The Different Factors Affecting Personality Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Havighurst's Developmental Task Model

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Personality
  • 1:01 Openness
  • 3:32 Thoughts & Beliefs
  • 5:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

What makes you unique? In this lesson, we'll examine personality, and some of the factors that affect personality, including how a person's cognition, self-concept, and locus of control can affect how he or she approaches the world.


Larry and Harry are twin brothers. They're in their sixties now, but even from a young age, they were very different from each other. Larry is fun-loving and adventurous: he loves to try exotic foods at restaurants and he drives way too fast. On the other hand, Harry is more stuck in his ways: he likes to stay close to home and read books rather than do crazy things, and he drives five miles below the speed limit at all times.

Even though Larry and Harry look alike, they have very different personalities. Personality is the term used to describe individual differences in behavior patterns. Essentially, personality is about what makes you unique. There are many different things that can affect your personality. What makes Larry adventurous and Harry play it safe? To answer that question, let's look at a few of the factors that can affect someone's personality.


Larry and Harry are very different from each other. But why? Let's start by taking a look at how they are different. There are many personality traits that people can have. One of the more common personality traits is openness to experience, or curiosity about the world and desire to experience new things. It is also related to risk-taking and adventurous activity.

For example, Larry really likes to eat at exotic restaurants, and he loves to experience new things. He's very open to experience. But Harry isn't: he likes routine and steers clear of anything new or exciting. What can cause a person to be open to new experiences? Why is Larry more adventurous than Harry is? One factor that can affect a person's openness is cognition, or thought processes. Specifically, the way we think about a situation can influence how open we are to it.

For example, imagine that Larry and Harry are in a restaurant and the waitress says that they have a special menu item: fried crickets. Now, Larry thinks to himself, 'Hey, I've never eaten crickets before. Wait until I tell my friends about this!' His thoughts are making him want to order the crickets. On the other hand, Harry is thinking, 'If I eat crickets, I might get sick and throw up.' His thoughts are making him not want to eat the crickets. In both cases, the person's cognition is affecting how open they are to experiencing eating something new.

Openness tends to decline in later life. Even Larry is less adventurous than he was when he was younger. He used to go skydiving and bungee jumping, but nowadays he just limits himself to driving too fast. But some research has suggested that openness is influenced by a person's locus of control, or what researchers sometimes refer to as personal resources, which is the sense of control that a person feels that they have.

When a person has a high locus of control - that is, they feel like they have a lot of control - they are more open to experiences. For example, Larry feels like he is a great driver and can really control whether or not he gets in a wreck, so he is okay with driving faster. Harry, on the other hand, feels out of control when he's driving, so he drives more slowly.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account