PS330: Personality Development
Prof: Benjamin Anderson
1.What is the relationship between cognition and personality development?
Put simply, developmental theories of personality follow quite closely the same developmental timetable as cognitive development. The Oral stage of Freud occurs during the Sensor motor period of Piaget; the anal stage, Pre-conceptual stage; the phallic stage, Concrete Operational Stage; the Latency period of Freud also occurs during the Concrete Operational stage; the Genital stage, Formal Operations. Erickson’s stages ad other stage theories follow a similar path. The ages of these stages are also milestones in development, many relating to a child’s focus in relationship to the world and an increasing divestiture of egocentrism with a better understanding of the self and the relationship of the self to others (Schultz, & Schultz, 2008). Cognition is a person’s competencies to describe what they are able to do. Knowing that one can perform a certain behavior does not mean that they will do so. (Cloninger, Friedman, & Schustack, 2010, page 373) Behavioral and physiological research generally supports Eysenck’s view. When introverts and extraverts are presented with a range of intense stimuli, introverts respond more strongly, including salivating more when a drop of lemon juice is placed on their tongues and reacting more negatively to electric shocks or loud noises (Bartol & Costello 1976; Stelmack, 1990). This reactively has an impact on the ability to concentrate. Extraverts tend to perform well at tasks that are done in a noisy, arousing environment, such as bartending or even teaching, where introverts are better in tranquil surroundings (Schacter, Gilbert, & Wegner, 2009)
2.Explain how evolutionary, biological/genetic, and environmental (i.e. learning) factors can result in the development of an aggressive personality.
Evolutionary and biological/genetic factors definitely contribute to the development of an aggressive personality. Animals, including humans, are born with in-built instincts to perform adaptive behaviors. These instincts include many reflexes and relatively straightforward behaviors, such as food-seeking behavior which require aggressive behaviors. Cognitive development is biological and can be influenced by experience. According to Walter Mischel cognitive person variables are important to personality development because they are the cognitive factors within a person, less global than traits, which influence how an individual adapts to the environment (Cloninger, Friedman, & Schustack, 2010, page 379). Biological and environmental factors can shape our cognitive processes by the different styles of people, cultures, and genders that can affect interpretation of a behavior as some might not respond to reward or punishment. There are always unique situations and interpersonal events that help to shape our personalities. Such things as having unhealthy parents, having an abusive spouse, being a victim of a crime, even being disfigured from a severe accident of some sort, these are ways that can leave mental scars that make us fearful and less trusting. When examining the world we live in today, everything seems to happen in cycles. Look at fashion, it repeats itself in cycles, each time adding a little different twist or broadening the scope. The same is said for abuse which comes from an aggressive personality. Violence and abuse repeats in its own never ending cycle unless someone steps with intervention, giving options to another path to follow with hope for change. Victims repeatedly ask the question “How did this happen to me?” The exhaustion of being a victim steals self confidence, and destroys self-esteem where there is no more self-worth. Life becomes fearful, insecure with everything decision attempted to be made, ultimately making dependence on the abuser. Everything...