Week 5: Personality and Social Behavior

You may have heard the expression, “yawning is contagious,” meaning someone in a group yawns and you find yourself doing the same. This is an example of social influence and the power of social psychology. As you may have guessed, the effects of social influence are not as simple as a group of people yawning one by one. In fact, some of the biggest atrocities and victories in history could not have occurred without social influences on behavior and thinking.

Now think about what you know about your individual differences and what makes you uniquely you. Are you born with certain personality traits or are they learned by interacting with your environment? As you are probably learning by now, the answer is that it is likely some of both! Your personality is a result of your biological predisposition, social and cultural background, and life experiences.