This is my second round of research with my question “How is one’s personality formed?” For this round, I am going to be researching about how genetics(nature) and the environment (nurture) can have an influence on personality and how the two differ.
Nature vs Nurture
The nature versus nurture debate has been going on for a long time. It’s the scientific, cultural, and philosophical debate about whether human culture, behavior, and personality are caused by nature or nurture. Nature is the part of the debate that is genetic or hormone-based behaviors, traits,and dispositions, while nurture is more so the environment, culture, and experience part of it. (1)
Both nature and nurture can play a role in personality but some twin studies suggest that genetics( or nature) is stronger. For an example, one study known as the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart studies 350 pairs of twins between 1979 and 1999. The participants were sets of both identical and fraternal twins who were either raised together or apart. The results were that the personalities of identical twins were very similar to each other whether they were raised together or raised apart, which means that at least some aspects of personality are caused by genetics.Even though those were the results, it does not necessarily mean that personality is always caused by genetics, because there is definitely an environmental factor. Twin studies show that identical twins share about 50 percent of the same traits, while fraternal twins share only about 20 percent.(2)There was also an adoption study that compared biologically related people, including twins, who were either raised separately or apart. There was evidence that the genetic influence on a trait is found when children who have been adopted show traits that relate and are similar to their biological parents than to those of their adoptive parents. The evidence for environmental influence is found when the adoptee is more like his or her adoptive parents than the biological parents.(3)
Personality would not be determined by any single gene, but rather many genes working together. There isn’t a “IQ gene” that determines intelligence. But even if they are working together, genes are not so powerful that they can control or create our personality. Some genes cause an increase to a given characteristic and others work to decrease that same characteristic; the complex relationship among the different genes, as well as a variety of random factors, produces the final outcome. Genetic factors always work with environmental factors to create personality. Having a given pattern of genes doesn’t always mean that a particular trait will develop, because some traits might occur only in certain environments. For an example, a person may have a genetic variant that can possibly increase their risk for developing some illness from smoking. But if that person never smokes, then that illness most likely will not develop(3)
For my next round, I wanted to look into personality disorders-
- How/ why are they formed?
- What effects do they have on the individual?
- How do they affect one’s personality change and development over time?
If you have any comments, questions or ideas, feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading!