About Personality

Personality Traits and Development

People’s habits of thought, behavior, and feelings tend to differ. The disparities are frequently determined by the environment, scenario, and age. Openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness are the five personality traits that tend to emerge in an individual as he or she grows up. According to Costa Jr. and McCrae (2006), as an individual progresses from adolescent to adulthood, openness declines as the individual seeks closure from personal friends. However, as one grows older, conscientiousness and agreeableness tend to rise. According to study, personality is dynamic and can differ from one person to the next (Loehlin & Martin, 2001). The social adjustments that one tends to make while growing up and interacting with one another to change his or her personality.

Influence of Maturity

Historical trends and data affirm that maturity directly influences the maturity levels that one may exude. For example, as one progresses into adulthood, the levels of organization tends to be more prominent. Additionally, the ability to be self-disciplined and conscious of the activities and consequences that one day means that there is an increase in the conscientious personality trait. The traits majorly start to increase when one is in the early twenties and gradually advances till one gets to early thirties. The character of one being agreeable is pegged on the ability of one to be helpful and establish warm and fruitful relationships with other people. The meta-analysis in the study that was conducted by affirms the progress that one makes in advancing the traits of conscientiousness and agreeableness, and he or she grows in age.

Age and Personality Changes

The study by Loehlin & Martin (2001) tends to agree with the assertion of personality changes as described by Costa Jr, & McCrae (2006). According to Loehlin & Martin (2001), there are personality changes that are realized as advances in age. The study asserts that the trends of neuroticism, extraversion, and psychoticism get downward by age. Additionally, there are no gender differences in the changes that were observed amongst the different personalities studied. However, for the observation of the various characters whose age were within the range of 56 to 62, trends in psychoticism, neuroticism, and extraversion were either at the plateau stage or stopped.

Environmental and Genetic Influences

As people grow, they tend to have the consciousness to forge healthy relationships and keep their jobs in addition to being organized in their personal lives. Similarly, as one grows, he or she tends to have the ability to start up and nurture a family. However, the trait of openness tends to be variable based on the genetic nature of an individual. While some people tend to expand their personal space as they grow older, other people prefer to close in their private areas.

Importance of Personality Study

The study of personality is an area of interest for many psychologists since it enables one to predict the likely human behavior. Documentation and categorization of various personalities are based on scientific studies which tend to be premised on data gathered through longitudinal surveys, case studies, and clinical research. Some of the psychological theories that have been developed from scientific research on personality include type, humanistic, social cognitive, psychoanalytic and behaviorist theories. From the theories, researchers have been able to establish how they classify people in different categories, based on their set of everyday behavior, explain how interaction with a given set of mechanism could modify or influence behavior and how humans develop the autonomy to do what they love to do.

The Role of Environment and Genetics

The changes in personality traits as one advance in age are also influenced by the environment in which one lives. However, genetics also tends to play a critical role in personality development, especially when one is young. Genetics dictates the level of temperament that one is likely to develop. Such further leads to the manner in which one interacts with other people while young or in the teenage stage. However, one can modify his or her temperament based on the interactions that he or she forges with other people in the course of growth. Additionally, some of the environmental factors that may have a direct influence in the way one develops his or her personality include religions, work, language, place of work and school. As one grows up in a given environmental situation, the personality traits that he or she may tend to develop is often in tandem with the characteristics exhibited by his or her close associates.

Case Study: Judith

According to Schwartz, H. (2016), personality leads to the development of a personality trait enables one to have a better understanding of how to regulate his or her emotions besides forging goods relationships and self-organization. Take a case of a fictional character, Judith. Judith is a 25 years post graduate student who was raped by her uncle when she was 12. One day she gets into a lift. In the elevator, she finds one person, a man, drunken man. She suddenly develops a panic attack as she is more conscious of the environment in which she is in, and ties it with the experience that she went through a teen. Her uncle who raped her was drunk at the time that she was taken through the ordeal and such experience still torments her. What is evident from the case of Judith is the fear reaction and the capability to defend herself, in case another rape attack likely happens.

Personality Traits in Judith

Based on the case study, psychoticism is growing in Judith as she advanced from age 12 to age 25 owing to her ability to exude hostility and aggressiveness against an individual who could potentially harm her. The panic attack that she develops is an indication of resentment that she exudes to the drunk man in the elevator. Additionally, her extraversion is also on the rise; she has the capability of putting up a fight owing to the alertness that gets into her once she notices that the man in the lift is drunk and could pose the harm of raping her, as did her uncle. Third, neuroticism is also high in Judith owing to the feeling of worry and anxiety that she develops while in the elevator. Having the self-consciousness of the environment in which she is in, leads to the sudden change in mood to match the harm that could be channeled her way.


Concisely, experiential learning and the events that take place as one grows up play a critical role in determining the personalities that he or she is likely to develop. However, most of the personality traits that one forms, such as psychoticism, neuroticism, extraversion, openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness all tend to advance when one progress from teenage to 30s. However, a decline could be experienced as one approaches the 60s.


Costa Jr, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (2006). Age changes in personality and their origins: Comment on Roberts, Walton, and Viechtbauer (2006).

Loehlin, J. C., & Martin, N. G. (2001). Age changes in personality traits and their heritabilities during the adult years: Evidence from Australian twin registry samples. Personality and Individual Differences, 30(7), 1147-1160.

Schwartz, H. (2016). Adult Personality Growth in Psychotherapy.

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