Examined Life Descrtion Of Othello, Developing Genome, And 40 Studies That Changed The World - Champlain College - Assignment

1712 words - 7 pages

Samuels 1
Damion Samuels
David Kite
Concepts of the Self COR-110-09/10
December 10, 2018
Do we really make choices or do we only tell ourselves that we are in control of our
lives? This is a question which I think most people have asked themselves at least once or twice
during the different stages of their lives. It is a question that raises a lot of other questions and
makes one think about their decisions with more emphasis on if they are the one calling the
shots. It also has the effect of raising doubt in a person’s decision making and thought process. It
raises questions such as am I the one making these choices and decisions, or is it pre-
determined? And even if it is, am I being manipulated into it? These are just some of the
questions that arise when we try to answer the main question which is do we really make choices
or do we only tell ourselves that we are in control of our lives? This tends to be very difficult for
people as they believe they have free will and freedom so thus the choices they make must be of
their own accord. To answer this daunting question, we will be looking at research done by
famous psychologists such as Skinner and Rotter not to mention works from Cynthia Freeland’s
book “Portraits & Persons”.
The reason why this question has such relevance is that it pertains to every decision you
make in your daily life as it questions whether you're the one actually making the decisions or
are you being controlled by innate or external forces or conditions. For me, this question was
first raised, not when I entered college, but when I was in high school. I started making decisions
at a certain time in my life that felt right but also felt forced as if I was not truly the one making
Samuels 2
the decisions. These decisions were based on course subjects I would choose, clubs I would join
and what I would be doing with the rest of my life. The moment I realized that something was
off was when my girlfriend asked me why are you doing those courses and joining those clubs
and I didn’t have a plausible answer. It was then that I did some self-reflection to find out the
reasons why I choose those things without giving it much thought. I started to realize it was
based on learned preconceptions about those courses and the fact that those activities involved
most if not all of my friends. I thought I was in control and the one making the decisions.
However, looking back at those years, it may have been outside influences that swayed me to
make those decisions where I thought I was the one making them.
Based on Skinner theories, all choices are results of learned behaviors which become
innate without the person realizing it. According to Skinner, “all behaviors—including public
(or external) behavior, as well as private (or internal) events such as feelings and thoughts—are
ultimately learned and controlled by the relationships between the situation that immediately
precedes the behavior and the consequences that directly fol...

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