How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What factors affect an individual's personality? Does any

This answer was rated:

What factors affect an individual's personality? Does any one factor have a bigger affect than the others?

Thank you for the request!

Is it alright if I get back to you later on today? I am scheduled for most of the day today. As soon as I am able, I will work on your answer and get it to you.

Thank you,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Although there are a variety of theories and concepts about your question, most sources agree that personality is influenced significantly by two primary factors and a number of subfactors. Just like in Human Growth and Development, genetics play a large part in developing our personalities. Some children demonstrate similar temperaments, outlooks and even facial expressions that are a part of their parental heritage even if they have never met their biological parents.

In addition to genetics, the environmental influences of our home, families and culture also play a significant part of our personalties. Traits and factors of personality can be encouraged and reinforced through exposure to these influences.

Aside from these two main points, there are literally dozens of other thoughts on what causes our personalities to develop. For example, Freud felt our personalties were established through unconscious drives that were met or unmet mainly through the influences of our parents. Adler felt that a need to maintain our social interests and to avoid inferiority drove our personalties. He also felt that our birth order was extremely significant in this regard.

***** ***** said that personalties tend to offset dichotomous traits that exist naturally in human nature. For example, if you believe that you are passive, parts of your personalty will offset this in your environment and cause you to seek out passive experiences that fit in with your view of yourself.

What one factor affects personalities more than any other? That appears to be your own genetic history. Many of our traits are embedded in our genotype and surface at the moment of conception. This is true in animals as well as people. If you ask any dog breeder what the traits of a cocker spaniel are compared to a Rottweiler, they will refer to the dog's genetic history. The same is true of people. Who you are mostly seems influenced by your DNA, chromosomes and genes.

I hope this helps you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you