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Impact Of Diversity And Demographic Characteristics On Individual Behavior

1307 words - 5 pages

Human behavior can be a complex subject to understand. There are a number of elements that come together to help shape behaviors in both group and individual contexts. Factors such as culture, social norms, environment, stress, attitudes, values, perceptions, and personality all play a vital role in influencing an individual’s behavior. Bezzi and Groenevelt (2006) state that “individuals are complex entities: their actions depend not only on the sensory context, but also on various hard to measure factors such as past personal history, attention, attitudes, experiences, and emotions” (para. 1). In observing individual behavior, one can develop some insight to what factors greatly influence behavior and how those behaviors affect people and the surrounding environment. In this paper, I will attempt to examine diversity and demographic characteristics such as religion, personality traits, and sexual orientation and explain their impact on individual behavior.Religion’s Impact on Individual BehaviorReligion is a powerful influence on behavior. Those who have religious beliefs and are associated with a religion often incorporate religious teachings into their everyday lives. Religion can shape a person’s values, beliefs, and attitudes. Their religious doctrines often dictate certain actions and behaviors and have a bearing on ways of thinking. Christianity, for example, teaches the importance of morals. Christians are encouraged have strong moral bearings and their behaviors should be in accordance with those morals. A Christian is likely to attend church, partake in fellowship, and will want to interact with other spiritual individuals. Religion can help in renewing dedication and commitment to many areas of a person’s life, i.e. family and marriage. Studies have shown that regular practice of religion increased marital stability and satisfaction (Fagan, 2006, para. 8). Religion can give people a better outlook on life. Some religions allude to the existence of a world beyond the living, some teach about reincarnation. Christians believe in an afterlife and this influences them to live their lives by the teachings of Jesus Christ. Believing in heaven and eventually being in the grace of God gives people a purpose to live morally and righteously. Religious beliefs can help an individual to steer clear of undesired behaviors such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence. Fagan notes that “research indicates that a higher level of religious involvement is associated with a reduced likelihood of abusing alcohol” (para. 17).Personality TraitsPersonality traits have a considerable influence on individual behavior and generate both adverse and favorable behaviors. One trait that impacts behavior is called the Big 5. Likely behavioral outcomes are measured depending on specific trait levels in which an individual falls under using the Big 5 factor model. The five basic dimensions include neuroticism, extraversion,...

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