Human Behaviour and Performance Are the Result of Multiple Influences.' Examine and Assess This Assertion, Drawing on Examples from Chapter 1,6 and 7 of Discovering Psychology.

1837 Words Nov 8th, 2012 8 Pages
'Human behaviour and performance are the result of multiple influences.' Examine and assess this assertion, drawing on examples from Chapter 1,6 and 7 of Discovering Psychology.

Internal and External Influences on Human Behaviour and Performance

Research has examined the influence of a wide range of factors on human behaviour and performance. These may be linked to theoretical and technological developments (for example, the influence of behaviourism and conditioning, or brain imaging techniques in examining the structure and function of mental processes). These factors can also be split into those which are internal and external. Internal factors are more stable and linked to a person’s biological (or even genetic) make-up or core
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Behaviour then may also be shaped by external factors.

Interactions with others are important external factors. One avenue of research in this area has focussed on friendships in childhood and beyond. Bukowski et al. (1996) argued that setting out a single definition of friendship was problematic, because different populations and cultures treat friendships in different ways. Hartup (1996) suggested that was impractical to class people into ‘friends’ and ‘non-friends’ because there are different, complex types of friendships, with some more intimate and close than others.

How might friendships influence behaviour? Friendships may have positive and negative impacts on a person’s actions, from participation in activities or risk behaviours, to academic achievement and learning. Erwin (1998) proposed that peer groups and friendships could in fact support the values instilled by parents, rather than prompting individuals to reject them. MacLeod et al. (2008) looked at a single risky behaviour, and considered whether peer influence was a passive process (the individual copying the actions of others) or a more interactive one (the individual selecting their peers and the uptake of behaviour more dynamic). MacLeod et al.’s qualitative study used telephone interviews to investigate the
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