Carl Rogers, a famous psychologist, put a lot of emphasis on how childhood experiences affect one's personality. The degree of effect of what happens to a child when he/she is at a developing stage on his/her personality development depends on when it happens.
Many psychologists believe that there are certain critical periods in personality development,
which are periods when the child will be more sensitive to certain environmental happenings.
Most experts believe that child's experiences in the family are important for his/her
These include whether a child's basic needs are well met and how a child is brought up, which could
leave an enduring mark on the child's
personality. For example, children who are toilet trained too early or have their toilet training
carried out too strictly may become rebellious; by identifying with their same-sex parent, children
can learn appropriate behaviour to their sex especially when there is a good relationship with that
parent; children are also affected by siblings.
How about culture and society then? Does the culture and the society we are brought up in affect our personality?
An American anthropologist Margaret Mead has shown how social and cultural factors has an important influence in personality development. Members of two New Guinea tribes are of the same racial store and live in the same area. However, one group is peaceful, friendly and cooperative and the other is group is, on the contrary, assertive, hostile and competitive.
Researchers, when comparing cultural groups in
specific aspects of personality, have found some interesting differences.
Northern European countries and the USA have individualistic cultures that
put more emphasis on individual needs and accomplishments. Asian, African,
Central American, and South American countries have collectivist cultures that
focus on belonging to a larger group, such as a family, tribe, or nation.
In these cultures, people believe cooperation is more important than competition.
Individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures are very different.
Produced for Thinkquest Internet Challenge 2000.
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