The Psychology of Being Born Good or Bad

It is challenging for one to define a clear boundary between whether a person is good or bad. However, one may argue that all people are born good since one has no idea what evil is being newborn. In the future, a person’s actions in certain circumstances determine who the individual is throughout one’s life. Usually, a newborn child does not know envy, betrayal, violence, and other negative manifestations of human nature. However, some actions addressed to an individual in childhood may have an impact on a person in the future. In other words, if one grew up in an unfavorable environment, one is more likely to be violent towards others in the future. No one is born bad; therefore, evil is not a hereditary illness; DNA does not transmit it. Thus, all people are born equally good; however, the process of growing up determines their future nature.

Moreover, when a person is conceived with a clean slate, the individual they will develop is decided but not fixed at birth. People can transform; for example, those who have done bad things in the past may change into admirable ones. Some individuals realize that what they have done is wrong, while others understand the implications of their actions on society. Still, others discover a higher spiritual authority, such as God, Allah, Buddha, and others, to whom they turn for guidance. To the most extent, the process of transformation occurs due to the perception of the world, which is acquiring knowledge from the environment (Capdevila et al., 2015a). Ideally, children are born with the virtue of goodness; nevertheless, factors such as psychological and upbringing variations can transform them to be morally upright.

Generally, human beings are conceived to pursue goodness and kindness. In this way, an individual precisely mirrors everything in utopic view in their personal life; a baby with intellectual parents and a decent education will likely be brilliant. A person with poor parenting will have a significant mental condition. Further, research has shown that obedience can fuel bad individuals to be good, depending on the pressure put on them by their guardians. In particular, Milgram’s shock generator study exacerbated how learners become traumatic when a lot of pressure is exerted on them. For example, the more the volts are fueled, the more pain they feel, and the more it makes them vicious and defiant.

The increased intensity shows how they are writhing in pain as they turn violent. Therefore, this can relate to a parent who exercises a lot of unbridled strictness on the child to render them obedient and thus eliminate thoughts of being evil. At the same time, a child with understanding and compassionate parents can enhance such children to be intelligent and obedient since they are directed accordingly. This is explained by the informational influence when one looks for others who are better informed for the correct answer (Capdevila et al., 2015b). Exercising tyrannical means to make one obedient can bolster them to be mean, and as a result, they grow up to be bad people with immense psychological problems.

Nonetheless, inherently good people can be bad; for instance, a poorly brought child who bullies others develops an estranged relationship with children of the same age. The illustration is that such bullies tend to be loners as they are avoided. Hence, to transform their character, they can develop cordial relationships that can lead to a change in mentality. Developing friendship is fundamental; indeed, it may be a vague and hazy notion in individualistic societies and signify togetherness to individuals at various points in their lives. Consequently, a voluntary dependency between two people occurs over time, but that interdependence might vary significantly from one individual to the next. The primary purpose of friendship is to assist the participants in achieving their socio-emotional objectives against bullies, but no rules dictate how affinity should be achieved.

Additionally, lack of conformity in childhood can lead to adversities that develop into pathological problems. Furthermore, it can be a root of evil to a good individual, for instance, in the story of Adolf Hitler, who at school was a popular student but had a detached relationship with the rest of his classmates. Ultimately, he dropped school, and afterward, he became the commander in Germany and resorted to violence. It may be formulated by the process of learning when one has one’s own unique form of the world (Capdevila et al., 2015c). Adolf Hitler probably felt justified in seeking to exterminate all Jews. He felt Jews were the source of all evil and issues; they had betrayed and murdered Jesus despite his love and gentleness.

Considering that for each person, the picture of the world is formed uniquely, in some conditions, for certain people, negative things can have a different meaning. In addition, the formation of a picture of the world depends on the conditions in which one was born and raised. However, most people agree that Hitler’s actions were utterly wrong and unethical in modern times. Factually, had Hitler’s childhood been a jovial one with few folks, he would remain to be a good person. Thus, his lack of conformity and the inability of his father to check his growth after dropping school turned him into evil.

Furthermore, the pain one can undergo in childhood can make such people aggressive, which affects them to be evil. Thence, people who endure pain are more likely to experience psychological distress, caused mainly by feelings of denial, rejection, and guilt. In other words, negative factors in childhood form a respective understanding of the world as one begins to focus on the negative. It is similar to perceptual learning when one begins to distinguish different objects with the help of focusing (Capdevila et al., 2015a). Certainly, it happens on the basis of the previous teachings, just as cruelty happens on the basis of the negative in childhood.

Nonetheless, some psychologists argue that some people are born naturally evil. In this case, such people typically wait for the right time to strike their sinful nature. Still, such people’s character can be tamed until they are good persons. For example, such an individual can develop the virtue of empathy. It entails a psychological process through which one may envision how others would think or feel in a particular scenario. Likewise, it underscores the capacity to make rational judgments about what others may be feeling in a given circumstance based on available facts. It pertains to the capacity to feel what others would endure and experience their misery vicariously. Thus, such individuals can vow to transform and be good people once they view the detriments they cause to others when they do evil.

Typically, individuals deemed as evil can be rehabilitated to become virtuous. In this regard, by exacerbating the act of humility, which is a vital asset in engaging the brain to release the oxytocin hormone. Therefore, it plays a part in creating social relationships and believing other individuals. It is the hormone mothers generate when they nurse babies, thus establishing their relationship with them; the bond they make enables them to be well mannered. Oxytocin is also generated when people are physically affectionate. It is connected to making people more trusting and charitable.

To conclude, people are born equal, and considering children do not know about cruelty and evil in the early years of life, humans are born good. However, being evil is dependable on various discrepancies that people undergo as they grow and develop. A morally upright child can change into a bad person; simultaneously, a lousy one can become a good toddler. Various ways of parenting can accentuate this notion. Some parents can raise their children using vile measures that make them docile and estranged from others. On the same note, some passionate parents subject their children to better education and exhibit devoted attachment towards them.

Reference List

Capdevila, R., Dixon, J., and Briggs, G. (2015a). Investigating psychology 2 – from cognitive to biological. The Open University.

Capdevila, R., Dixon, J., and Briggs, G. (2015b). Investigating psychology 2 – from social to cognitive. The Open University.

Capdevila, R., Dixon, J., and Briggs, G. (2015c). Investigating psychology 2 – from biological to developmental. The Open University.

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