Role of Environment in Personality Development
Scholars have argued about the factors of personality development for a long time. However, most of them agree that heredity and environment have the biggest effect on shaping of a human’s personality. On the other hand, the studying of environmental impact seems to be appealing for researching because people can influence this aspect. In particular, humans can shift effects of such environmental factors as family, peers, formal education, occupation, religion and community.
The family has a primary impact on development of people especially in the early age. For example, children first learn to love and trust in the family. Besides, family members transform their beliefs and behavioral patterns. In addition, in the positive family environment people learn that they are loved. This knowledge motivates them to learn new things because they understand that if they fail, their family will continue to love them. Apart from that, children from positive family environment learn to be sensitive to others. They also distinguish what is right and wrong, how to treat authority people and respect the boundaries of other people. As for predictions, the birth order has the influence because elder and younger children are treated differently. For example, parents usually pay much attention to smaller children, whereas elder ones get more independence and bear responsibility for younger brothers/sisters.
Another important environmental factor is education. It is possible to predict that a school provides children with information and teaches them to solve problems. In addition, children learn to interact with authorities, such as teachers and coaches. Besides, studying in groups teaches people how to cooperate with others. Furthermore, children have the opportunity to check what is right or wrong. For example, deciding to cheat during examinations or not develops this feature.
Some scholars state that religion provides psychological support and the have the great role in personality development. Some adults can experience personality development together with religious development during the whole life. In addition, it is demonstrates a moral direction for those who want to achieve their targets and become successful in a personal and social life.
The personality development of children and teenagers is also influenced by their peers. Thus, according to the study of Yoon-Joo Lee and Susan Recchia, classroom leaders can influence other children both in positive and negative ways. For example, they can make plays and discussions more interesting, due to their creative and competent skills. On the other hand, such young leaders can limit the opportunity for other children to express their ideas and show initiative. Teenagers learn to identify their needs and priorities and protect them from the peer pressure. However, if they fail to learn these patterns of behavior, they start doing what their peers make them do. As a result, their personality development becomes slower; they lose independence and their own identity. The findings of research are demonstrated in a case-study format, so it is possible to observe how children exercised their leadership in the classroom community. In addition, the researchers developed recommendations for teachers that are based on their findings. For example, they advise teachers to encourage critical thinking among young leaders and provide an opportunity to all people to develop their personalities. Therefore, the research of Yoon-Joo Lee and Susan Recchia demonstrates not only the influence of peers but also effects of education on personality development.
Finally, the personality development is now also influenced by the community and Internet. It sometimes substitutes the face-to-face communication with family and peers. Moreover, spending too much time in the Internet can lead to addiction.