In the story “Invisibilia: Is Your Personality Fixed, Or Can You Change Who You Are?” by Alix Spiegel, I am for change. I support that individuals can change their personalities. It is a fact that people have different characters, and that their personalities are defined by particular traits, including extroversion, conscientiousness, and sociability. However, these traits are not stable and can change depending on an individual’s environment, relationship, or role. An individual who is friendly at the age of twenty may become unfriendly at the age of forty, especially after interacting with people who act against the wish of the individual.
Spiegel gives an example of teachers who are required to give an electric shock to learners when they get an answer wrong. Administering an electric shock to another person is an inhuman act, yet the teachers agree to do it even though it is making them uncomfortable. The fact that they are uncomfortable means that under different circumstances, the teachers would never do such an inhuman act. Since the situation forces them to do so, the conditions transform their human personality.
In the story, Dan, the prisoner could have been the horrible person who had done the brutal acts mentioned. However, after staying in a correctional facility, he could have changed his behaviors and personality in general. It could be possible that interacting with many horrible people in the institution could have changed him. Alternatively, the relationship that Dan established with Cohen could have influenced him to want to become a better person. Dan says that hurting his friend made him change his personality. Moreover, he quit the group that promoted his violent nature. Changing his company also helped him reconfigure his character. It is, therefore, possible that individuals can change who they are by changing their environment.
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