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Do childhood experiences determine behavior in later life? Show more Show less
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Traumatic events in childhood create phobias, likes and dislikes, and even core personality features. For example, abusers tend to have been abused themselves. The flip side is also true, college students succeed more if they have support from their parents. Also, siblings come into play. Children with opposite-sex siblings tend to have happier marriages if they are wed to the opposite sex.

No, childhood experiences do not influence adult behavior Show more Show less

Behavior is a choice in the moment, not determined by past experience.
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Blaming your childhood experiences for the behavior and mistakes you make as an adult is just a scapegoat for not taking responsibility for yourself.

Plenty of people that have negative childhood experiences grow into perfectly stable and high-functioning adults. Blaming poor decisions on childhood is just a way to avoid taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.

The Argument

Adult humans make decisions every day of their lives. As a child, if you had touched an open flame, you would feel pain, so you would then avoid open flames. You learn from your mistakes. If that same adult develops a phobia of fire 20 or 30 years later and says it is because of this one incident as a child, it is still that adult’s responsibility to employ self-awareness and seek help and aid to remedy that phobia. People who use incidents as a child as justification for their inability to take responsibility for themselves as an adult are just avoiding growing up and showing ownership of themselves and their own minds.[1] It is easy to say that you have, for example, commitment issues if you had perhaps an absent parent. Even if that’s true, there’s nothing stopping you from taking control of that situation and seeking help, therapy, or otherwise, in order to overcome that obstacle.[2]

Counter arguments

It is widely understood in the scientific community that childhood experiences comprise the fundamental formation of our brains. While humans do continue to learn and grow through the course of their lives as their brains develop into adulthood, these adult experiences do not always overwrite those early ones, and those early influences can continue to hold sway well into adulthood.[3]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/psychology-self/2019/08/narcissists-blame-projection/
  2. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/if-your-childhood-sucked-its-time-to-stop-blaming-your-parents.html
  3. https://www.learning-mind.com/early-childhood-experiences/
This page was last edited on Sunday, 27 Sep 2020 at 18:07 UTC

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