Progression and Foundations of Personality

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The thesis explains the process of growth and evolution of personalities in human beings. It looks at the notion from various viewpoints. It starts by exploring the notion of nurture versus the essence of personality. The paper then explores the unconscious component of personality and its impact on an individual. This is accompanied by the idea of self-view and how personality is influenced. Via previous research, the paper further explains the formation of personality in detail. The definition of creativity and personality was also explored. Finally, personality maturation is also seen. The relationship between each concept with the biblical integration has been described to show the associability.
Key words: personality, foundations, biblical integration
Foundations and Progression of Personality
The debate on personality, its growth and maturation continues to cause divergent view and elicit response. There are those who believe that personality is an acquired trait while other proposes that it is genetically transferred. Studies conducted however have indicated that however position one takes, both genetics and environmental factors have been consistent in shaping the behaviors of an individual. The debate on maturation of the same is believed to be experienced in the late years of a person (Levvit, 2013).
Foundations of Personality
Nature versus Nurture and Personality
The question on whether the one’s behavior is a product of innate traits or environmentally determined continues to experience divergent views. The proponents believe that nature accounts for the behavioral characteristics that determine the personality of an individual. On the other hand, the opposing side believes that personality of an individual is determined by the environmental exposure and variations within the surroundings. According to Levvit (2013), both genetic makeup and the environmental changes have effects on the individuals’ personality in varying proportions. The studies of twins within the classical genetics have supported the idea that behavior has a direct link on innate traits. In Levvit’s paper, (2013), it sought to explore the ideas on the role of nurture and nature in antisocial and violent behavior. It was concluded that the individual genes as well as environmental factors tended to shape the personality of an individual (Levvit, 2013). The ideas of Levivit are echoed by Kandler in the 2012 research work. Through the study of extraversion and neuroticism, the research revealed that the genetic makeup influences the behavioral development in children as opposed to mature adults. In that connection, Kandler concluded that both environmental factors and genetics are key determinants of personality development. The stability of personality however is determined by time and age (Kandler, 2012).
"we develop into the people we are predisposed to become because of our genetic makeup, but to a large degree, the development of or changes in our personality will be formed by the environment” (Kandler, 2012).
The role of biblical teachings on nurture and nurture in psychology is evidenced in Genesis and Proverbs. Genesis says that we were perfectly made in the image and likeness of God, both males and females (Genesis 1:27). This is a clear indication of nature’s role in determining the behavior of an individual. In Proverbs, the bible says that children ought to be trained responsible behaviors and live within the teachings even as they grow old (Proverbs 22:6). The teaching is a classical example that nurture plays critical role in the development of personality. The two books have demonstrated that both nurture and nature are important in shaping the individual behaviors.
The Unconscious and Personality
The unconscious personality also known as hidden trait is a reservoir of thoughts, feelings, memories and urges that are outside the conscious awareness. The aspect of personality equally affects the behavior of an individual in varying capacity. The unconscious personality is believed to host feelings, memories, thoughts and information that is embarrassing, too painful, distressing or shameful for the conscious awareness. (Yoshino, et al., 2005) conducted a study to establish the connection between the unconscious emotional reaction and the temperamental perspective in personality. From the study, it was observed that, there exist different subcortical and cortical correlates of ‘temperamental factors’ of personality between female and male. The study is critical in understanding the existence in diverse personality between the gender and the extent of susceptibility to neuropsychiatric diseases (Yoshino, et al., 2005). The personality therefore is achievable outside the individual awareness although there is a connection between the conscious and the unconscious personality. The two elements of personality- conscious and unconscious do complement each other in the development of personality.
Ma-kellams & Lerner, (2016) in their research sought to establish the association between empathic accuracy and the systematic and intuitive thoughts. In their study both experimental and correlation, they realized that systematic thinking increases the accuracy of thinking whenever one reads the feelings of others. The view is however different in intuitive thinking. The study is critical in understanding and reading the minds of individuals. The studies indicate that personality does develop unconsciously and that one does not have to aspire to acquire any trait (Ma-kellams & Lerner, 2016).
With regards to biblical teachings Jeremiah suggests that the heart is deceitful and thus man lacks the ability to understand it (Jeremiah. 17:9). In this phrase it is clear that the scripture view the development of personality to be unconscious process. The bible further demonstrates in Exodus how the heart and mind is deceitful. In the journey of Israelites God relieved them out of slavery from Egypt but on their way to Canaan, they forgot about the Lord and began worshipping idols- this development of behavior could only be possible with the unconscious mind (Jeremiah. 17:9).
View of Self and Personality
Personality development is influenced by the view of self. Social identity and cognitions have the ability to shape the behavioral development. The view of self contributes to both negative and positive characteristics. There are various aspects of self that plays key role in defining an individual. Self perception, self-knowledge, self-esteem, and self-awareness allow individuals to add, change, alter and modify behaviors within the society. The socio-cultural network and biological processes are essential factors in defining a person. (Pilarska 2015) came out with an opposing view on the already existing literatures about the features of a structure. In particular, the earlier studies have focused on the flexibility and fragmentations hypothesis on self concept (Pilarska, 2015). The study found out that there was no express effect of overlap on sense of identity. The study further revealed that a higher integrative self-knowledge was due to higher overlap and this is associated with increased need for cognition and sense of identity (Pilarska, 2015).
The bible warns strictly about self view. In I Corinthians 4:3-5 the bible advises us to make objective judgment, however, those involving the esteem and overall worth should be left for the almighty God. Galatians 6:3-4 warns individuals not to conduct sober evaluation in comparison with others but rather do so by comparing oneself against the spiritual standards. According to the biblical view thus, personality development is pegged on the spiritual standards and thus everybody should adopt the teachings to remain relevant (I Corinthians 4:3-5, Galatians 6:3-4).
Progression of Personality
Development and Personality
It refers to the enduring pattern of feelings, thought, and behaviour that serve to distinguish one person from another. Personality is thought to begin early stages of life and continues to change throughout the one’s life. The adult personality has a basis in child temperamental. The differences in behaviour and disposition appear in the early stages of life. A study by (Koranth, O'Brien, & Hsing, 2011) revealed that personality in children can be developed through training. A multiple structured learning in elementary schools has proven to be useful in reducing aggressive behavour in infant while increasing pro-social behaviors like helping and sharing. It is teachable in young adult and infants thus it yet a proof that the development of personality is something that can be nurtured. In their study, Koranth, O'Brien, and Hsing examined the variations in empathy over a period of time on the basis of speculated correlates and trends. The result of their study found that the American collegiate experienced decrease in empathy leading to lower anti-sociality and higher pro-sociality as from 2000 (Koranth, O'Brien, & Hsing, 2011).
Gustafson (2010) outlined several of aspects of personality that is affected by the birth order. Childhood relationship between mother and the child influences the personality of the young one. The way kids interact with the parents determines how they eventually relate to other kids. The first reared children were found to be more agreeable and conscientious n adolescents. Decrease divergent thinking ability had a positive correlation with increasing birth order. In the same research Gustafson realized that the higher the number of sibling the stronger the divergent thinking ability. The study generally outlined the way personality development is affected (Gustafson, 2010).
Biblical integration perspective as in 2 Corinthians 5:17 indicate that there is a transition from old being to new being as long as one is in Christ. Therefore, personality changes as one progresses from the old being to the moment one accepts Christ as the savior. The development of personality thus is constant depending on the ability to live within the word of God (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Progression of Personality
Motivation and Personality
The progression of an individual’s personality is strongly influenced by motivation. Motivational systems drive avoidance and approach behavior through the organization of responses to punishments and rewards. These approaches in personality have the tendency of affecting conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness. All these traits are fundamental in developing and maintaining behaviors thus personality (Corr, DeYoung, & McNaughton, 2013). Neuropsychological studies have identified two approach systems and two avoidance systems that relate to seeking of rewards and evasion of punishments. Research shows that system of the two approach methods, one relates to behavior and experience linked to the pleasure on getting rewarded with the other relates to the actions of seeking rewards. Avoidance systems can however either be passive or active (Corr, DeYoung, & McNaughton, 2013).
A person can thus show behavioral inhibition and passive avoidance as a result of conflict of goals. Active avoidance, on the other hand, is associated with pure escape. These systems in the long-run arbitrate individuals’ reactions to changing stimuli thus building personality traits (Corr, DeYoung, & McNaughton, 2013). Motivation has a significant impact on the progression of personality due to its ability to encourage specific traits through a systematic reward system and discourage others through punishments. Neuropsychologists however still trust that the integration of personality and motivation still has a long way to go particularly in efforts to integrate systems of rewards and avoidance and full-interaction with individual personalities.
The biblical concepts of motivation, on the other hand, call of believers to draw their strength from God who has the power to help them overcome all challenges. The Scripture through various passages touches on motivation and personality. The Bible acknowledges that also with man some things are impossible, everything is however possible with God (Matt. 19.26). This is a clear indication that motivation drawn from God is essential for the maintenance of personality. The scriptures further suggest that while working we should do so heartily as for the Lord but not for men (Col. 3.23). It is however crucial to acknowledge that the secular conceptualization of the motivation system varies significantly from the biblical concept of motivation.
Maturation and Personality
Studies of adult development reveal the stability of personality traits in the changing life circumstances. Specifically, cross-cultural replicated pattern of adults’ age variations suggested that personality is endogenous dispositions amid fundamental paths of development. Research has linked various dimensions of personality to mental health, psychological well-being (Bleidorn et al, 2013). The maturation of personality thus has a direct link with age group. Genetic factors have been linked to the maturation of personality factors. Social-investment theory, however, on the other hand argue that personality maturation in early adulthood results from normative life transitions to mature persons (Bleidorn et al, 2013). As the age increases, the rate of maturation is also expected to rise. The continuous change mental set up as well as physical change even drives the maturation of an individual.
Bleidorn et al, (2013) conducted a study in which a comparison between the Five factor theory and the social investment theory is established. In this study, consequences, conditions and mechanisms of personality changes are examined. Of great importance in this study is the role of culture on the personality (Bleidorn , W. (2012). The social and cultural conditions , the environmental factors causing changes, the genetic factors forms part of the study Out of the study, it was deduced that genetics affect the personality maturation of a person as per the analysis of the Five Factor theory. On the contrary, the social investment theory stated that early maturation in childhood is due to normal transition stages to adult (Bleidorn et al, 2013).
The maturity of personality according to biblical perspective indicates that the more one grows old; he or she should live with the acquired traits. In Proverbs 22:6, parents are encouraged to train their kids and that the knowledge acquired during this stage should be relevant throughout the life. On the same note the bible says that as long as an individual has accepted the Christ, there comes a transformation from old life to new one. In that connection, personality maturation can be achieved at any stage of life provided one accepts Christ as the Lord (Proverbs 22:6).
Based on the studies mentioned above, it is clear that both the genetic makeup and the environmental factors determine the personality of an individual. What is not agreeable is the extent of influence in form of proportionality. The development of personality continues as one grows till it matures at the later stage of life. From the research mentioned above, personality seems to be affected by many factors such as self esteem, birth order, religion, genetics, and environment.
Bleidorn , W. (2012). Hitting the road to adualthood: Short-term personality development during a major life transition . Pesonality and Social psychology bulleting , 1594-1608.
Bleidorn, W., Klimstra, T., Denissen, J., Rentfrow, P., & Gosling, S. (2013). Personality maturation around the world: A cross cultural examination of social-investnment theory. Psychological science.
Corr, P. J., DeYoung, C. G., & McNaughton, N. (2013). Motivation and personality: A neuropsychological perspective. Social and personality psychology compass, 158-175.
Gustafson, C. (2010). Effect of birth order on personality . Alfred Adler graduate papers .
Kandler, C. (2012). Nature and nurture in personality development: The case of neuroticism and extraversion. Current directions in psychological sciences.
Koranth, S., O'Brien , E., & Hsing , C. (2011). Changes in Dispotional empathy in American college students overtime. Personality and Social psychology review, 180-199.
Levvit, M. (2013). Perceptions of nature, nurture and behavior . Life sciences, society and policies.
Ma-kellams , C., & Lerner, J. (2016). Interpersonal relations and group processes; Trust your gut or think carefully? Examining whether an intuitive versus a systematic mode of thought produces greater empathitic accurancy. Journal of personality and social psychology, 674-685.
Pilarska, A. (2015). Contextualized self-views and sense of identity . Journal of personality and individual differences , 326-331.
Yoshino, A., Kimura, Y., Yoshida, T., Takahashi, Y., & Nomura, S. (2005). Relationships between Temperament dimensions in personality and unconcious emotional responses. Biol psychiatry, 1-6.
Bleidorn , W. (2012). Hitting the road to adualthood: Short-term personality development during a major life transition . Pesonality and Social psychology bulleting , 1594-1608.

August 09, 2021

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