the direct environment is the driving force in shaping the personalities. When one constantly
remains in direct contact with great personalities will enriches his own to be the one. Similarly the
organization culture and structure also many times influences ones personality. Sometimes it is the
guiding principle for job satisfaction / recruitment.

Personality Development

Practicing the basics of personality development can help you to project yourself in a better light. Using
personality development methods can help to overcome many hurdles in life. Here’s a look at the some

A positive attitude can help us in all walks of lives. Being confident and feeling beautiful from within has
nothing to do about our physical appearance. You must have noticed in your childhood days how certain
children always had the knack of being the center of attention or always shining through every task that is
assigned to them. Well, this is mainly because every individual has a different personality; it is obvious
that every person cannot be the same. So what is personality development all about? Read on to know
about personality development and how it can alter situations in our everyday life.

Personality Development and how it can change our life:

There are various factors you will need to consider for personality development so that it has a positive
effect on your life. Personality development is all about individualism and how we control our emotions to
act in a way that is most beneficial for us. When we think and analyze how people around us have
behaved or reacted, we are in a way trying to assess how their personalities are, without really knowing
what we are doing. A personality is built up by the kinds of thoughts and feelings we have within us that
can result in a particular behavior.

Certain Factors about Personality Development:

There are many ways in which personality development can change our outlook towards things and give
us success in whatever we do. This can help one to achieve better results in any task, whether
professionally or personally.

Personality Development: Have a positive attitude

Have you really thought about the way you approach any task handed out to you? Do you generally have
self-doubt about your capabilities? Positive thinking is a major aspect about personality development, this
can help to alter the results and actually get positive results your way. Start with a deep belief in yourself.
This can help to create better opportunities for you and also bring about an improved change in your life.
If you have wondered how certain people taste success with little effort, it is solely on having a positive
attitude. Having a positive attitude towards things can certainly help you also taste success with whatever
you deal with. This aspect about personality development helps you to approach anything with self-
confidence and this in turn creates positive vibes. Therefore, always have a deep confidence in your
abilities and when someone says you can’t do a certain thing, simply turn back and say, ‘Yes, I can’! For
e.g., most children may suffer from lack of self-confidence when it comes to talking before the entire
class. Here, effective personality development can help to overcome this problem and turn the child into a
better conversationalist, which can help him/her later on in life as well.

Personality Development: Motivate Yourself

Always keep you motivated about your tasks and responsibilities. Successful people reach their position
because they always had a constant drive in them that told them to do better each time they felt they have
done well. Every time you feel like you need to call the quits, either at work or in a relationship, focus on
your goals and try to rectify the problem rather than turn your back on it. For e.g., have you always had
the problem of stage fright? Instead of thinking about how dreadful the experience is, look at it as an
opportunity and give it your best shot. This will help you overcome your fear and discover new avenues
as well.
Personality Development: Believe in your strong points
Think about all your abilities. This will help you shape yourself into a better personality. Personality
development is about portraying yourself in a better fashion and feeling confident about goals you have
set for yourself. This would be possible if you do not focus on your negative aspects and work on using
your skills to the maximum. Make a list of all your positive points. Be encouraging to yourself; if you think
you are facing any problem in any task, relax and try to look at it, in a different manner. This will help you
to overcome your problems with ease.

Personality Development: Effective Body Language

Your stance can say a lot about you. Personality development is about a confident portrayal about
yourself and your body language can say a lot about yourself. Effective body language forms a part of
your personality development; this includes your facial expression, gestures, how you sit and the way you
react to what another person would be telling you. For e.g., sitting in a slouched position for an important
business meeting would mean that you are simply not interested in the contents of what is being said.
Therefore, develop your body language, which should help to portray you in a better light. Make eye
contact while speaking; if someone is conducting a lecture, sit erect and nod your head gently in
affirmation for certain points and make sure you have a firm handshake as well. A correct body posture
shows a confident personality radiating through.

Personality Development: Handle people the right way

To be effective, you must not only work on yourself but also on certain aspects around you. Learning how
to handle people is also an important factor about personality development. Take a common case which
you may have encountered at your work place- there are certain people who can achieve better results
when compared to you, although you may put in the same amount of effort. These people can get a job
done faster because of the way they handle a certain situation or people associated with that task. Being
a leader or reaching to that position may not be easy but it is certainly not an impossible task. Remember
to avoid criticizing and complaining about things. Be honest about your approach and be genuinely
interested in people around you. Successful leaders know how to manage people well and you can take a
look around your workplace to know how people with strong personalities can manage their work much
easily as compared to people who struggle to get their work co-ordinate. This is simply because they are
not well liked as a person. Learning how to handle people with a positive approach can make people
around you feel positive and can create a happy environment to be in. Use your authority with care and
respect others as well. Effective personality development will help you make a better impression upon
others and also build a good rapport with your co-workers.

Focusing on personality development can help overcome many hurdles in your life. Problems that may
seem to loom large otherwise can suddenly seem to be really miniscule for you. Always fill your mind with
positive and fresh thoughts. Remember, how you present yourself has a lot to do with the way things can
turn out for you. So, turn things in your favor with successful ways of personality development.