Personality development is the tendency of persons to be different from one another. These differences are usually shown in their personality. It could be described as a mental state that permits people to think differently and behave differently. As compared to the general characteristics of the personality, it is rather difficult to identify the actual causes of personality development. There are various theories on this subject. Most of these theories do not have strong foundation.
In order to understand personality development better, one needs to divide personality development in two parts: childhood and adulthood. During the childhood period, this is known as infancy or childhood. During this time, all the basic instincts, abilities, character defects, dispositions, and emotions are developed. Various psychological processes are occurring simultaneously. It is during this period, when people begin to develop various coping mechanisms, that become useful when required in later life.
Psychologists divide personality development in four stages: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and parenthood. Childhood and adolescence are known as the idyllic age of human beings, since they are the periods when we undergo the most dramatic changes. During this period, people usually experience a variety of positive and negative events. The Idyllic stage is characterized by increased trust and affection, greater compassion, greater empathetic understanding, and improved interpersonal skills and behavior. We also see a marked improvement in physical, mental, and emotional health.
During the adolescence period, we start to experience some changes in our personality, as our thinking becomes more mature and more reflective. A few of the important psychosocial developmental tools and processes at this period are increasing self-pride, an enlargement of our social awareness, becoming socially adept, an increase in our assertiveness, and a deepening of our personal identity. During the adulthood period, our attitudes towards others and towards ourselves also change. We start to value ourselves more and develop certain temperamental traits, such as self-discipline, responsibility, and assertiveness. We begin to become competitive in our quest for success and become more determined than ever to attain our goals. Finally, we attain parenthood, when we have successfully brought up a family.
In order to understand the personality development process in children, it is important to be aware of four primary factors that influence it. These are cognitive, personality, cognitive development, and emotional stages. We shall now look into each of these areas in turn. The process of cognitive development refers to the skills, preferences, and talents that are developed while the child is young, which shape his or her personality.
Children with normal personality development help other people around them in many ways. They are creative and are capable of expressing their thoughts and ideas in a clear and respectful way. Thus, children with personality deficiencies often lack the ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly, and do not receive the support and encouragement they need from others. Thus, personality development plays an important role in shaping the future of someone's character.
On the other hand, personality development also involves ongoing interaction with one's peers. Such interaction helps to determine behavioral patterns and helps develop and refine the individual's personality traits. There are two types of personality development, the cognitive type and the behavioral type. In the cognitive type, a person's thoughts and actions are guided by thoughts and his or her personality is formed by behavioral responses. Whereas, in the behavioral type, behaviors are directed by the ongoing interaction with people around one.
The fourth and final stage of personality development is considered to be the ultimate. This stage involves the complete acquisition of all the acquired traits. Thus, personality develops over time, but the specific traits are not consciously acquired. The ultimate goals of personality development are thus achieved when the person is satisfied with his or her surroundings and has no special desires that are not deemed to be logical or practical. Finally, the person comes to see that he or she is perfect in every way and possesses no defects that can be corrected.