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Personality is an individual’s particular combination of behavioral, attitudinal and emotional response patterns. Intellect is the ability of the mind to solve problems and analyze decisions as to what is right, true, wrong and real. All these involve the mental abilities of an individual. The mental abilities of humans evidently change as they get older. An individual’s decline in cognitive functions, attention span and memory are all likely to be age-related.
Personality and Intellectual Development in Adults
Personality is shaped by personality traits which reflect the constant individual characteristics that set them apart from others. This stability occurs at the stage of maturity. Maturity is the process of personal growth where the individual becomes creative, productive, decisive, and less rigid (Caspi, Roberts & Shiner, 2005). This occurs mostly during adulthood. This allows for personality stability during early adulthood. Adults at this stage are emotionally stable, functionally mature, conscious and agreeable. However, environmental and genetic factors influence this stability with change in age of these individuals. As they grow older, environmental influences include subjection to challenging lifestyle of sometimes getting sick, overworked and stressed (Pearson, 1995). This contributes to a decline in their working memory and cognitive function as adults. It leads to personality instability and change.
Personality and intellectual development in adults is the ability to acquire, construct and use this acquired knowledge, memory and cognitive functions in their decision making processes throughout their life. The acquisition and retention of this knowledge is paramount to their personality and intellectual development during adulthood (Annenberg, 2012).
Spiritual and moral development plays a major role in shaping personality. Young adults often question their religious beliefs and lessen their religious participation. This leads them to question their belief systems and make decisions to adopt different personality traits which influence personality development. However, in their mid adulthood, some of them often make some changes and adjusts to become stable in marriage, work and religious activities (Annenberg, 2012).They become more religious and thus religious beliefs influences their world view and decision making processes. The religious processes shapes their personality
Gender difference is of concern in adult personality and intellectual development. Women in their early adulthood seem to be more participatory in social institution activities that shape good personality and high intellectual development. They are more inclined to religious beliefs that influence their decision making positively. This boosts their competence and self- esteem (Caspi et al., 2005). On the other hand, men in their adulthood tend not to involve themselves with religious activities. This may make them acquire traits which negatively influence their personality and intellectual development at this stage.
As individuals grow older, their mental capacities and abilities decline. Changes in brain functionality and structure occur with age. Their memory, attention span and cognitive abilities decline; they become forgetful and less attentive. This affects their ability to remember and make decisions thus negatively influencing their personality and intellectual development. Eating a healthy diet, staying physically fit, partaking in new experiences, and staying socially active can help improve attention, memory, concentration span, and intellectual development.
Personality development in adults occurs through social interactions with other individuals in relation to the environment. Change in personality is influenced by how these adults derive meaning out of their experiences, how they adjust to their social roles during adulthood, how they incorporate religious beliefs in their lifestyle as well as how they maintain their positive personality traits over time. It encompasses changes in behavior, feelings and thinking. There is therefore the need for continued learning during adulthood. Learning will enable them improve their experience, wisdom and perspective.
Annenberg, F. (2012). Growing old in a new age. Web.
Caspi, A., Roberts, B. W., & Shiner, R. L. (2005). Personality development: Stability and change. New York: Free Press.
Pearson, P. (1995). The journey of adulthood. 7th ed. New York: Free Press.