According to these views, there are only a few "personality kinds" that are influenced by biological factors. Personality, according to trait theories, is the product of genetically determined internal features. These traits are assumed to be stable over time and not affected by environmental factors.
The idea that human behavior is influenced by our genetic make-up has become more accepted over time. Modern psychologists believe that genes play a role in determining how we think and act. However, they also recognize that environment plays an important role in shaping who we are as people. During times of war or other forms of violence, for example, those with strong wills may be able to overcome their instincts and learn what it means to be civilised. These individuals are said to have developed "character". Genetics and character each influence another to create a complex interaction between biology and psychology that determines how someone thinks and acts.
Trait theories attempt to explain why some people are more likely to exhibit certain behaviors than others even when raised in the same environment. For example, someone may tend to rely on alcohol or drugs even though they experience no desire to do so. This person may have a latent addiction to alcohol or drugs which can emerge under certain conditions. The trait theory explanation for this phenomenon is that such persons possess a biological predisposition to dependency.
The theory describes five basic personality traits: extraversion (sometimes called extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Personality trait theories have long sought to quantify the number of personality qualities that exist. The most common approach has been to describe each person as having either more of one thing or another thing. For example, someone might be described as introverted or as extroverted.
Personality traits are stable over time and consistent from one situation to the next. They also seem to influence how others perceive us. For example, someone who is considered agreeable will generally get on well with other people. Those who are open tend to seek out new experiences. Conscientious individuals like to work hard and get things done. Neurotic people can be expected to experience stress and anxiety in their lives.
It is possible to have a personality disorder without having any particular trait dominate your personality. However, if you have the disorder, it is likely that one or more of these traits will be evident in your everyday life.
Trait theorists have proposed various ways of grouping traits together. With the primary-secondary distinction, traits are grouped into two broad categories: those that are primary aspects of human nature (such as love and fear) and those that are secondary aspects (such as friendship).
Your personality is formed by two factors: heredity and environment. Heredity only accounts for who you are, while environment can change how you act.
Heredity plays a large role in determining someone's personality traits. Are you born with an adventurous spirit or not? Your personality traits are based on what genes you were given. If your parents were always quiet people, then you will likely follow this path as well. However other things such as experience and education can be used to change how these traits manifest themselves.
Your environment has a huge impact on how you act. If you grow up in a house where violence is accepted, then it will likely not come as a surprise if someone tries to kill you once in a while. You could also use your environment to strengthen your character. If you live in a safe community full of loving people, then you will be encouraged to be kind and giving instead of looking out for yourself first.
Personality is also shaped by culture. In a study conducted by Harvard University, they found that people in different countries showed different levels of interest in helping others. Americans were most likely to want to help others, followed by Canadians, Brits, and Australians.