Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SWK 5223)

A course at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work taught by Carrie Jankowski, MSSW, LCSW

Month: November 2016 (Page 2 of 3)


I have Jessica, three changes (additions really) that I may make is when taking about raising children in a gender open manner, I would ask open ended questions when letting children pick toys for example. In addition to the baby types you could add the easy baby who is rather adaptive, not matter what. Finally, I really like your blog concerning pre-school children, in addition, if they are deprived at home, some structured learning could be helpful to their development. You have great answers overall.

As a teen I was well grounded in my faith, and stayed away from sex and drugs. One negative aspect is that I did not really talk aspects over with my parents as they were very busy, and I also did not want to worry them.

Blog Post 10

Give one example of your own thinking at one or more points in your life that reflect the following:




What are two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current level of thinking?

When reflecting on my own life a point in my life that reflected dualism according to Broderick (2015), was  when I was a moving out of my mom’s home and going to college. There was really no view of anyone else being right or knowing the right direction for me to go except for my mom. Anything that I thought about doing such as jobs or careers I always ran it by my mom. She would also talk to my grandmother about it. When anyone else told me something else I should do or try I remember having tunnel vision and thinking their ideas were wrong for me.  Next going back to college when learning more in dept about religions and sciences it made me think about all the things I was taught in high school or at church about religion and science. It contradicted my thoughts about some of the upbringings that I was use to. This is an example of multiplicity (Broderick 2015). This made me question what was right and or wrong or who was right or wrong. Once I got in my senior year in college and we talked about cults and some of their thinking, I knew that it was not right and there was no reason to question what was right or wrong within those religions. In my mind those ways of thinking were irrelevant and did nothing but hurt those who believed in those false idols or peoples. The ideas that the leaders of these cults possess were not acceptable and were very questionable. This is relativism according to Broderick (2015).

Two events that could help a young adult develop into their current level of thinking in my opinion is taking some type of college or education training course to challenge their current views. Another event could be reading books, setting goals, and having dialogue with their peers.

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:     Pearson Education.

Young Adults and Intellectual/Ethical Developement

Broderick (2015) provides an overview of Perry’s Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development. The first stage of Intellectual/Ethical development for young adults is dualism, a type of thinking that creates strict boundaries between right and wrong, with the moral compass being provided by parents and other authority figures. Personally, I believe this stage is best illustrated by myself as a teenager. My parents provided a set of rules, and those were the rules I followed, regardless of their presence.

The next stage is the multiplicity stage. This stage is reached when a young adult begins to be confronted by points of view that rival the perspectives and “truths” they have had. I remember feeling disoriented and confused while listening to a guest instructor speak about theories of evolution and their legitimacy.

Skipping over a few stages, young adults eventually move into negotiating relativism, which is a place of determining what will be believed and what will not. It de-legitimizes some ideas, and legitimizes others, giving the young adult the space to create a moral compass that matches their beliefs. I believe this stage, for me, was reached in college when I decided what I would believe about people who identify as LGBTQ and the manner in which these individuals should be treated.

Marker events that can assist young adults as they move through these stages of thinking include higher education and exposure to new ideas through work and volunteer experiences.

Broderick, The Life Span (2015)


When reviewing examples of my own thinking at one or more points in my life that reflect dualism, multiplicity and relativism, I will begin with dualism.  Broderick (2015) states dualistic thinking implies a rigid adherence to authoritarian views and when I thought like this, who I viewed as an authority, was automatically seen as right or correct. During my late adolescence and early adulthood, the views presented to be regarding church and spiritual beliefs were accepted as true and correct, without question.

When examining the subject of multiplicity, it involves people thinking about numerous different ideas, theories, other perspectives.  I recall begrudgingly accepting that there were different perspectives that I had not been exposed to and how painful it was in the beginning to process all of that new information, but how it soon became an interesting opportunity to challenge previously held beliefs while exploring other options.

In regards to relativism, I recall the moment when I discovered that ideas and differing opinions were to be respected; however, in order for them to be accepted, I had to challenge their authenticity and seek evidence to prove their validity.  I think that is a manner in which I approach new information to this day – be open to it, explore it, assess the information according to some level of evidence and accept what the evidence provides.

Two marker events that could possibly lead to a young adult person developing into their current level of thinking might be any significant events that provide changes in lifestyle, responsibility or circumstances; for instance, graduating from college and the new challenges and opportunities that await an individual at such an impactful time in life or meeting that special person that totally changes one’s thinking about the future and how the new person can be a part of it.



I believe that my thinking as an older child was pretty dualistic. I was idealistic and right and wrong were pretty concrete for me.

Perhaps upon entering into high school, there were a lot of bad examples in my Colorado school, I think the kind of dualism became multiplicity in that it was obvious that some ideas were not exactly as my parents had explained.  Considerations such as, perhaps things have changed since my parents went to school emerged.

Relativism came to me more in college, when I went out of state. I now had to think on my own, without parents around, nor the influence of the hometown. I had great college years in the respects of being a student and socially. I think that I could view knowledge as relative to the situation, by comparing evidence and opinions. (Broderick,2015,pp. 421 chart).

Young adults could be going through completing formal education and entering the adult work force.  They could become much more responsible and be thinking about a meaningful relationship and children ( Broderick, 2015, pp. 409).



Give one example of your own thinking at one or more points in your life that reflect the following:

dualism, multiplicity, relativism

What are two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current level of thinking?

I think that one point in my life where dualism existed was when I was in college. There was definitely times when you knew that you had to do what was right, complete your papers on time and then there is always the group that goes to college and does not really care to do any work.

With multiplicity I think this was also during college. You go into college with a way of thinking and then you have professors and peers that challenge your thoughts in several different ways. This was definitely a struggle for me but a great challenging experience as well.

I think relativism was when I got my first job that pertained to my schooling. I was a case manager and definitely felt like those who were there longer as my equal. We could relate to our work but they could also share knowledge.

I believe two marker events would be different for each person. One major marker event could be going to college for the first time. I think that when a young adult goes to a school that is challenging and teaches them knew ways of thinking it will develop them to a more mature thinker. The next challenging event I think would be in having a career they feel will be something they will be in for awhile. Most of the time young adults jump from job to job and never gain stability. I believe if a person can find a job they are challenged by then this can also help develop and understanding of maybe not who they are but who they want to be. I think it is important to create an understanding of who you want to be by the professions your are in. Your career can be challenging but will ultimately make you a stronger knowledgeable person.

BP 10

Give one example of your own thinking at one or more points in your life that reflect the following:

dualism- I can remember thinking as a young adult (18) that it wasn’t right to question teachers or political figures because “they knew what they were talking about”. It didn’t occur to me that ideas and opinions could be challenged so easily. As a result, I hardly ever spoke up in classes to provide my own opinions for fear of being chastised.

multiplicity- As I grew older, I learned that people have different viewpoints and just because I didn’t agree with them didn’t necessarily make those people wrong. I was able to learn from other people from a variety of backgrounds in my undergraduate classes.

relativism- Later after graduating college, I felt that I could sufficiently support or defend my own ideas. I had developed beliefs through the friends and experiences I had in college and this allowed me to shape my personality further. I ended up moving to a foreign country where many ideas and beliefs were very different from my own but through experience, I was able to defend my points and ultimately allow others to see things from my perspective.

What are two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current level of thinking?

A marker event such as forming a romantic relationship with another person is something that could help a young adult develop their personality and beliefs. People in intimate relationships tend to have discussions about shared desires and wants. They may have similar goals and it helps to form a more solid belief system. Another event that aids young people in developing thinking is to start a new job. Many young people just out of college start out in entry level jobs and these jobs help form identities. People meet coworkers and form friendships that allow people to exchange ideas.

BP 10: From Duality to Relativism

Give one example of your own thinking at one or more points in your life that reflect the following:


When I was around fifteen years old, I believed that any status quo life of school, marriage, and career was a fraud, believing that individuals who were on this path were all equally misguided.


After the romantic indulgence of my nomadic teen years dwindled, I lead myself into a young adulthood of resource challenges. My struggles and experiences began opening my mind to the simplicity of a working man’s life. I saw that authentic lives can have many different faces.


In my late twenties, my desire for a sense of purpose caused me to initiate a commitment to social work. After experiencing the implications of this commitment, I began to establish a substantive identity.

What are two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current level of thinking?

When young people first read non-assigned literature and discover varying viewpoints, which differ from their family and peers.

Another important marker event, is the first time a young adult goes away for a weekend, vacation, or summer, without their family.




Broderick (2015) explains Perry’s Theory of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years. In Perry’s theory, the first position the majority already surpasses is dualism. This means someone never questions their beliefs that some in an authoritative position is wrong. In my life this would have happened as a child when being taught several different things at home or in school. An example of this would be the teaching of Christopher Columbus. Another position in Perry’s theory is multiplicity.  This means someone is unsure of what to believe because now they are faced with several perspectives. I would have probably emerged with this position when I first moved out of my parents home. I was working with a diverse group of people and were faced to think about cultural differences such as how people spend their holidays. I was unsure if what I believed was even right. The next position in Perry’s theory is relativism. This marks a major change in intellectual development. During this position someone has affirmation in their own beliefs and is able to commit to their own beliefs. This would have defined my time in my undergrad in social work. I was raised in a very conservative family and have chosen a liberal field. I am able to stand by my beliefs while respecting my family’s opinions. A young adult in today’s times could achieve these different positions of thinking by moving out on their own and being employed with a diverse group of people.


Give one example of your own thinking at one or more points in your life that reflect the following:

dualism- An example in my own thinking for dualism would be when I believed that I and those in my in group had the “right” ideas and those that were different than me or in the out group had the wrong ideas. This would have occurred before I was questioning the rightness of those in my in group such as my parents when I was a teenager.

multiplicity- An example of multiplicity in my own thinking would be when I was surrounded my numerous viewpoints and learned that there are numerous perspectives to consider.

relativism- An example of relativism in my own thinking would be that through evidence I know what is right and that not all all ideas are equally good.

What are two marker events that could help a young adult to develop into their current level of thinking?

Broderick (2015) states that one marker event according to Perry’s theory of postformal thought that develops these different levels of thinking would be going to college or higher education where one would be taking advanced courses and hearing numerous different viewpoints. Another marker would be being around people that are considered to be in your out group. Spending time with those that hold different viewpoints can help develop their thinking and beliefs.

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