Inquiry – 1st Research Round

Hello again! This is my first research round for my inquiry question “where does personality come from“. Today I hope to be looking into where in the brain personality is controlled and some of the theories as to how we gained our own individual and unique personalities in the first place.


There are so many factors that contribute to our personalities. But where exactly does our personality originate? Our personality is controlled by our frontal lobe. (4) The frontal lobe is, as you may have guessed, at the front of the brain.

There are four lobes in your brain each with different functions. The frontal lobe is the largest lobe and is in charge of organization, planning, managing emotions and of course, controlling personality (4). Damage to the frontal lobe can create changes in personality. The frontal lobe is very important and unfortunately very vulnerable because of its location at the front of the brain. (5)

Now that we have covered where personality originates, I’m going to talk about some possible theories as to how it originates.

    Nature VS. Nurture

One of the biggest yet most controversial theories as to how our personalities came to be is the topic of nature vs. nurture. They are two very different beliefs as to how we got our personalities in the first place. Those who believe more in the nature side of the argument believe that our genes and early stages of life create our personality. It states that we inherit our personality from our parents and we are basically born with it already planned for us. Those who believe more in the nurture side of the argument believe that experiences altar and create our personality and that our personalities are effected by our environment. (1)


So far, there is no clear winner to this debate and it has been determined that both are very important to forming your personality and that both nature and nurture are in-fact true (1). The idea of the nature and nurture argument is what I based my research question and I plan to go into deeper discussion about each in future research rounds.

 Hereditary, Environment and Situations

This is a very similar theory to our nature vs. nurture theory. Hereditary is basically the same as nature with your genes and environment is the same as nurture with the environment affecting personality. But, this theory offers another view; situations. It states that your personality is shaped through the experiences you go through. Whether traumatic, thrilling or delightful, the experiences leave imprints on you which influence your personality. (3)

    Sigmund Freud

The next theory I will be talking about was developed by an extremely successful psychologist and neurologist named Sigmund Freud who you may have heard of before. Freud was more of a believer in the nature side of things and believed that most of the development in personality ends at around 18 years of age (3). One of his beliefs included the idea of three main components that shape personality: the id, the ego and the superego. (2) The “id” is the personality that we are born with. It is the base of your personality that allows you to recognize you needs and desires. The “ego” is basically the steering wheel for the id. It sets the initial needs and desires strait and allows you to focus in a realistic manner. Finally, the “superego” combines all of our beliefs, needs or desires and acknowledges what we learned from our environment. (2)

So far, I have talked about some possible theories as to how personality is or was developed. But now, I’m going to end by talking about how some psychologists try to determine personality. Or in other words, I’ll be talking about one of the biggest and possibly most accurate personality test types. Psychologists have determined that most people fall under or are a mix of these five traits: Openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Openness, or openness to experience, relates to those with creative personalities and people who are often curious and imaginative. Conscientiousness relates to those who are driven or self motivating and can be relied upon to get a job done. Extroversion relates to those who find pleasure in being with others and are often confident and outgoing. Agreeableness relates to kindness and loving individuals who are always there for others. Finally, neuroticism relates to those who are generally pessimistic or worrisome. (6) One of the reasons why I chose to research on this particular personality type, is because scientists have been trying to develop a base for determining common personality science the late 1800’s. These were the five they came up with and the five will probably change again. (6)

Personality is extremely unique in everyone. In this first research round, we covered some of the big ideas about personality and how it was formed. in my second and third research rounds, I hope to dive in a little deeper on how personality was formed. I will be asking how much of our personality are we born with? and how does our genetics influence our personality? Thank you so much for reading and I hope you learned something new!







5 Replies to “Inquiry – 1st Research Round”

  1. Hi Cynthia! I really enjoyed reading your research and I find your question very interesting. You always hear very differing ideas nowadays in how people’s personalities are shaped and it was quite fascinating to see that personalities can actually be shaped through the experiences you go through. Lots of people think that people are born with a specific personality and have had the same personality their entire life but I now understand that isn’t true.

  2. Hey Cynthia,
    I found your post to be very detailed and engaging. I really liked the organization of your post, and the way you presented your research. While reading your post I thought of something really cool that you might be interested in researching further. I came up with the question: How does media, television and film affect us as children and contribute to building our personalities? I made this connection because when we are younger, our minds are more impressionable and this can affect the way we choose to act and present ourselves. Just an idea, but something you could definitely tie into your research!
    Here are some sources that could help you if you choose to research this idea further:

    I look forward to your next post!!
    – Madison Ciulla

  3. Hi Cynthia
    Great first round of research, I learned many things when I read your post. I had never really thought about where our personalities came from before I read this. Maybe for your next post you can go more in depth on how our experiences affect our personality. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi Cynthia,
    Great round of research! I actually did research on personality when I first joined Butterfly Effect too, my inquiry question asking why some people are introverted and others extroverted. However, already you’ve done some research that I never covered. For example, I learned from your post that personality is controlled by our frontal lobe, and I learned more about Sigmund Freud’s theory. Great job!
    For your future rounds of research, I think it would be a great idea to look further into the nature vs nurture debate and perhaps look at different studies that support both sides.
    Here are some websites that might help you with your research:
    Good luck!

  5. hi cynthia it is good you are doing research on the different problems that our brain have.I have learnt many things from your post and eagerly waiting for what you are going to post soon.Thanks.

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