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Junior Member
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
Some of the biggest things that I believe influence your thinking are family, peers, and exposure. The people you spend time with and grow up around have a large influence on your beliefs and in many ways are responsible for shaping them, but I also think that what a person is exposed to can be a defining factor. For example if people have been exposed to many different experiences and cultures throughout their lives they may be more accepting of those differences then someone who has only been around people of the same ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. as them. This is a very broad generalization, but as someone who grew up in a small town with little to no diversity it was a different experience going to college where I was surrounded by people who came from all different places and experiences. Learning about different people and making friends from around the world helped change my beliefs and expanded my world view. Based on my own experience, I do believe that our beliefs can be changed. We are influenced by our experiences and the people we meet, which are always changing, and we change with them.

Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #2 
1. Things that influence my thinking and point of view are morals and religious belief, family values, and goals. When making a decision or reflecting on a situation, I find that many of my conclusions and how I interpret the situation is based on my personal definitions of right versus wrong. These morals also shape how I approach activities and communication, since I want to behave based on what is appropriate and make decisions to do the right thing. Religious values also largely influence my perspective, especially since I work at a religious school. I want to act not only based on my personal religious beliefs, but I want to demonstrate to children how religious values can positively influence decisions and behavior. Family values, like morals, also shape my thinking because I have grown up adhering to and adapting my family beliefs. Finally, goals largely influence my thinking. When viewing a situation, my desired end goal often combines with my morals to help me act in an appropriate way that will help me accomplish aims. 
2. When perspectives differ, people often respond by either trying to understand the opposing view or trying to prove their view is 'correct'. Seeking an understanding promotes personal reflection about views and often leads to the development, and even changing, of views. Gaining awareness about personal biases and flaws prompt us to change our perspective. 
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