Personality Development From a Behaviorism Perspective - Paper Example

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Personality is a mixture of characters that make an individual unique. The psychophysical systems of an individual define the character and behavior. The definition of personality takes into consideration the fact different people has unique genes and traits. In the text, Theories of Personality 8th Edition, the authors focused on the cultural background, personalities, professional training, and family experiences as fundamental determinants of an individual behavior. The traditional scholars such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Piaget are major contributors to the theory of personality. The explanations regarding the development of personality focus on the environment that surrounded the upbringing of an individual. The ancient theories attempt to integrate the interaction between the environments and the genetics l to shape the personality. From a personal point of view, the upbringing of an individual determines their personality (Sauder, Hajcak, Angstadt, & Phan, 2013).). The childhood lessons influence the old age habits of an individual. The diverse cultures in different societies determine the personalities of children growing in such societies.

Personality Development from a Behaviorism Perspective

The personality development of unidentified neighbor got my attention one time. Having stayed together for six years, the development of her personality is plain. The personality development for the chosen neighbor will be explained from the perspective of behaviorist theory covered in the text. The proponents of behaviorist theory hold that the environment dictates the nature of the behavior that an individual display. The neighbor had one setting for her entire upbringing. The neighbor in question had a harsh father and loving mother. The personality of her harsh father changed her view of all men and attitudes towards marriage. During the research, I held a discussion with a middle-aged woman I realized the relevance of behaviorist theory. Some scholars hold a strong belief that the interactions between the environment and genetics define the personality of an individual (Tracey & Morrow, 2017).

A girl brought up by a harsh father develops a lasting hate toward all men. The hate that develops as time advances results from the interactions in the environment. Behaviorist theory holds that individual acquires the behavior from the interaction with the environment. The ideas of classical conditioning are influential in this theory. For example, the fear of getting married because of the belief that all men are harsh is a product of conditioning. The stimuli from the environment shape the action of an individual in the particular environment. The contemporary thinkers hold the saying that goes show me your friends, and I will describe your character. The ordinary saying implies that the personality of an individual reflects that of the environment. The behaviorists are strict in their observation regarding the personality developments. The training in the physical environment has the power to change the behavior of an individual.

According to the behaviorist theory, it is possible to mold the personality of an individual through the intensive training in the physical environment (Tracey& Morrow, 2017). For example, the physical capabilities of an individual determine the boundaries of what can come out of training. Irrespective of personality traits, genetic background, and internal thought and individual can perform any task when subjected to the right conditioning. The case of a woman brought up with harsh dad believe that all men are harsh, hate women and that the contribution of women is less significant (Tracey, & Morrow, 2017). The personality of such a woman is negative to men because of the classical conditioning of the immediate environment.

The ideas of the classical conditioning are practical because it explains the diverse courses that people pursue. None of the individuals is born experts in a specific field. There are different professions that people pursue but later become experts because of training and the passion they develop in the process. For example, the doctors, teachers, and engineers in the job market are products of pieces of training. The professionals accept conditioning from the instructors to become the professionals that people know. In this case, the personality of an individual is a reflection of the stimuli in the environment.

Personality Development from a Christian Perspective

The idea of personality relates closely to nature and trees growing in different habitats. For example, the trees growing in arid areas differ morphologically with the trees in the wet habitats. In this case, the modification traits of an individual reflect the conditions in the physical environment. The biblical perspective of personality focuses on genetic and natural talents. The Bible holds that people have different gifts and grace and thus their personalities differ. The personalities differ and the analogy of human body and its parts explain how different personality is real.

The different talents that God gave to the people define their behaviors. For example, some people have gifts in singing, giving, athletics, preaching, and teaching. The diversity in talents explains why individual exhibit different personalities. The Biblical perspective regarding personality development is similar to the behaviorist theory in some aspects. For example, the natural talents require training to perfect on the talent. The athletes are a good example that helps explain how the interactions of genes and supportive environment shape the personality (Renfrow, & Howard, 2013). Gifted athletes use the better part of their time training to earn the most from their talents. From this analogy, it is evident that personality develops because of the environment. The Christians believe that the right upbringing of the child determines the nature of the personality they will show to the world. It is expected that children brought up in a Christian foundation will exhibit Christian values in all their live endeavors.

Despite the belief in gift and talents, the Bible emphasis on the role of the parents in acting as role models for their kids. The good role modeling that the Bible emphasizes explains the importance of environment in the development of a personality. The Bible gives the parents a task to love and correct their children to live a righteous life. The teaching of children on the right values to practice and the ways to follow coincide with the behaviorist theory. The behaviorists hold that gene and environment interact to define the personality of an individual. The theologians describe the personality of an individual because of their deeds. The heart and individual control the emotions, moral awareness, and the conscience. In this case, the Bible recognizes the heart as harboring the human personality. Most of the Biblical verses consider human as thinking using their heart. The action that human beings exhibit is just but a reflection of the thoughts of the heart.

Part II: Self-Reflection

After learning behaviorist theory, I know it has a wide range of applications in the study of complex personalities. I believe that the behavior I exhibit today result from the conditioning in the environment. Since birth, I have interacted with different phenomena in the physical environment. The theory has taught me to appreciate the people i live with and the activities i do daily because they define my personality. Besides, the theory has opened my minds on the things I should consider when attempting to understand my personality. After reading the theory, I came to learn that it is possible to study a behavior systematically through observation without the critical considerations of the states of the mind. For example, in human beings, there are different types of behaviors that are observable. For example, cognition, moods, and emotions are observable characters of an individual. After studying the theory, I can tell the personality of an individual at a glance. From a personal perspective, the theory has helped me understand the situations such as school life, parental care, and religious belief that define my personality. Other people with no idea about personality theories find it hard to recognize genetic background as important determinants of a personality (Fiske, & Taylor, 2013). The behaviorist theory has important lessons regarding the degree of influence that gene and social interactions has on the human personality. I now know that the observable personalities are products of internal decisions that people make deliberately. For example, the decision to steal, read and to talk is decisions that define the personality of an individual.

After I learned classical conditioning, I understood how my personality develops. I learned how the concepts of classical conditioning enable the parents to change the bad habits of their children. The home environment has to be supportive for a healthy growth of children. The knowledge from the theory has made me accept the fact that the positive reviews and comments that parents make in the presence of the children improve their self-esteem. The knowledge of the theory has been helpful in understanding the nature of the person I am and what I need to do to improve my personality. The time I learn about behaviorist theory, Understood how my personality has change with time. . Sometimes I reflect on the nature of the environment that shaped my personality. For example, respecting parents is an idea that appears obvious in a personal view. On the contrary, there are environments where respect for parents is not in the cognition of the people. The difference in opinions regarding things to do with respect of the parents, elderly, and strangers are determined by the nature of upbringing

The knowledge of classical conditioning is imperative in understanding my childhood. Sometimes, I copied awkward behaviors from friends in school that my parents did not approve. I now know that sometimes a child may exhibit a bad character in the presence of their parent and the, the response of the parents regarding the strange behavior determines the lifespan of the behavior. Kids are gifted in learning the personalities of their parents and behaving to suit what the parents love most. The ideas of classical conditioning, therefore, are informative to the parents regarding how to discourage weird personalities in children. From a personal experience, my parents did not like lies, cheating, and stealing. Often, I used to associate negative vices with punishments and falling short of parental approval. For this reason, I know that children brought with the knowledge of right and wrong can easily understand the context and behave suitably to the environment.

The power of punishment and rewards are important in the learning process. Punishment discourages an individual from a bad behavior. However, rewards are forms of reinforcements to a positive behavior. The behaviorist theory laid the foundation for understanding other theories that explain human behaviors. Some the personality theories that promote the understating of personality includes biological theory. The biological theory holds that nature and nurture interact to shape the personality of an individual.

A moment of self-searching has helped me understand and the trait that I need to learn. For example, my instinct has been accusing me of the need to embrace patience. The patience is the quality of waiting for the right time for particular things. For example, it is not possible to acquire everything we need at one time. Patience is imperative in different aspects of human life. I am convinced that God is calling me to learn the importance of p...

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