Influences of Heredity and Family

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Influence of Environment

Role of

Theoretical Approach Explaining Individual’s Behaviors and Achievements

Life Span Development and Personality

The history of world is full of examples of personalities who belonged to humble surroundings but emerged to change the fate of nation. There have been uncountable instances when a person breaks centuries’ old accepted customs and makes a new way to follow for all the ones around him. It is important to discuss what gives him the courage to disregard the old traditions and make his own way. Clearly, there is a vision which does not let a person stay contented with present circumstances and forces him to do something new and good to the people. Vision is the product of development psychology and this paper is about development psychology in which the concepts are applied on the personality of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The paper explains how he went through various stages of psychological development and the forces which had the greatest influence over his personality.

Introduction to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Negro leader of 20th century (Stobaugh, 2012, p. 314). He fought for the rights of colored people of America and was awarded the (Walker and Armstrong, 2008). It is important to mention that Martin got this Prize at the age of 35 years and at that time; he was the youngest Nobel Prize Winner. He was the one who gave his race the vision of liberty by his unforgettable speech stating I have a dream (Echols, 2004). It was because of his endless and dedicated efforts that rights of Negros were recognized in America. Martin had a sad death. The peace lover was assassinated right at the day when he was about to lead a protest with city garbage collectors. His love for humanity and ambition for freedom will always be remembered in the political history of America and Negros. He was a human rights icon and won freedom all over the world.

Influences of Heredity and Family

The review of early life of Martin highlights that he belonged to a religious family and was brought up on the same lines. His father and grandfather were pastors and he adopted the same line with zeal and zest (Hornsby, 2004). He considered his position as a source of winning people’s hearts. As he came across many people during his service at church, he realized that African-Americans were unhappy about their political status but were forced to stay silent. Martin had deep love for his people and he was passionate about the rights of his race as well. He found his position a platform to fight for his people and the position was further strengthened by his family associations with the church. People trusted him for his services at church and respected him for the feelings he had for his race.

Influence of Environment

Though Martin was a son of pastor, he was equipped with necessary qualification in the modern schools which helped him understand various aspects of life. The trainings provided by his father, the atmosphere maintained by family members and the college education helped Martin broaden his canvass and think of his people. He realized that development of his race is possible only through active contact with decision makers and someone has to take the lead. Instead of waiting for a leader to listen to his voice, he thought of becoming a leader to spread the voice of uncountable members of his race. He joined formal politics under the umbrella of National Association for Advancement of Colored People (Alaxander, 2010).

Role of Social Support Systems

It was dedication for advancement of his people which forced Martin face every challenge with open arms and stay steadfast to achieve his goals. It was the time when Negroes were suppressed in American community and their rights were not granted to them. Martin was determined to get them accepted as an equal race as others. It was an aggressive movement and Americans fought vigorously against it. During this opposition, Martin was put behind the bars and his house was bombed (Devillier, 2001). Even such brutal activities could not throw cold water upon the ambitions of Martin who was backed by uncountable Negroes. They were the people who had accepted him as first class hero and were ready to die to save his life. The conviction paid them in good faith and Martin came out successfully. He achieved his goal with the support of his followers. It goes without saying that he was the one who had a dream for his peoples and uncountable supporters had turned that dream into a bright reality.

Theoretical Approach Explaining Individual’s Behaviors and Achievements

The review of martin’s personality highlights that psychological development is the function of cognition which can be affected by external environmental factors. In other words, it can be said that the way Martin was brought up, gave him a leadership approach but his leadership potential was unleashed by the situations he was observing around him. The external environment was demanding from him the behavior aligned with is cognition. He had leadership traits and the situations called for effective use of those skills.

It is quite possible that the world would have known Martin from some other perspective had he not belonged to African-Americans and they were not suppressed. He could have used his leadership skills some other way may be through promotion of welfare services.


Alaxander, L. (2010). Encyclopedia of African-American History, Volume 1. USA: ABC-CLIO

Devillier, C. (2001). Martin Luther King, Jr. USA: ABDO.

Echols, J. (2004). I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. And the Future of Multicultural America. USA: Fortress Press.

Hornsby, A. (2004). Southerners, Too? Essays On The Black South 1733-1990. USA: University Press of America.

Stobaugh, J.P. (2012). American History, High School Level: Observations & Assessments from Early Settlement to Today. USA: New Leaf Publishing Group

Walker, I. And Armstrong, T. (2008). The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. USA: ABDO.