How Endocrine Glands Play an Important Role in Human Personality?
Hormones travel throughout the body controlling various processes including metabolism, growth and sexual development. These, in turn, influence emotionality, vitality and many aspects of human personality. We shall briefly discuss how the secretion of endocrine glands influences the shaping and development of human personality.
One of the most important endocrine glands is the pituitary gland which is also known as the master gland because it controls the secretion of other endocrine glands. Pituitary gland secretes one hormone which controls the growth of body. Too little of this hormone makes an individual a dwarf, while oversecretion can produce a giant, influence the concept of self and many aspects of our personality.
The adrenal gland plays an important role in determining an individual’s mood level of energy and the ability to cope with stress. Over or under- secretion of hormone form this gland influences human personality in many ways.
Adrenal gland secretes sex hormones. Some of these sex hormones are estrogens and progestins in females and androgens including testosterone in males. The estrogens and androgens are almost totally responsible for what are called primary and secondary sex characteristics. If the secretion of these hormones is disturbed, normal sexual development would be affected and the individual will develop a disturbed personality. They may in adulthood become sexual offenders.
Thyroid gland is another endocrine gland which secretes a chemical substance called thyroxin. Too much or too little of this hormone affects the regulation of metabolism in the human organism and leads to emotional disturbance and intellectual retardation.
The disorder that develops due to endocrine imbalance of thyroid gland is called as cretinism. Individuals with this disorder have a typical set of personality characteristics. They are dwarf-like, have stubby extremities, abnormal gait, large head, eyelids which gives the person a sleepy appearance and dry skin which is thick and cold to touch. They also have a flat nose, and experience failure to mature sexually. They have a bland personality and sluggish thought processes. They are moderately or severely mentally retarded.
Thus, from the above description we see that endocrine glands influence a wide variety of personality trails. Whether the individual would become active, sociable or whether he would develop the ability to cope with stress or not is generally dependent upon the type and amount of secretion that is secreted from the endocrine glands.