Hello and welcome to my second research round for my question “where does personality come from”. In my 1st research round, I covered some of the various theories as to how personality is formed and I talked about where in the brain controls our personality. One of the main theories I discussed was the nature vs. nurture theory. Nature points more towards our genetics being responsible for our personality. Nurture suggests our environment is responsible for our personality. Over the next couple research rounds, I will be diving a little deeper into the nature vs. nurture debate. Today I will be looking at nature and asking the question: “are we born with our personality ?”
First, let’s look at some studies and proof to try and answer our question “are we born with personality”. Physical characteristics like the colour of our eyes or hair or the height we become are influenced by our parents and genetics. (1) So, if physical characteristics are influenced by our parents before birth, is the same true for personality and mental characteristics? Scientists have often studied this theory is children who have been adopted. (1, 2) The children and their biological/birth parents have more like personalities than the child and their adoptive parents/family which also supports the nature theory. (1, 2) Another study in twins focussed primarily on identical twins. Whether they were raised together or apart, their personalities were quite similar. (2)
Next let’s look deeper into how our genes actually work and how they effect our personalities.All of us are actually very alike when it comes to our DNA. Infact, members of the same species share about 99% of the same DNA. (1) So, how on earth are we so different? Members of the same species share similar behavioral characteristics. Genes are responsible for these behaviours however it’s a different case when it comes to personality. Instead of one gene responsible for personality, there are multiple genes working to create your personality. However even this act of gene cooperation cant control our entire personality. (1) Some genes will work to influence a certain personality trait while another gene could work to decrease that same gene. (1)
So there do seem to be some valid points for whether not we are born with personality. So far, we have discussed how genes effect our personalities. But there’s another factor that may contribute to personalities other than genes that still happens before we are born. Some instincts or characteristics happen while a baby is in the womb. (4) Studies have also been done to test this method of how much we learn in the womb. It’s found that from a baby’s first cry, there mother is responsible for the tone of voice they use. (3) Babies can hear their mothers voices reverberating around the womb. So when a baby cries for the first time, they cry in the accent of the mothers native language. So not only do our genes effect our characteristics and the things that make us unique, but our environment before we are even out into the world effects us.
There seems to be lots of evidence that at least some of our personality we are born with. In my next post, I will be looking into the nurture side of the argument, asking the question, how does our environment influence our personality? From siblings to family to experiences to things we watch or read. I really hope you learned something from today’s post and thank you so much for reading! 🙂 until next time!