It is common in the media space to hear about how children of the same age who grew up in the same family show different, often opposing, characters in the future. One of the brothers dedicates his life to studying and building a career, while the other begins to lead a criminal lifestyle and ends up in prison. Such a case has been the subject of study by social scientists, who are trying to figure out what childhood events might have been a determinant of such serious differences in the characters of two close people (Axelrod et al., 2020). Attempts to study this question were unsuccessful because both people were together most of the time. Their parents gave them equal attention and material support, with differences in behavioral traits beginning to appear at age 10.
The psychological characteristics of the two men were further investigated. They were both assigned to the same type of temperament. Many psychological questionnaires showed similar results on the level of self-esteem and stress tolerance. Interviews with relatives and family friends revealed that neither brother had experienced any serious traumatic situations in childhood (Axelrod et al., 2020). One of the men, after finishing school, went to university and engaged in career building. The other did not want to receive higher education and began to work in a home appliance store. After a while, it turned out that the young man began to lead a suspicious lifestyle and had an unreasonably high level of income while continuing to work as a salesperson consultant.
A few months later, police officers arrived at the family home with a warrant for the arrest of the man, who was accused of fraud and stealing large sums of money. The man was later proven guilty, with the accused admitting his involvement in the theft and financial fraud. Since the other brother had already begun a career as a lawyer and was a relatively well-known professional in his city, the case aroused great public and scientific interest and prompted a wave of sociological research. The latter was unable to find any factors that influenced the emergence of deviant behavior in one of the brothers raised under similar conditions.
The source of the case is Axelrod, M., I., Coolong-Chaffin, M., & Hawkins, R. O. (2020). School-based behavioral intervention case studies. Routledge.
Maslow’s theory of human needs was developed in 1943. The American psychologist distributed human needs in ascending order. According to the scientist, it is impossible to desire something the highest if the primary needs are not met. The basis of the pyramid is physiological needs, such as the desire to quench hunger and the thirst to engage in sexual relations (Frankel et al., 2019). Above them come security, affection and love, respect and approval, and cognition. Abraham Maslow’s theory defines self-actualization as the highest need; the researcher specifies that each person’s set of needs is individual (Metzger, 2020). Some steps of the pyramid can change, and achieving exhaustive fulfillment of each position is not necessary to move to the next level.
This theory can explain the situation between the two brothers in terms of the nature of spiritual needs at the top of the pyramid. According to Maslow, the path of self-actualization is determined entirely by personal diligence and effort and cannot be physiologically conditioned (Kivisto, 2020). The differences in social behavior between the two young men were determined by a mismatch of spiritual needs at graduation. The depth of spiritual and personal effort directly affects what ideological demands one will make on one’s life. The differences in the fates of the two men are because, under equal conditions, the men had different degrees of psychological involvement in events, which led to divergent worldviews and ways of self-actualization. Being accustomed to conscientiousness and responsibility, one of the brothers saw building a legal career as the only way to fulfill himself, while the second brother, practicing ways of circumventing obligations or dishonest performance, found it normal for him to commit crimes.
Axelrod, M., I., Coolong-Chaffin, M., & Hawkins, R. O. (2020). School-based behavioral intervention case studies. Routledge.
Frankel, A. J., Gelman, S. R., & Pastor, D. K. (2019). Case management: An introduction to concepts and skills (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Kivisto, P. J. (2020). Social theory: Roots & branches (6th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Metzger, H. (2020). How to analyze people: The little-known secrets to speed reading a human, analyzing personality types and applying behavioral psychology. Independently published.