Nowadays the subject of most studies related to personality determination centers more on the mental and physical pathology, rather than studying that of normal individuals (Seltzer, 1946). A great deal of time is devoted to the study of mental disorders (e.g. multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia) while relatively little is focused on the understanding of personality in normal individuals. Anthropologists typically correlate physical structure and appearance with other distinctive characteristics, and such requires a great deal of morphological observation.
Personality is defined as the visible and perceptible aspect of one’s character, often characterized by unique and exclusive impressions an individual has from others. There are general qualities that exclude man from the rest of creation, yet personality refers to the qualities that exclude an individual from the rest of the individuals he is commonly classified with. For example, a person may be fair-skinned just like his fellow Caucasians, yet how he responds to relational problems and his aura may leave a mark more effectively in the thoughts of others rather than his complexion. Therefore, personality frequently becomes the major identification facet of a person – since we have the perception that the degree on which others impress us develops how we regard them. Thus, an individual’s personality becomes his primary distinguishing “birthmark”. These impressions are considered stronger than physical aspects, and we carry them as long as we continue relating to the person.
A number of factors shape an individual’s personality –the environment that the individual has grown up in and has become accustomed to contribute the greatest percent to the totality of traits that the person will have for his entire life. Factors which include the personalities of his parents, his cultural background, as well as the people he has been relating to since his childhood altogether influence his viewpoints and perspectives on life. Him formulating his own survival kit of attitudes in order to counterbalance and neutralize the opposites in life makes the person in him different from the rest. That results to individuality as well. Insinuating abstract factors such as effects of experience that compose a person play a great role in the synthesis of the attitudes he has accumulated. The “survival kit”, which he either unknowingly or knowledgably chosen from a myriad of attitudes, principles and viewpoints, will influence the way he interacts with others, and thus produce a different, one-of-a-kind individual.
Seltzer, C. 1946.Body Disproportions and Dominant Personality Traits.Psychosom Med.8: