I’d like to expand on what I mentioned in my previous post, as the topic has recently become even more relevant in class. I’m also going to kind of just explain some thinks that I’ve been thinking.
As I said, I believe that at least to a certain extent, the conditioning (reinforcements and punishments) that we receive tend to shape who we are by teaching us which behaviours will give us desirable results.
When it comes to neuroticism (which I find totally fascinating), I find Carl Jung’s explanation excellent: normality is the bane of our personality. When/if we try or are forced to be ‘normal’, what we have experienced and mixed into our personality is violated and we are unconsciously stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think this is what makes people neurotic: not knowing whether to aim to ‘fit in’ or to truly be ourselves. Please note I am definitely not saying that Bill should be allowed to be a serial killer because that’s ‘who he truly is’. There are boundaries.
In terms of reciprocal determinism, you could say that one can not be influenced by external stimuli because he or she has his or her own beliefs and thoughts, but aren’t these beliefs and thoughts just another by-product of our conditioning? Isn’t the idea of ‘Rewards+Punishments VS Beliefs+Thoughts’ just two opposing things that are in fact subconsciously merged?