Research round #3- How is one’s personality formed?

Hi everyone, 

For my third round of research I wanted to look into personality disorders-

  • How/why are they formed?
  • What effects do they have on the individual? 
  • How do they affect one’s personality change and development over time?

However, once I started researching, I quickly learned that there is a lot of information on the topic, and would be a little too much for one research round. Therefore, I decided that my next research round will be part two of this research round. 


What is a personality disorder?

A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder where you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. (1,4) Someone who has a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes problems and limits in relationships, social activities, work and school. Sometimes, you may not  even realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems so normal to you, so you blame others for the issues you face. Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders and some of those types may become less obvious as you age. (1)

Types of personality disorders

Types of personality disorders are grouped into three clusters. They are based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Many people with one personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of one or more personality disorders different from their own. (1) However, for this research round, I will only be looking into cluster A and B as I want to do cluster C in my next research round because as I mentioned, it will be a part two to this round!

Cluster A personality disorders

Cluster A personality disorders are defined by odd and different thinking or behavior. In this cluster, there is paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.(1,2)

Paranoid personality disorder

A person with paranoid personality disorder may:

  • be suspicious of others
  • See other people as mean
  • assume that others will cause them harm
  • assume that others are untrustworthy

A person who has paranoid personality disorder might try to avoid becoming close to other people, and not want to share personal information and feelings and whatnot. 



Schizoid personality disorder

A person with schizoid disorder may:

  • not express much emotion
  • Be unaffected by positive or negative feedback from others
  • Detach from their relationships

A person who has schizoid personality disorder will basically try and spend time alone, away from people, to an unhealthy degree. 



Schizotypal personality disorder

A person with schizotypal disorder may:

  • Be uncomfortable with close relationships
  • behavior that may be seen as “different”.
  • social anxiety
  • unusual speech or behavior

A person who has schizotypal disorder can find social situations and relationships hard to, which can cause isolation. Schizotypal disorder can give a person visual illusions, like seeing a flash of light or an object that is not there. A person may also have unusual beliefs or superstitions. For example, they might think that they can read another person’s mind.



Cluster B personality disorders

Cluster B personality disorders are defined by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. In this cluster, there is antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder 

A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

  • No care for other people and their needs,feelings or safety, as well as their own.
  • Persistent lying, stealing, and manipulating others
  • Problems with breaking the law
  • Aggressive, often violent behavior
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Always making irresponsible choices.

They usually do not care one bit about what they have done to themselves or others. They basically just do whatever they want, and do not care about anything else.



Borderline personality disorder

A person with borderline personality disorder may:

  • Make risky decisions.
  • Unstable or fragile view of themselves
  • Unstable and intense relationships
  • Moods regularly shifting up and down.
  • Suicidal thoughts or self harm
  • Very scared of being alone or abandoned
  • Empty feelings



Histrionic personality disorder

A person with histrionic disorder may:

  • Always want attention
  • Very emotional, dramatic for attention 
  • Has strong opinions and expresses them in a dramatic way but doesn’t have much to back up what they are saying.
  • Easily influenced by others
  • Emotions shifts often
  • Very self conscious
  • Thinks relationships with others are closer than they actually are.



Narcissistic personality disorder

A person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

  • Believe that they are more special and more important than others
  • Really desires power, success and attractiveness
  • Doesn’t really recognize others’ needs and feelings
  • Exaggeration of achievements or talents
  • Expects constant praise and admiration
  • Be arrogant
  • Have unreasonable expectations to others
  • Get extremely offended by criticism, or any sort of negative thoughts towards them. 








For my next research round, as mentioned, I will be continuing the same topic of personality disorders. If you have any comments, ideas or questions, feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading!


2 Replies to “Research round #3- How is one’s personality formed?”

  1. Hello Rhea!

    Great job on the post. I think you explained things very clearly; I understood it all. For your next post where you are going to ask how personality disorders change personalities I think it could be interesting to see if the personality that the person had before the disorder had started affecting them could change the way that the disorder works with them. For example, if a person grew up in an environment where their personality flourished into a nasty one then would the disorder affect them differently than someone who’s personality grew into a helpful and thoughtful one?

    Here are some hopefully helpful links

    Good luck!

  2. Hi Rhea,

    Great research round. Once again, your post was very organized and detailed. Awesome work on keeping your introduction simple and straight forward! I found reading about the different types of personality disorders to be intriguing. People often group personality disorders into a single “cluster”, and it’s crucial to have a good understanding of them. It’s appreciable that you are bringing light onto this topic.

    Nonetheless, a suggestion for your next research round would be to investigate the “causes” of personality disorders. The reality is that personality forms and is shaped through various interactions. There are many factors that can trigger an actual development. For example, genes and our environment could be potential factors. Furthermore, you could also research the effects of personality disorders on relationships.

    Suggested websites:

    All the best,

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