Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chapter 2 Review

    This whole chapter, to me, was about nature vs nurture.  It wasn’t the same old debate that we had to learn in history and sociology.  This was the most modern presentation of data that I have read so far.  Usually the debate has to do with people developing based off of how they were born, or how they were raised.  This reading expanded personality characterization into animal characteristics, and proved that genes have the same tendencies across species.  I thought that the part where the author mentioned that dog owners made sense when they said their dogs had a lot of personality was a bit of a stretch.  Sometimes I feel like people are just obsessed with their animals enough to put a personality on them.

   When we were discussing the nature aspect of nature vs nurture in classes like sociology, I felt like the nature argument was based on sociological evidence whereas this chapter had more empirical evidence.  For example they showed the twins who were separated at birth, and grew up in completely different environments.  Once they were reunited, they discovered that they had very similar traits.  It was interesting getting such a solid example of personality development.

   After reviewing the chapter, I’m still uncertain about certain characteristic factors.  Freud’s theory and the modern heredity theory cancel each other out.  I can see why Freud developed his theory in the way that he did, in the time that he did.  I can also see why the empirical psychologists strongly disagree with him, because a lot of Freud’s arguments are kind of a leap of faith.  He assumes people reactions, and apparently (if the readings are correct), he forced his ideas onto people.  That being said, I still think that he had some valid points, but they needed to be tested more.

   One question that I kept thinking about during chapter two was about bullying.  Compensation like imprinting and denial are used by people to protect themselves from issues that might emotionally damage them.  That made me wonder about all of the bullies and cyber bullies that pick on people for stuff that doesn’t matter.  I always wonder if the jerk that picks a fight is either, compensating for their own problems, or just acting on the communal mentality.

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