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Why do people have different personalities?

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

We meet several people in our everyday life and no one is exactly similar to another in the way they talk, behave, act and perform daily activities. Each one of them has different traits and characteristics which we normally refer to as “personality”. Let’s discuss the different personalities and why each one of us is different from the others.

In scientific terms, personality can be defined as “deeply ingrained and relatively enduring patterns of characteristics, behavior, motives, attitudes, beliefs, attitudes and cognitions that an individual possesses.”

Personality development is not linked to one or two factors rather it is a complex pattern of events that lead to one thing after another. The two most important factors that psychologists believe are as follows:

  • Hereditary factors:

Some people believe that personality development is linked to the factors that we face after our birth. But, Charles Darwin in his “Origin of Species” said:

“A person’s personality originates in the mother’s womb with genetic and hereditary factors contributing to our primary personality traits”

The way we look, act and inherit physical and physiological traits from our parents are the basis of our behavior towards society and how they react toward us. If a person who is inherently pretty is more confident and loved than a person who is not that pretty. Also, different siblings acquire different traits from their parents, and their outlook on life changes depending upon those traits.

  • Environmental factors:

Social factors are undoubtedly the major contributing factor to a person’s personality development. Environmental factors play such an important role that they are said to suppress genetic factors as well. There are different phases in a person’s life starting from his childhood to puberty to old age where he keeps adapting and changing himself according to the social norms and the environment, he lives in.

A person living in a strict household will be less confident and have role confusion than a person living in a free and happy household. Similarly, if a person lives in a stigmatized Asian society where wearing jeans is considered a shameful act and wearing a d

upatta is considered a saint act, such people are more likely to have inferiority and doubt about themselves rather than those who live in a care-free liberal society.

Different theories of personality development:

According to different psychologists and scholars, different theories explain different stages of personality development. Out of all these, the most 3 most important theories are Piaget, Freud, and, Erikson.

  • Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development:

Erik Erikson added to Freud’s theory who explained different stages of development in a child’s life while Erik described an adult’s life stages.

There are 8 stages in a person’s life where he can either develop a positive or healthy personality and a harmful or unhealthy personality.

These are:

  1. Infancy in which “trust vs mistrust” develops in a child based on the time when his early needs are met.

  1. Early Childhood is a stage where “autonomy vs shame and doubt” develops based on the parent’s treatment toward the child which can either be strict or polite.

  1. Late Childhood is the third stage where “initiative vs guilt” can occur based on their ability to explore the world and its realities.

  1. School Age is an important stage where “industry vs inferiority” occurs. The way a child is treated by parents, teachers, and fellows is an important factor. If he is acknowledged or discouraged, rewarded or punished develop his personality accordingly.

  1. Adolescence is the stage where a person identifies or finds himself and his purpose in life so it either develops “identity or role confusion.” A person’s changing body, desires and success make him either comfortable with himself or uncomfortable.

  1. Young Adulthood

develops “intimacy vs isolation” depending upon the people he lets in his life and the maintenance of his relationships.

  1. Mid Adult years depend on “generativity vs stagnation.” These are the years that a person achieves whatever he can achieve in his life and at the same time loss and failure leads to unhealthy behaviors.

  1. Old age is the final stage where a person either develops “integrity vs despair.” Both these attributes are attained based on the life that he lived. If the life he lived was productive and happy, he would be satisfied and feels integrate

d but failure to achieve his goals can lead to despair.

This theory best explains all patterns of human behavior and everyone can relate to them.

Now, we usually hear the words introverts and extroverts.

What are Introverts vs Extr


Both these are the two most common, simple, and best-described personality traits on which most human beings can be classified.

  • Introverts:

An introvert is usually

a shy, socially awkward, isolated person who enjoys doing things alone rather than having huge company around him. He is usually bad at initiating talks with people and going on frequent outings.

  • Extroverts:

Talkative, friendly, outgoing people are referred to as extroverts. A person who loves parties and feels more comfortable around people rather than being alone and easily communicates with anyone is an extrovert.

A mind is a powerful tool that can be altered easily, no matter how a person is treated. If he wants to be the change, he can be.

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