People’s behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making.
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University: Nanjing Audit University
July 16, 2019 at 11:13 am
GRE essay: People’s behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
Human behavior can be influenced by both internal and external factors. In this statement, the author asserts that people’s behavior is largely determined by external factors rather than their own minds. However, the distinct nature of internal forces also affects decision-making. Thus, both external forces and people’s decision-making perceptions help to shape human behaviors.
On one hand, external forces stipulate regulations to hold people accountable for their behavior. There is a general consensus that people must obey the rules to guarantee each other’s safety. Laws determine to a large extent what can or cannot be done. For instance, some companies may copy or steal others’ intellectual property to boost sales. Without the punishment of laws, such behavior might cause social disorder. This means that decisions can only be made in a socially acceptable way.
That being said, I would argue that people are mentally capable of making decisions and implementing their plans. If their decisions have little to do with social norms, then people can certainly follow their own will. For instance, people can choose different colors to paint houses at their discretion because they have the right to make use of their own money. As long as decisions do not conflict with social guidelines, people can make decisions reflecting personal volition.
In line with the discussion above both external and internal factors apparently affect our decisions. Different kinds of investment products can be considered as long as people do not make use of their money illegally. The authority figures provide people with a limited social environment; inside of which people are able to decide freely. This means that external forces and the internal mental world jointly shape people’s choices.
To sum up, the mechanisms of external and internal forces are both of vital importance. Merely emphasizing the influence of external forces is one-sided.
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