Psy/230 Checkpoint: Interactionism

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Personality can be influenced by ones culture in a number of ways. One such example can be seen in individuals with authoritarian personalities. These personalities, often through cultural influence, tend to display mistrust in people from other cultures different from their own. In addition, these personalities also exhibit behavior which is supported by the authoritarian’s culture while generally questioning the behaviors of other people of differing culture with differing views from their own (McAdams, 2006). My belief is that an individual’s reaction to something can be the result of social experience or separate from social experience depending upon the particular circumstance. Furthermore, I feel each individual has a personality comprised of individual traits which, at times, are able to be influenced by cultural views.

In my opinion I feel the behavioral disposition explanation of the nature of traits most compatible with my beliefs. This position suggests that reactions occur from internal and external influences and situational variables (McAdams, 2006). Because my belief is that a reaction can be the result of, or influenced by, social experience or the result of the individual traits possessed by an individual this position best outlines my views on the subject.

The linguistic categories position, in contrast, would suggest traits do not even exist outside of the mind and have no influence on behavior at all (McAdams, 2006). This position, then, would imply that people possess no individual traits and are merely products of “social interaction and discourse” which is, in my opinion, absurd and fails to recognize human beings and their behaviors as unique (McAdams, 2006). This position seems to take all individuality away and shifts the onus of behavior to society as the ruling entity.
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