An individual’s personality is the behavioral and mental characteristics that differentiate and makes them unique from other people. It includes all of an individual’s patterns of thought and the emotions that cause them to say and do things in ways that are specifically aligned to suit that particular individual’s interest. One’s personality makes up the most important, and most noticeable parts of an individual’s psycho-social life. People act the same or similar ways during a huge range of different scenarios. Personality does not just influence how we respond and move to stimuli in our environments, it also causes us to act in certain ways. Personality is expressed in more than just one’s behavior or mannerisms. It can also be seen in our feelings, thoughts, familial, platonic, and romantic relationships, and other social interactions.
Both explicit and implicit social norms guide individual behavior and consequently one’s personality. From early stages of development and throughout the course of our life we grow and learn to adapt our behavior appropriately according to societal expectations and requirements, which may differ across various cultures and may be relevant in various degrees for men and women of different ages and/or races.
In many contemporary societies, people differ greatly within the extent of their religious beliefs and practices. Some reject all belief in the supernatural, whereas others have deep religious convictions that greatly change and influence many aspects of their lives. Understanding the psychological characteristics that incline persons toward religiousness and spirituality is an important question for psychologists of religion and for psychologists who study individual differences.
Despite the importance of religion, there is a huge variation in the extent to which formal religious beliefs and practices are a part of the routine life of people in several cultures. Religion and spirituality are also recognized as potentially favorable aspects of psychological development in general for every individual, and personality development in particular.
Adding to the complexity of culture’s role in shaping our personalities are two important factors. First is the degree to which an individual is integrated into their culture, and vice versa. It is exceedingly rare that a person is either totally integrated into their culture or not integrated into it in the least. Thus, culture provides a framework within which each individual variation is feasible, but at the same time, there’ll always be some consistent basis for understanding the people within a given culture.