Learning Theories of Personality

Essay by Shawn1969University, Bachelor'sA+, September 2009

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

The individual's interactions with the environment and with other people shape their personality and behavior. As with other personality theories, the learning personality theories provide insight on personality development and behavior. Though the learning personality theories focus on the effects of the environment and individual experiences, concentration on environment varies among the theorists. While Skinner focused solely on environmental shaping of behavior, Bandura recognized the mutual influence of personal characteristics and the environment.

Environmental forces and what the individual learns from experiences affect interpersonal relationships. From childhood, the individual is learning about relationships and social expectancies while experiencing them. Throughout life, the individual's knowledge and perceptions of social interaction and relationships evolve.

Learning Theories and Individual CharacteristicsLearning personality theories suggest that personalities grow and develop due to individual differences. A couple of these differences include environmental and situational factors.

These theories are easily testable through observational behavior of the individual within in his or her own environment.

"The experiences of life change us, and they do so in ways that are lawful and predictable" (Carver & Scheier, 2000, p 310). Learning personality theorists looked at the internal perspective to personality as invalid because it could not be fully verified (Carver & Scheier, 2000). However, learning personality could be verified through observational data of the person in his or her own element.

Learning personality theories' primary perspective in relation to the individual is developed from both of the factors mentioned earlier. Learning theories are highly based on the interactions of the person within his or her own environment (Carver & Scheier, 2000). For example, when the person is younger and learning to interact with the environment, he or she will learn by touching everything to get an understanding of what objects feel like, such as when a child touches a hot...