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Do childhood experiences determine behavior in later life? Show more Show less
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Yes, childhood is a key factor in who people are in adulthood. Traumatic events in childhood create phobias, likes and dislikes, and even core personality features. For example, children that are abused tend to be abusive parents. 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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You are in control of changing self-limiting behaviour

The treatment of a child helps them develop core beliefs. These can be positive or negative. It is possible as an adult to change your self-limiting beliefs.

The Argument

Our belief systems are formed as children. We transition through life based on these. These beliefs are shaped by surrounding adults. If as children we were rewarded for doing a chore, we may get into a mindset of seeking approval through doing a good task. This can result in harmful behavior in seeking validity from others, and when not on the receiving end of such validity, we may begin to consider ourselves as not good enough, especially when transitioning through teenage years. These self-limiting ideas can become detrimental to self-confidence and the ability to achieve. Psychological methods such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and clinical psychology assist individuals to unravel the thought process, and help people embrace the emotion, understand the root of their belief, rationalise the thought process to understand it is a false belief, and then uproot it. You are therefore able to control your self-limiting thoughts, which then helps you engage in healthy behaviours.[1]

Counter arguments

It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get rid of self-limiting beliefs that have been formed through childhood. Even if you are an excellent performer at work, where you have supportive colleagues, uplifting friendships and relationships, there is always a part of you that may go back to a childhood memory, a nonchalant comment or act towards you by an adult you saw as influential, and convince yourself that that self-limiting belief is true. These beliefs can cause you to give up opportunities to progress. Why do these beliefs have such an impact? It is due to a psychological principle called “belief perseverance”. The principle dictates that once you have formed a belief, you will always negate the importance of evidence to the contrary, whilst utilising any information that supports the belief as evidence to endorse it. [2]

Proponents


Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://positivepsychology.com/false-beliefs/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2017/10/05/why-its-so-hard-to-change-the-self-limiting-beliefs-you-learned-during-childhood/#66e8f17e2185

This page was last edited on Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 21:26 UTC

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