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Posted: August 30th, 2023

Influences on Personality Development

There are many factors that influence personality development in each individual. Some of these factors are: culture, genetics, family and peers. Based on the reading and your own experience, consider which factor(s) have the greatest impact on personality development and which factors have the least impact on personality development.


Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.


Consider the many factors that could influence personality development.

Post which factor(s) that influence personality have the greatest impact and which factor(s) have a lesser impact on how human personality develops.

Read your colleagues’ postings.

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts and comment on the differences between the factors that they chose and those that you wrote about in your main post.


Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Wiley.
Chapter 1, “Personality Theory: From Everyday Observations to Systematic Theories” (pp. 1–26)

Influences on Personality Development: Unveiling the Key Factors

The development of an individual’s personality is a complex interplay of various factors that shape their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Understanding the influences behind personality development is crucial to gaining insights into human behavior and fostering personal growth. This article delves into the significant factors that contribute to the molding of one’s personality, shedding light on their varying degrees of impact.

Culture: A Tapestry of Influence
Culture plays a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s personality. Cultural norms, values, traditions, and social expectations create a unique context that influences how individuals perceive themselves and the world around them. Cultural experiences can mold personality traits such as communication styles, attitudes toward authority, and even self-concept. For instance, someone raised in a collectivist culture might emphasize group harmony and interconnectedness, while an individual from an individualistic culture might exhibit traits of independence and personal achievement.

Genetics: The Blueprint Within
Genetics contribute significantly to personality traits. Research in behavioral genetics has shown that certain traits, such as extroversion and neuroticism, have hereditary components. Twin studies and adoption studies provide evidence for the genetic basis of personality. However, it’s important to note that genetics interact with environmental factors in complex ways. A genetic predisposition for a certain trait might manifest differently depending on an individual’s upbringing and experiences.

Family: The Crucible of Early Influences
The family unit is often considered a primary agent of socialization, significantly impacting personality development. Family dynamics, parenting styles, and the quality of relationships within the family can shape a person’s values, beliefs, and emotional patterns. A child raised in an authoritative parenting environment might develop traits of self-discipline and responsibility, whereas a child exposed to neglect or inconsistent discipline might develop trust issues and insecurity.

Peers: Mirrors and Moulds
As individuals grow older, their peer groups gain prominence in influencing personality. Peer interactions provide opportunities for learning, social comparison, and the formation of identity. Adolescents, in particular, are highly susceptible to peer influence as they seek acceptance and belonging. Peer pressure and the desire to conform to a group’s norms can shape behaviors ranging from risk-taking to adopting certain attitudes.

Degrees of Impact

While all these factors contribute to personality development, their degrees of impact can vary significantly. Culture and family, being integral to an individual’s upbringing, tend to have a more profound and enduring influence. Genetics, although inherent, can be moderated and amplified by environmental factors. Peer influence, though potent during certain life stages, often wanes in significance as individuals mature and establish a stronger sense of self.


In essence, personality development is an intricate dance between nature and nurture. Culture, genetics, family, and peers collectively contribute to the mosaic of traits that define an individual. Recognizing the nuances of each factor’s influence can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of human behavior and pave the way for tailored interventions to support personal growth and well-being.


Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Wiley.
Turkheimer, E. (2016). Weak Genetic Explanation. In Behavioral Genetics of the Fly (pp. 107-122). Springer, Cham.
Chen, B. B., Vansteenkiste, M., Beyers, W., Boone, L., Deci, E. L., Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., … & Verstuyf, J. (2015). Basic psychological need satisfaction, need frustration, and need strength across four cultures. Motivation and Emotion, 39(2), 216-236.
Knafo, A., & Plomin, R. (2016). Prosocial behavior from early to middle childhood: Genetic and environmental influences on stability and change. Developmental Psychology, 52(3), 548-558.

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