ENVIRONMENT AND ITS INFLUENCE
Environment here means social and cultural environment especially. Physical environment also becomes the part of social environment when it is used in the learning process. When an individual lives in a society, in a family, he learns many things from the social and cultural environment. These learnings bring about certain changes in his behaviour. Some of these changes may be of permanent nature. These permanent changes become the part and parcel of his habits. When these habits are converted into values after maturity, they become the representative traits of the individual. Individual is now recognized with these traits.
Influence of Environment in Shaping the Personality
The role or contribution of environment is no less than that of the heredity. In fact human being is a by product of heredity and environment both. The importance of environment in the process of growth and development can be understood by the following example.
A missionary in (Midnapur) Bihar found two children who were taken by wolves in early children hood. These children were reared in the company of wolves in beast environment. They learned to walk on four feet, ate raw flesh and verbalized like wolves. These children were brought back from the forest and kept in a hospital. One of them died next day and the other could hardly learn elementary things. This study shows that if suitable environment is not provided to a person, his genetic qualities will not flourish at all.
On the basis of studies on heredity and environment with regard to growth and development following conclusions can be drawn:
1.Heredity and environment both play combined role in the development of personality of an individual.
2. Heredity does not determine any trait of the personality in isolation. It only provides a base and then environment develops the trait.
3. Subjective traits of the individual like physique, colour of skin, resistance level of the body etc are determined by the hereditary factors. Certain diseases are also inherited because of low resistability of the body of the individual.
4. Bad environment can surpass good inheritance but good environment is not a substitute for poor heredity. It means heredity sets a limit for the maximum development. Even good training and experiences will not enable the person to cross this limit. On the other hand, even good man by genes can be made corrupt in a bad environment.
5. Training and experiences can improve the traits of an individual to a great extent. Even intelligence level can be improved to some extent