Minds shaped by social relationships – Before we begin, it is important to understand that the mind is an emergent process of the brain and body working together (see Damassio for a discussion). The mind is closely tied to both our physical selves and our behaviors; it is NOT separate from the body. In fact, the only way to truly understand the mind is to observe behavior and the bio-electrical and bio-chemical reactions of the brain.
We may thus conclude that a wide range of events that have various effects on various areas of the mind develop minds.
People’s knowledge may be influenced through education, reading, and experience, but it is also influenced by prior encounters and social interactions. Take a look at the cognitive schema research, particularly that of Piaget and Schutz. You should concentrate on Piaget and his followers if you have a specific interest in how the brain develops.
Adults’ purchasing decisions and behaviors are mostly influenced by two variables, according to study by individuals like Earles: habits and peer behavior (“I’ll have what she’s having!”). It should be mentioned that the definition of a peer is extremely individualized. Children and babies often view their parents as peers until other peers appear.
An individual who belongs to a gang is more likely to view other gang members as peers and “goody-goody” types as NOT. Furthermore, peer behavior is more likely to be imitated when there are no established habits for the person to fall back on. Evidently, adopting peers’ behaviors may develop into habits, thus there is some reinforcement between the two.
Of course, it’s not quite that straightforward; occasionally, people act in ways that are inconsistent with those of their peers and make choices that are out of the ordinary. Cognitive schema have a role in this. The findings of Earles are theoretically supported by cognitive schema theory, which also introduces variability.
Schutz believed that each individual had a reservoir of information, or a storehouse of schemas, that were automatically and subconsciously triggered in response to various situations. Huessman demonstrates how fairly comparable situations can result in completely distinct patterns of behavior (i.e. schema). A person’s recurring behaviors are tendencies rather than absolute laws. Depending on the situation, they are patterns that may and do alter.