Factors Affecting Personality

To see the factors that affect personality , we need to understand what is personality. According to American Psychological Association, “Personality refers to, individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.”

Personality is influenced by a wide range of factors, and its development is a complex interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic elements. Here are the key factors that affect personality:

1. Genetics and Heredity:
– Genetic factors play a significant role in shaping personality traits and predispositions.

Intrinsic factor.

Genetics play a crucial role in personality development. Research has shown that certain personality traits and tendencies, such as extraversion and neuroticism, have a hereditary component (Bouchard, 2004).

2. Family Environment and Upbringing:
– Early childhood experiences, family dynamics, and parenting styles have a profound impact on personality development.

Extrinsic factor.

Attachment theory, for example, highlights the importance of early caregiver-child relationships (Bowlby, 1969)

3. Culture and Society:
– Cultural norms, values, and societal expectations shape how individuals express their personalities. Different cultures emphasize various traits and behaviors, affecting personality expression.

Cross-cultural psychology explores the influence of culture on personality (Triandis & Suh, 2002).

Lev Vygotsky emphasizes culture’s effect on personality development. read more 

4. Education and Learning:
– Formal education and learning experiences contribute to personality development. School environments, teachers, and peer interactions influence cognitive and social development.

Educational psychology examines how schools and teachers influence cognitive and social development (Ormrod, 2011).

5. Peer Influence:
– Peer groups and social interactions play a significant role, particularly during adolescence. Peer pressure, acceptance, and the desire to fit in can lead individuals to adopt certain personality traits and behaviors.

Research in social psychology explores peer pressure and conformity (Asch, 1955).

6. Life Experiences and Trauma:
– Significant life events, both positive and negative, can shape personality. Traumatic experiences, in particular, can lead to the development of specific personality traits or coping mechanisms.

Studies in clinical psychology examine how trauma can lead to the development of specific personality traits (Kolk et al., 1996).

7. Biological and Neurological Factors:
– Brain structure, neurotransmitters, and neurological processes influence personality traits and behaviors. Variations in these factors are associated with different personality characteristics.

Neuroscientific research explores the neural basis of personality (DeYoung, 2015).

8. Environmental Stressors:
– Environmental factors such as poverty, discrimination, and exposure to chronic stress can impact personality development. These stressors can contribute to the development of certain personality traits or mental health conditions.

Health psychology investigates the impact of stress on personality and well-being (Cohen et al., 2007).

9. Birth Order:
– Some theories suggest that birth order within a family can influence personality development. Firstborn, middle, and youngest children may develop different personality traits.

10. Personal Choices and Free Will:
– Individuals have the capacity to make choices and decisions that shape their personalities. Personal values, goals, and the pursuit of self-improvement all play a role in determining one’s personality.

Research in positive psychology explores the role of personal agency in well-being and character development (Seligman, 2002).

11. Media and Technology:
– Exposure to media, including television, social media, and the internet, can influence personality by shaping values, beliefs, and attitudes.

12. Biological Aging and Developmental Stages:
– Personality tends to change over the lifespan as individuals pass through different developmental stages. Maturation, hormonal changes, and life transitions can influence personality traits.

These factors collectively interact to shape an individual’s personality. The relative importance of these factors can vary from person to person, leading to the uniqueness of each individual’s personality. Understanding the interplay between these factors provides valuable insights into the complexities of personality development.


1. Bouchard, T. J. (2004). Genetic influence on human psychological traits: A survey. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 148-151.

2. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.

3. Triandis, H. C., & Suh, E. M. (2002). Cultural influences on personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1), 133-160.

4. Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Educational psychology: Developing learners (7th ed.). Pearson.

5. Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193(5), 31-35.

6. van der Kolk, B. A., Pelcovitz, D., Roth, S., Mandel, F. S., McFarlane, A., & Herman, J. L. (1996). Dissociation, somatization, and affect dysregulation: The complexity of adaptation of trauma. American Journal of Psychiatry, 153(7), 83-93.

7. DeYoung, C. G. (2015). Cybernetic big five theory. Journal of Research in Personality, 56, 33-58.

8. Cohen, S., Janicki-Deverts, D., & Miller, G. E. (2007). Psychological stress and disease. JAMA, 298(14), 1685-1687.

9. Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. Free Press.

2 Replies to “Factors Affecting Personality”

  1. Your comprehensive breakdown of the factors influencing personality sheds light on the dynamic nature of human development. It’s insightful to see how external and internal factors intertwine to shape our personalities.

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