“EVERY INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY IS A DIRECT FUNCTION AND PRODUCT OF 70% SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND STRUCTURES, 25% MINDSET OR MENTALITY, 5% GENE OR HEREDITY”
I shall expatiate more on this in three stages;
First stage- Definition of subject matter i.e. personality.
Second stage- An overview of suggested factors.
1. Social factors
2. Cultural factors
3. Environmental factors
4. Mindset and mentality
Third stage- Appointment of percentage values/justification of values
Personality– Is the combination of characteristics or qualities that forms the distinct character of an individual, it is the qualities that makes someone interesting or popular. It is also supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. Personality arises from within the individual and remains firmly consistent throughout life. It can also be seen as the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal and behavioral response to patterns of an individual.
Personality can also be seen as the characteristic pattern of thought, feelings and behaviours that make a person unique. Almost everyday we describe and access the personalities of the people around us whether we realize it or not, these dearly musings on how and why people behave as they do.
1. Social structures- Is a term used in social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements which forms the society as a whole and which determines to some varying degree the actions of individuals socialized into that structure. The structure may include; educational system, legal system, family system, religion system, law, economy and class.
2. Cultural factors- Culture entails the totality of people’s ways of living, or embodiment of ideologies, heritage, beliefs, myths, mores, folkways, norms, laws etc. that guides individuals, a society or community. Therefore, the culture an individual grows into affect totally the ideological mentality of that person, because of the satisfying and gratifying nature of that culture, the individual finds it difficult to welcome other external ideologies therefore becoming part of him and which also affects his or her interaction and relationship in the society. For example, some people grew up into cultures that forbids men from cooking or entering the kitchen and it has generally been observed that such men finds it difficult to even help their wives in the kitchen or housework even in her period of pregnancy.
3. Environmental factors- The type of environment an individual is brought up determines more, what and how the life of that individual becomes. It has been psychologically and sociologically proved that an individual who grows up in a harsh environment, becomes a very shy and egocentric person and also an individual who grows up under too much care of the parents without consideration, enjoys whatever he/she wants even when necessity demands or not, will grow up to have great phobia for hard work in his/her lifetime etc.
4. Mindset and mentality- As the saying goes, ‘whatever an individual conceives in the mind, determines his/her direction and also your character which further in turn determines your habit which is the life itself. In other words everybody is a product of his mentality about himself/herself, that is why despite the environment one grows, if the mind is made up in another direction the person tends to grow in that direction. The human mind is a wonderful thing that controls all conscious and sub-conscious activities and mentality, the particular way of thinking of a person or groups, which also can be fixed ideas that somebody has and that is often difficult to change. An overview of the mindset theory developed and refined by G. Witzer (1990). Individuals are more likely to fulfill some goals if they imagined when and where they will implement these behaviours called implementation intention. In implementing these intentions it comprises two broad phases, each phases initiates a distinctive profile of cognitive processes. The first stage is called pre-decisional or deliberative, during this phase individual need to decide which goal or set of goals to pursue. Their main objective is to choose the optimal goal and therefore they consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option openly without bias (Puca, 2001, Taylor and Gollwitzer 1995). The second phase is called post-decisional or implemental, during this phase individuals must initiate and action to realize the goal they selected, and their main objective is to remain committed to the goal. Hence, they often consider the benefits of the chosen goal neglecting contradictory information (Puca, 2001, Taylor and Gollwtzer 1995)
5. Gene/heredity- Hereditary materials, traits that are biologically transferred to a person, and these genes contains 46 chromosomes, out of which 23 chromosomes are from the father and 23 are from the mother. In these are contained the characteristics features of the progenitors and these features which are transferred to the progeny makes the progeny to act likely to the progenitor, for example an individual is likely to inherit temperamental excesses from the progenitors i.e. anger, excitement etc.
Third Stage– Apportionment and justification of percentage values, general workings of all factors;
The way, manner, reason people behave the way they do are influenced and determined mostly by social, cultural and environmental settings and that is why it forms 70% of influencing factors of individual personality. The genes also affect personality because an individual cannot act outside what is inside of him or her because these things are already inherent part of that individual. The genes occupies 5% of determining factors of individual personality because the genes can be suppressed by the environment and also the environment makes the genes manifested to its fullest medium depending on how favourable the environment is. The mind which is the conscious and sub-conscious home of an individual also affects his/her personality because it is what is determined here an individual follows most often, if the mind does not agree with other factors the individual cannot be influenced by it and that is why it occupies 25% of the influencing factors. This can be exemplified using twins, twins are believed to have inherited the same genes from both parents and now if this twins grew up in the same social, cultural and environmental setting, then generally it is believed that they should possess the same personality and social behaviour, but it is not so because the mind function of a person is not the same with another person, no two individuals think the same way at all times, that is why even identical twins does not possess the same characters because the mindset of each is different. Hence, no individual can possess a well defined personality without the workings of all these factors. Nurture versus Nature according to Maclver, every phenomenon of life is the product of both environment and genes, each is as necessary to the result of other, neither can ever be eliminated and neither can be isolated. No society is a product of environment alone for men inherit physical heritage.
There is an incessant interaction between the two, they are inseparable. One man is a criminal, one is a militarist and another pacifist, both of these have been in operation since time immemorial to produce every particular situation and much of these are always produced by the interaction of gene substance and their environment. All qualities of life are in the genes, all the evocations of qualities depend on the environment. Genes have potentialities and environment offers a chance of bringing them out which follows the principles that the higher the potentiality, the greater the demand made on environment. The more elastic the life, the more it is at the mercy of the environment. That is why environment affect us most in the earlier years of our life.
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