Where do most changes in the identity of a person occur over the years?greenspun.com : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread
Can "the self" in your photograph at 3 years old represent "the self" in your photograph at 30 years old? Apart from physical changes, which other changes might have occured that might not be visible in the Photo at 30 years? Can you say that "the self" in the photo at 3 years inevitably and naturally led to "the self" in the later photo? Had you grown up under different circumstances would you have beenexactly the same person?
-- Zingi (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2003
You'll find as many answers to this question as there are theories of development. I'd suggest reading an introductory text on life span development.
-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (email@example.com), March 08, 2003.
Hi Zingi, well your question reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend who is a psychologist, and he drew my attention to the fact that when you young, say 3, you will be more like your peers than you will as you grow and develop. When you are 30 everyone will be a lot different from each other than they were at 3, and at 80 you will be even more different from your friends you had when you were 3.
If the self is a composit of memories which manifest in habits, differential experiences acting on unique temperment are continually changing you. Does having the habits which constitue your being an airline pilot make you a different person from the behavior that makes you a homeless person?
Well, one of the problems you will face here is no one has ever satisfactory defined what the core construct which makes you you. So comparison across the life span is difficult.
One thing to think about is, people who have suffered brain injuries have been reported to have changed their personalities. One man who had a wood stick shot through his head became violent and difficult to deal with, another man who suffered a stroke changed to become lazy and easy going. I understand some posins will have done this too. Of course these are physical changes, but even memories are physical changes at some level. Remember, no structure, no behavior. It's just a matter of how many synapses were affected.
I think you are going to have difficulty with argueing the "inevitable and naturally led to" approach. It is hard to convince some people with the hypothetical approach. They will tell you it is moot, and it just doesn't make sense because you can't verify what could have been different.
Also, there is the curse of the single veriable. You are looking for things that affect development like learning. But in truth most things are interactions. It is important to never lose sight of this when analyzing behavior/personality. It is better to think of it in terms of an experience interacting with a social situation at a certain stage of development that is interacting with an inheritted temperment which may have contributed to who you are at age 30.
To start with theories of development, look in the education section of a college book store for a text on development.
Good luck, David
-- david clark (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2003.
David Clark, on 2003-03-16, said "One man who had a wood stick shot through his head became violent and difficult to deal with"; who might this be? If it's a reference to Phineas Gage, it's in error. Cheers, Whit
-- Harry Whitaker (email@example.com), April 14, 2003.