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Tycoonism “What we have learned in life becomes our own reflection.”

September 18, 2009

docSociologist Herbert Mead developed a theory known as social behaviorism, which helped explain why past social experiences help form an individuals’ personality. Mead’s theory was that ‘the self’ could only fully develop when people had the ability to interact with each other. Without the interaction of other people an individual is unable to develop a personality. An example of this is if a child is left in total isolation for a long period of time, the child would present immaturely either physically, mentally or a combination or the two.

Mead also noted that understanding individual intentions is critical. This will help us to analyze how an individual will respond even before we act. For example, when we’re driving we all anticipate what others may do because of our past driving experience. If an individual behind you is speeding up rather quickly, then you can assume that they are about to switch lanes, or you can assume that they are in a rush and need to get somewhere quickly. Mead refers to this as taking another individual’s role.

Another important theory that is related to social behaviorism is the looking-glass self. This is basically like mirroring what we think others think of us. If you think others view you as being “good looking,” then you will see yourself as being good looking, or if you believe people think that you are fat then you will have that image of yourself.  As humans we copy the roles of other people during our stages of development. Children are through mimicking and creativity take or copy the roles of significant others in their life. The ability to copy parents or siblings has specific importance in their social development. Children love to ‘play house’, in which someone will take the role of a mother while another takes that of a father and as they age children will mimic the various roles they come in contact with.  As we continue to age we will continue to see changes in our social life.

Erik H. Erikson, also a sociologist, had ideologies similar to Freud, but Erikson through his research proposed that the ego was present from birth and he developed a stage theory about how children grow and develop their psychosocial skills. Erikson grouped these into eight stages that extend from birth to death.

Through all of the disagreements, sociologists generally agree that the family has the greatest impact on an individual’s socialization abilities. A newborn infant has no control and must rely on the parents and other family members to nurture them. Through family they learn communication techniques, trust, culture, and the beliefs of the nurturer. Not all learning comes solely from family; the environment plays an important role which will differ from culture to culture.

We are not born with values or beliefs, so how do people develop their values? Sociologist Morris Massey has described three major periods which as we grow, our values are developed. These periods are important in understanding how one’s values have developed.

The imprint is that period 0 to 7, the period that the child soaks everything up like a sponge. Next is the modeling period, from ages 8 to 13. During this period children may copy their parents, or a close relative with whom they have constant contact or it may be the teacher who often the child will emphasize as knowing more than the parent. Lastly according to Massey is the socialization period, age 13 to 21. Peer influence plays a major role and the growing child will turn more to like minded or those that display similar behavior. The media can have more input during this stage. Research has indicated that television has lessened creativity; the USA is considered the country that people spend the most time in front of the screen and is the country with the most TV’s per household.

Our beliefs come from our psychological framework; they are stored in the unconscious mind and relate to the person’s truth or validity of a proposition. Beliefs are the foundation stones on which expectations are built. It is so obvious then that our past contacts and socialization have been responsible in the creation of ‘our self’ and this will continue to be. Social behaviors, attitudes, values and beliefs will never change unless there is a conscious effort on each individual to alter their unconscious mind.

Without a doubt most people will have tried in the past to set goals and alter their current behavior, however it is often a deep belief from their unconscious mind that prevents the goal happening. There are those who have set goals, accomplished the goal and then gone sliding backwards back to where they were or even found themselves in a worsened situation. Consider those that have obtained some wealth and then lost every cent.

Consider you beliefs regarding money. If your belief has generated from the many days of being told, money is dirty; money does not grow on trees, or money and happiness do not go together, my guess is that unless you are committed to altering this belief system your future will remain as your past.

Take control, treat your brain as you do your computer and select some new software. Develop a compelling urgency to clean up the past, work on selecting the changes that are to take effect now to create what will be a peak performance in your future.

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