Explaining Cognitive and Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Personality

Topics: Psychology, Mahathir bin Mohamad, Malaysia Pages: 7 (2768 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Analyzing personality can be a complex process, in which there can be many answer. Personality theories seem to be possible to be applying in real life settings. This assignment is about how cognitive and social-cognitive aspects of psychology influenced Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s personality. For this assignment, I read through the different aspects of personality and found that Albert Bandura’s self-system reflects best on Dr. Mahathir’s personality development. This system suggests or provides the reader with clues in understanding Tun’s personality and insight into how Dr. Mahathir made his major life decisions and how effective they were in achieving his goals. Whether as a prime minister or not, Dr. Mahathir’s personality is well-known all across the world. Cognitive theory explains behavior as guided by cognitions about the world, especially those about others. Another way to understand this theory is one’s expectations to those about other people (Wilderdom, 2003). Cognitive theories are theories of personality that emphasizes cognitive processes such as thinking and judging. Bandura’s theory of social-cognitive personality is significant in the field of cognitive psychology. Albert Bandura (1989) suggested the forces of memory and emotions working together with the environmental influences. According to Bandura, the self-system is the set cognitive process by which people perceives, evaluates, and cite regulates his or her behavior so that it is appropriate to the environment and effective in achieving goals (Bandura, 1978). The self system was originally developed by Harry Stack Sullivan in 1953 which is the individual’s collection of self-perceptions (Sullivan, 1953). As I followed Dr. Mahathir’s life, I realized the way he thought of ideas to solve problems is so much similar with a person who has social-cognitive based personality. So I choose to attempt applying Bandura’s self-system and other relevant concepts containing related theories to comment accordingly on Tun’s life. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was the fourth prime minister of Malaysia and is globally admired as well as critiqued by millions. He was born on the 20th December 1925 and held the post for 22 years, which made him Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, and one of the longest serving leaders in Asia (Astrotheme, 2012). He is known as the Father of Modernization and is also known for his criticisms of western and developed countries (Haji Azmy, 2009). During his administration, he was considered as one of Asia’s most influential leaders. Dr. Mahathir is also noted in the western world as an outspoken critic of western civilization (Masilamany, 2006). As a child, Mahathir was the youngest among 8 siblings, where 6 of them were half-siblings and 2 were full-siblings (Wain, 2010). Mahathir was a hard-working student where discipline imposed by his father motivated him to study, and he showed little interest in sports. He graduated from high school with high marks and enrolled to study at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore where he met his wife, Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali. After he graduated, Dr. Mahathir worked as a doctor in a government service before marrying in 1956 (Perdana Leadership Foundation, 2010). He then returns to his hometown as the town’s first Malay doctor and was successful. He and Siti Hasmah had their first child, Marina, in 1957, before conceiving three others and adopting three more over the following 28 years (Wain, 2010). Bandura gives an important role in the social-cognitive aspects of personality. Dr. Mahathir’s personality may be very well reflected in this aspect. For instance, Dr. Mahathir is a person who would act or perceive things first from the environment to mould his behavior to fit in into the environment for a better opportunity to strive towards achievement or goals. This event can be based on Bandura’s self-system and certain aspects of Mahathir’s life could be perceived as one of...
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