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 text borrows ideas to justify their theories from traditional scholars such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Piaget. The explanations regarding the development of personality focus on the environment that surrounded the upbringing of an individual. Theories that ancient psychologist advocates regard those theories that attempt to integrate the interaction between the environments and the genetics of an individual to shape the personality. From a personal point of view, the upbringing of an individual determines their personality (Sauder et al., 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.
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 relates closely with principles of behaviorist theory studied in the text. The proponents of behaviorist theory hold that the environment dictates the nature of the behavior that an individual exhibit. 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. A discussion with the middle-aged woman reveals that the proponents of the behaviorist theory based their research on reality. In most of the psychology research, the concerns of most individuals regard the nature and nurture controversy regarding the personality of a person. Some scholars hold and strong belief that the interactions between the environment and genetics define the personality of an individual (Tracey, & Morrow, 2017).
A girl brought up with harsh father develops a lasting hate toward all men. The hate that develops as time advances, result from the activities in the living 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 powers to change the behavior of an individual.
According to the behaviorist, 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.
The idea of personality relates closely to the 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 the 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 had better explain the difference. In the Bible, the body consists of different parts with different functions. The different functions of the body parts are natural are coded in the human brains.
The different talent that God gave to the people defines their behaviors. For example, their people gifted 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 need the 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
The Behaviorist theory has a wide range of application in understanding diverse personalities. I believe that the behavior I exhibit today result from the conditioning in the environment. Since birth, an individual interacts with different phenomenas in the physical environment. The people we live with and the activities we do daily define our personalities. The theory opens the minds of an individual on the things that matter when observing the personality of a person. 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. 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 that define my personality. It is hard for people to recognize the genetic background as important determinants of personality (Fiske, & Taylor, 2013). The behaviorist theory has important lessons regarding the degree of influence that gene has on the human personalities. Most of the observable personalities are 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.
Learning the values of conditioning helps one understand the reasons for their personalities. The knowledge of conditioning helps parents to change the bad habits of their children. The home environment is important for the children. The positive reviews and comments that parents make in the presence of the children improve affect their self-esteem (Yeager et al., 2017). The knowledge of the theory has been helpful in understanding the nature of the person in I am and what I need to do. The time I learn about behaviorist theory, I get to understand the reason some persons in my life. It reaches appoint where 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. However, there is environment where respect for parents is far from 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 (Fiske, & Taylor, 2013).
The knowledge from classical conditioning is imperative in understanding the lives of young children. Sometimes, children copy awkward behaviors from friends in school. The child may exhibit the same character in the presence of their parents. However, the response of the parents in the strange behavior in their kids 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, parents did not like lies, cheating, and stealing. Often, there is a tendency to associate negative vices with punishments and falling short of parental approval. The 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 patients. 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. Studies require patients because one has to go through a ladder from one generation to another. I am convinced that God is calling me to learn the importance of patients in all that I d...
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