Social Psychology

By Daniel Katz; Richard L. Schanck | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
THE DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION OF PERSONALITY

The development of personality is the story of how all of us came to be what we are. It is the tale of how the culture of the group becomes incorporated into the biological organism to make of it a socialized individual.


BIOLOGICAL FACTORS AFFECTING DEVELOPMENT

In this story it is logical to begin with the biological factors which determine development. Psychologists are more interested in learning and experience, but they cannot neglect the biological equipment of the individual. At one time it was thought that personality was largely a matter of biological inheritance. The blue-blooded aristocrat was supposed to owe his polished tastes and manners to his lineage. The thief similarly was supposed to come by his anti-social habits through chromosomes which made for thieving. The modern view, however, is that a man's life is not the progressive unfolding of his biological constitution. Present scientific thought regards the biology of the individual as setting the limits within which he will develop. The specific outcome, the adult personality, is affected for the most part indirectly by biological factors and directly by social and psychological factors.


Biological Factors Not Solely a Matter of Inheritance

Biological factors refer to physical structure and to the characteristic functioning of physical structure. Biological is by no means synonymous with inherited. Because man's neural, glandular, and muscular equipment in certain respects is not influenced by teaching and because it remains relatively stable,

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