Analyzing Shifts in Human Behaviour
This is supposed to be a private journal entry for a small audience, but since it doesn’t contain too many personal details, I suppose it can be declassified.
Variables in Personality
I suppose it should seem obvious that everyone changes. Every person does change over time, influenced by many factors in their environment, the people with which they frequently interact, the shifts in society, and undoubtedly countless other factors.
For the sake of argument (or, rather, for the sake of this journal), let’s call each personality trait, or characteristic, a variable in personality. For instance, we could then label “music preferences”, “religious/ideological views”, and “political views” as three of the many variables in personality. (Actually, let the term variable take the place of variable in personality, just for the ease of typing this.)
Once we see that these things are indeed variable — in the true sense of the word — we can then understand how one’s behaviour depends on those variables. Perhaps we can even analyze the things upon which those variables depend…
Let’s take the three examples above, of music preferences, religious/ideological/theological views, and political views as the three variables in the personality of person A.
The first observation may be that the second variable, religious/ideological/theological views, can influence both of the other variables. Since this ties into what affects variables, I’ll leave this for the next section.
All right. Music preferences are sure to influence these things in one’s behaviour:
- Use of time — those who are dedicated to their music are likely to listen to it in multiple occasions (while working, in spare time, etc), and;
- Use of money — many who are loyal to certain artists or groups end up purchasing multiple works from those artists or groups.
Additionally, some generalizations (with exceptions) may show that musical preferences also influence:
- Physical appearance & fashion — in some cases, not all, and not most, musical preferences can lead to adaptations in fashion, such as with die-hard fanatics of certain sub-cultures. In other cases, physical appearance & fashion may reflect the same cause as one’s choice of music, such as in the case of “refined” or “cultured” individuals.
- Thoughts and ideas — once again, this intrudes into the next section about “what influences the variables?”, but it is nevertheless often true that the ideas from a musical piece — such as hip hop, or rap if you consider that to be music — permeate into one’s psyche over time; prolonged exposure to such ideas has a definite impact, unless the person is totally incapable of comprehending the lyrics (if they were in a different language);
- Actions — in some cases, musical preferences will influence physical actions. For instance, a person who deeply appreciates the saxophone from an early age may grow up to play the instrument. Likewise, a person who deeply appreciates dance music is likely to devote some attention to “dance”. In other cases, it is possible that lyrics of an angry nature can provoke: a) a similar emotion in the listener, or possibly; b) an emotion of the positive nature, where the angry lyrics are a vent for pent-up emotions.
When something as seemingly insignificant as music preferences can influence so many aspects of a person’s life, just imagine what religion does.
Religious/ideological/theological values are sure to influence:
- Thoughts and ideas — actually, this is a bit of a misleading effect, since those values are thoughts and ideas. In any case, one’s other thoughts and ideas are sure to derive some logic from their beliefs;
- Actions — if one’s values include non-aggression, surely one’s actions will be controlled by those thoughts; if one’s values consist of the propagation of their values, it is likewise likely that one will attempt to convince others of their beliefs; if one is a devout evangelical Christian, it is very likely that they will lead lives as dictated by the Bible (or those who interpret it)
Additionally, some examples show that religious/ideological/theological values are often applied to other aspects of life:
- Use of time — I have rarely encountered a person devoted to their faith who does not spend considerable time developing or spreading their faith; however, if one’s values are much less religious in nature, and more ideological — for instance, if one is supports abortion on scientific grounds — it is nevertheless possible that one does not devote much of one’s time to promoting one’s cause
EDIT: Visit the Part II article to read more.