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SOCIALIZING THE INDIVIDUAL Chapter 5. What is personality?  What comes to mind when you hear this term?  Most people probably think of someone’s social.

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Presentation on theme: "SOCIALIZING THE INDIVIDUAL Chapter 5. What is personality?  What comes to mind when you hear this term?  Most people probably think of someone’s social."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOCIALIZING THE INDIVIDUAL Chapter 5

2 What is personality?  What comes to mind when you hear this term?  Most people probably think of someone’s social skills, or social appeal.  The term is often used to describe someone’s specific characteristics or as an explanation for achievements or failures.

3 What is personality?  When sociologists use the term, they are referring to more than an individual’s most striking characteristics.  To social scientists, personality is the sum total of behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and values that are characteristic of an individual.  Our personality traits determine how we adjust to our environment and how we react in specific situations.  No two individuals have exactly the same personality. Each individual has his or her own way of interacting with other people and with his or her social environment.

4 What is personality?  People’s personalities continue to develop throughout their lifetimes.  Traits change at different rates and to different degrees.  Some traits seem to remain basically constant throughout a person’s life, while other traits undergo dramatic changes.  Personality development is more obvious during childhood, when people are experiencing rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth.  Once people reach adulthood, personality traits change at a slower rate. Most adults appear to maintain stable personalities over time.

5 Nature Versus Nurture  Social scientists have heatedly debated what determines personality and social behavior.  Some argue that it is heredity – the transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to children.  Others suggest that the social environment – contact with other people – determines personality.  This debate is usually referred to in terms of nature versus nurture, or inherited genetic characteristics versus environment and social learning.

6 Nature Versus Nurture  Most social scientists assume that personality and social behavior result from a blending of hereditary and social environmental influences.  They believe that environmental factors have the greatest influence.

7 Factors that affect the development of personality  Most social scientists believe that four factors have the greatest influence.  These factors include: heredity, birth order, parents, and the cultural environment.  These factors are among the principal factors that social scientists see influencing personality and behavior.

8 Heredity  Physical traits  Aptitudes  Inherited characteristics  Biological drives

9 Birth Order  Personalities are also influenced by whether we have brothers, sisters, both, or neither.  Children with siblings have a different view of the world than children who have no brothers or sisters.  The order in which we born into our families also influences our personalities.  People born first or last in a family have a different perspective than people born in the middle.

10 Parental Characteristics  Personality development in children is also influenced by the characteristics of their parents.  Some parental characteristics that can influence a child’s personality are level of education, religious orientation, economic status, cultural heritage, and occupational background.

11 Cultural Environment  Culture has a strong influence on personality development.  The cultural environment determines the basic types of personalities that will be found in a society.  Each culture gives rise to a series of personality traits that are typical of members of that society.  How we experience our culture also influences our personalities.  Subcultural differences also affect personality development.  The region of the country or the type of neighborhood in which an individual is raised also affects personality.


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