Personality development encompasses the dynamic construction and deconstruction of integrative characteristics that distinguish an individual in terms of interpersonal behavioral traits. Personality development is ever-changing and subject to contextual factors and life-altering experiences. Personality development is also dimensional in description and subjective in nature. That is, personality development can be seen as a continuum varying in degrees of intensity and change. It is subjective in nature because its conceptualization is rooted in social norms of expected behavior, self-expression, and personal growth.
The dominant viewpoint in personality psychology indicates that personality emerges early and continues to develop across one's lifespan. Adult personality traits are believed to have a basis in infant temperament, meaning that individual differences in disposition and behavior appear early in life, potentially before language of conscious self-representation develop. The Five Factor Model of personality maps onto the dimensions of childhood temperament. This suggests that individual differences in levels of the corresponding personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) are present from young ages.