You might’ve heard and might even believe the statement, “People can’t change.” There is also the long-running debate in psychology on nature vs. nurture. Are people born a certain way because of genes or do they do become that way because of environment and upbringing? Most people will say, to some degree both.
The question then becomes, regardless of whether it’s genetics or the environment, “Is change is possible?” What change is possible and what isn’t? What can we change and what can’t we change?
Plasticity is the term scientists, and psychologists use for what changes and what doesn’t. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change. The book The Brain That Changes Itself details many astounding cases of neuroplasticity. So while genetics and biology can play a role in a person’s psychology, it doesn’t mean that change is impossible.
Co-founder of positive psychology Martin Seligman, in his book What You Can Change and What You Can’t, claims that there are things we can change and things we can’t change.