Role of Environment on Personality Development

Published: 2021-09-12 04:45:10
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Instructor Assignment for PSY 101Role of Environment on Personality DevelopmentThere are no two identical people in the world, even though they are identical twins. Like the fingerprints of no two persons are identical. Each of us also has our own personality. Personality is a whole of one person’s characteristics, traits, and features. It includes our feelings, emotions, attitudes, thoughts, hobbies, and so on. And it also involves the things that we would like to do, our talents, natural gifts, and abilities, our strengths and weaknesses, and our likes and dislikes. Therefore, each person is unique all over the world. What shapes one’s personality? Is it innate or acquired? Is it shaped by the things, such as experience, education, culture, background, and so on? For a long time, people generally think an individual’s personality is determined by the “heredity” which refers to “the genetic inheritance received by every individual at the time of conception.” They believe that heredity is the main reason why people have different personalities and each person is unique in the world. However, like heredity, environment also has been found to play a very important role in an individual’s personality development. Many studies have been conducted on it. And the results indicate that “heredity and environment are interdependent forces. Whatever the heredity supplies, the favorable environment brings it out. Personality characteristics attained by heredity are shaped by environment.” In psychology, “Environment” can be defined as “all the external aspects or factors that take place around or surround an individual such as family, peers, school and even all the activities an individual engages in such as sports, clubs activities and social gatherings.” All these factors (like family, friends, school, religion, culture, clubs and social gatherings etc.) consist of the whole—“Environment”.Many developmental psychologists also emphasize the role the social environment in personality development. For example, Kazmierz Dabrowski believes that “It is important to realize that a person can have very high developmental potential, yet fail to transcend the influences of the social environment and achieve true autonomy, self-actualization, and enlightenment. A serious mistake in early adulthood, for example, could land a person in prison, or an unresolved childhood trauma could damage the psychology and modify inner motivations.”The environment could be a teacher or example or model to people. No doubt, to most people, parents are their first teacher. A bad role model may bring many bad influences on an individual’s personality. As we know, children would like to mimic the person’s movement and expression. A little girl may wear her mother’s high-heeled shoes or use mother’s lips secretly. I think most women had the similar experience like this when they were a young girl. Therefore, as' the first teacher of their kids, imagine the bad effects misbehaving people have on their children. I’ve ever watched an episode of “Intervention” called “Dorothy/Ivan” which talks about the family members and friends of the alcohol or drug addict. Compared to the experience of addicts, I am more concerned with the lives of their family members and I also want to know how addicts affect their family members. Could addicts ruin their children’s lives? I took Dorothy as my observer object. She is very special because she is both an addict and a family member of an addict (her alcoholic mother) at the same time. This poor girl is lost in a haze of alcohol, drugs, and even self-inflicted cuts and burns because of her mother’s neglect in her childhood. I began to observe Dorothy’s expressions and movements. Her step-father tried to have a conversation with her, while Dorothy was just sitting there and playing video games. She barely replied to her step-father’s questions without any eye contact. I tried to copy her movement and I quickly found it was very impolite and rude to the person who talk with you. Also, people try to hide their real emotions and reject to communicate with others by avoiding all eye contacts. According to the bio psychosocial framework in our textbook, I also find that Dorothy is in need of her mother’s love. She did so many crazy things just for her mother’s attention. It raises another societal issue: we should pay more attention to children whose parents divorce and remarry. In Dorothy’s case, mother’s neglect is the biggest reason for the addict’s problem. Also, another environmental factor--friends is the other major reason for Dorothy’s problem. She went to Bars and was led astray by bad companions. They were lost in alcohol and drugs together. Therefore, in Dorothy’s case, family and friends bring a lot of bad effects on her personality development. They play as the bad role models in shaping Dorothy’s personality. At last, Dorothy becomes a drug addict who is unsociable and very passionate. Another example is that people who have experienced domestic violence in their early childhood are more likely to show the propensity to violence.

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