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Polygence Scholar2023
Prerana Madderla's profile

Prerana Madderla

University Preparatory Academy, San JoseClass of 2023San Jose, CA


Hello! My name is Prerana and my Polygence project is on personality psychology. I chose to explore this topic to better understand why people behave the way they do. After my project is complete, I hope to continue to learn more about the mind and human behavior!


  • "What are the factors that influence personality development?" with mentor Natalya (June 6, 2023)

Project Portfolio

What are the factors that influence personality development?

Started Jan. 25, 2022

Abstract or project description

Understanding the factors that drive personality development

The aim of the project is to delve deeper into understanding why a person behaves the way they behave. We will begin by looking at and studying the main theories of personality development and connecting those concepts to lenses of the brain and neurological sciences. We will look at how genetics, neuroscience, and pharmacology play an active role in behaviors and consequences on personality development. We will be focusing on the psychoanalytic approach, humanistic approach, cognitive approach, behavioral approach, and the social-learning approach. For each of these approaches, we will summarise the history and background, define the main concepts and present a biological explanation or factor which will provide us with a new way of thinking about these theories. The humanistic approach considers looking at the whole individual and stresses concepts such as free will, self-efficacy, and self-actualization. The psychoanalytic approach focuses more on the unconscious mind rather than on the conscious mind. Behavioural approach focuses on how external stimuli and environments can influence personality. The social-learning approach considers the importance of observing, modelling, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Lastly, the cognitive approach focuses more on the cognitive aspect where considers more of how the mind works. In the end we will apply each of these lenses to case studies to show how the same individuals behaviors can be interpreted differently based on the lens from which you look at it. This will highlight how important it is to be aware of all the theories that exist why providing a biological explanation for them allows us to ground ourselvesand something more concrete.