Personality Development <ul><li>What are the four main factors that affect the development of personality? </li></ul><ul><li>How does isolation in childhood affect development? </li></ul>
Personality <ul><li>To social scientists, personality is the sum total of behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and values that are characteristic of an individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Our personality traits determine how we adjust to our environment and how we react in specific situations. </li></ul><ul><li>No two individuals have the same personalities. Each individual has his or her own way of interacting with other people and with his or her social environment. </li></ul>
Personality Development <ul><li>People’s personalities continue to develop throughout their lifetimes. Specific traits change at different rates and to different degrees. </li></ul><ul><li>Some personality traits seem to remain constant throughout a person’s life, while others undergo dramatic changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Personality development is more obvious during childhood, when people are experiencing rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth. </li></ul><ul><li>At adulthood, personality traits change at a slower rate. However personality development varies form individual to individual. </li></ul>
Nature vs. Nurture <ul><li>Sociologists debate what determines personality and social behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Some argue that it is heredity – the transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to children. </li></ul><ul><li>Others suggest that the social environment – contact with other people – determines personality. </li></ul><ul><li>This debate is usually referred to in terms of nature versus nurture, or inherited genes versus environment and social learning. </li></ul>
The Nature Viewpoint <ul><li>Since the 1800s this viewpoint states that much of human behavior is instinctual in origin. </li></ul><ul><li>An instinct is an unchanging behavior pattern. Instinct is most often applied to animal behavior. (Ex. Birds building nests) </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters of this viewpoint claim biology as the basis for human behavior. They claim that instinctual drives are responsible for practically everything – laughing, motherhood, warfare, religion, even the creation of society. </li></ul>
The Nurture Viewpoint <ul><li>From this viewpoint a person’s behavior and personality are the result of his or her social environment and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The work of Ivan Pavlov helped this viewpoint gain acceptance. He found that supposedly instinctual behaviors could be taught. (Ex. Dog Experiment) </li></ul><ul><li>Sociologist John B. Watson suggested that what applied to dogs could apply to humans. He claimed that he could take a dozen healthy infants and train them to become anything he wanted – doctors, lawyers, artists, beggars, or thieves. </li></ul>
Sociobiology <ul><li>The emergence of sociobiology – the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior – emphasized the nature viewpoint. </li></ul><ul><li>Sociobiologists argue that such varied cultural characteristics and behavioral traits as religion, cooperation, competition, slavery, envy, etc. are rooted in the genetic make-up of humans. </li></ul><ul><li>In general sociobioligists argue that most of human social life is determined by biological factors. </li></ul>
Blending of factors… <ul><li>Most social scientists assume that personality and social behavior result from a blending of heredity and social environmental influences. </li></ul><ul><li>They believe that environmental factors have the greatest influence. </li></ul><ul><li>Heredity, birth order, parents, and cultural environment are among the principal factors that social scientists see influencing personality and behavior. </li></ul>
Heredity <ul><li>Everyone has certain characteristics that are present at birth. (body build, hair type, eye color, and skin) </li></ul><ul><li>Heredity characteristics also include certain aptitudes. An aptitude is a capacity to learn a particular skill or acquire a particular body of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: a natural talent for music and art would be considered an aptitude. </li></ul><ul><li>However, some aptitudes can be learned and developed because of environmental factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Parents encouragement </li></ul><ul><li>Heredity provides you with certain biological needs, but culture determines how you meet those needs. </li></ul>
Birth Order <ul><li>Our personalities are influenced by whether we have brothers, sisters, both, or neither. </li></ul><ul><li>Children with siblings have a different view of the world than do children who have siblings. </li></ul><ul><li>The order in which we are born into our families also influences our personalities. </li></ul><ul><li>People born first or last in a family have a different perspective than do people in the middle. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: first born are likely to be achievement oriented and responsible. Later born are more likely to be better in social relationships, affectionate, friendly, or rebels and risk-takers. </li></ul>
Parental Characteristics <ul><li>Parents influence their childrens’ personalities. The age of the parent can be a bearing on the children’s development. (EX. Younger vs. older) </li></ul><ul><li>Other parental characteristics like level of education, religious orientation, economic status, occupation, and cultural heritage can and often do influence a child’s personality and their social behavior. </li></ul>
Cultural Environment <ul><li>Culture has a strong influence on personality development. The cultural environment determines the basic types of personalities that will be found in a society. </li></ul><ul><li>Each culture gives rise to a series of personality traits – model personalities – that are typical of members of that society. </li></ul><ul><li>EX. U.S. personalities are competitive, assertiveness and individualism. </li></ul><ul><li>EX. The Ik (eek) of northern Uganda </li></ul>
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