Socialization in Personality and Behavioral Outcomes

Socialization plays a significant role in the development of personality and identity.  While genetics might influence an individual’s behavior, the social environment has more impact. The text provides convincing information when explaining the significance of social processes in learning. People are born without preferences for cultural objects but learn behavior from society. Within a particular culture, socialization aspects exist and influence people’s social outcomes from a young age. Children are not born with any particular preferences in dressing and toys. They learn from their culture and adapt to the social objects that they interact with. For example, girls learn to play with dolls, while boys prefer playing with toy cars. They learn how to think and act depending on their social environment. Therefore, children’s surroundings are responsible for the gender roles, behaviors, and social image they adopt.

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The readings identify significant factors that determine individuals’ personalities and behavior outcomes. The social environment plays a critical role in those results through socialization. Society has various agents of socialization, including families, schools, organized sports, religion, and media. Children spend considerable time in environments that affect their behavior and actions. Notably, they begin interacting with the socialization agents immediately after birth, especially with members of their immediate families. The environments also provide the opportunity for learning. A person’s eventual outcome depends on the unique factors within his or her socialization setting. Therefore, children grow up differently, with divergent behaviors and personalities, due to the diversity of their socialization. Hence, personality differences result from social impact and not necessarily one’s genetic makeup.

Children interact with these agents immediately after birth and continue to relate with them in various environments as they grow and learn. As a result, the factors affecting their lives could determine their actions and behavior even as adults. Society further influences individuals’ social image. In addition, the socialization agents strengthen the social self. For example, people gain confidence in their self-image based on the affirmations of their significant others. A person becomes what the people around him or she believe and cause him or her to believe. Consequently, affirmations play a role in children’s outcomes, particularly in developing social image. The reading teaches significant others, such as parents and teachers, to continually express positive affirmations towards children as they grow. The approvals provide the means for self-evaluation and allow children to develop a positive self-image.  

According to behaviorism and social learning theories, children learn behavior from their social environment. They acquire it from what they see from others in their daily interactions. However, learning is not enough to enhance an individual’s conduct. Behavior is developed and sustained. From the reading, children can learn behavior through socialization, but adults can change the behavior through rewards or punishment. Using experiments, behaviorists have revealed that rewards enforce positive behavior while punishment discourages negative conduct. The theory plays a vital role in education through behavior change programs. For example, teachers can influence their students by using rewards and punishments depending on the desired behavioral outcomes. However, they should ensure that both means are appropriate for the age and the desired behavior.

People interact with their social environment differently. The dramaturgical approach by Erving Goffman provides essential insights into the role of social interactions in how people portray themselves. According to the theory, individuals live like actors on stage and behave in the way they believe others see them to make an impression. Consequently, they portray different personalities in diverse situations depending on the idea that they want to make. For example, when one acts, the involved self differs from what the same person demonstrates in a classroom setting during a lecture. The reason is that the impression an individual wants to make in theatre differs from the one the same person desires to portray in a classroom. Generally, people are not only different from one another but also have diverse social selves based on societal interactions.

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Socialization provides significant lessons on people’s interaction with each other and the outcome of the process. Children are born in a social environment where they learn from others. The lessons from the reading reveal that personality traits are not innate. Conversely, socialization is the most important process in individuals’ behavior and social outcomes. Parents and teachers must create a suitable environment for children to learn and develop positive behaviors. They should understand that children learn valuable lessons, both negative and positive, from their surroundings. Society should provide role models for children to ensure that they develop positive and should give positive affirmations to strengthen behavior. More importantly, teachers and parents should identify appropriate rewards and punishments to encourage positive and discourage negative behaviors.

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