Part one: Spark Discussion
Post a 1 to 2 paragraph in your opinion, but also based upon what you have read for this course so far, what side of the “nature versus nurture” argument aligns more with your thinking? Is it biology or environment that has the greater influence on your actions and reactions to events and stimuli that occur in your everyday life? Why?
To prepare for part two: Biological and Behaviorist Perspectives of Temperament
- Review the Learning Resources for this week.
Course Text: Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2016). Personality: Theory and research (13th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 9, “Biological Foundations of Personality” (pp. 261–298)
Chapter 10, “Behaviorism and the Learning Approaches to Personality” (pp. 299–332)
- Consider how biological and behaviorist theories apply to your experience with temperament—both your own and that of others you know well.
- Based on the Learning Resources and your experience, take a position on whether biology or environment is more influential in explaining temperament.
- Research in the Walden Library or other sources for a scholarly resource that provides additional evidence for your position.
Part two: Post a response to these two questions that includes the following:
- In your own words, explain how temperament is viewed from the biological and behaviorist perspectives.
- State your position on whether biology or environment is more influential in shaping and explaining an individual’s temperament. Support your position with findings from the Learning Resources, the scholarly resource that you found, and examples from your experience.
To prepare for Part three: Comparing and Contrasting Biological and Behaviorist Theories
You will consider a case study: Jane and John. They are fraternal twins who have grown up together in the same family, but who have very different temperaments. You will compare and contrast biological and behaviorist theories to understand and explain the differences between Jane and John.
- Consider these descriptions of Jane and John. Keep in mind they are fraternal twins. Although their age is not given, from their activities they are teens in high school.
- Jane is very outgoing. She enjoys large gatherings of friends, participates in many extracurricular activities in school, and is a cheerleader and captain of her volleyball team. She loves to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures.
- John is a quiet and studious young man. He loves to read and to listen to classical music. He has a small, intimate circle of friends who share the same interests. He is captain of his school’s chess team, and his idea of the perfect sporting event is a chess competition. He is not interested in travel—unless he is going to a chess competition.
- Review the Learning Resources for Week 5 and consider the similarities, differences, strengths, and limitations of the biological and behaviorist theories of personality.
- Consider how both biological and behaviorist theories would explain the differences in Jane and John.
- Consider which approach you agree with more and your reasoning. (Note that you may take the same basic position that you have in the Discussion this week or a different view based on these siblings.)
- Be sure your analysis applies specifically to Jane and John. Your Assignment should not address siblings in general.
For part three submit a 2- to 3-page paper that includes the following four questions:
- Compare and contrast biological and behaviorist theories by explaining the strengths and limitations of each theory.
- Apply the behaviorist theory in explaining the differences in the siblings Jane and John.
- Apply the biological theory in explaining the differences in the siblings Jane and John.
- Explain which approach is most effective for understanding the differences between Jane and John, and defend your reasoning.
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