Hello! Today is my third round of research for my question “where does personality come from”. In my last round of research, I started to look deeper into the nature vs. nurture theory. The nature vs. nurture theory looks at two different ways as to how our personality may be formed. Nature states that our personality is formed before we are born and is due mainly to our genes. Nurture states that our environment creates our personality and is dependent on how we were raised and our social relationships. Last post, I looked at nature and how it effects our personality. Today, I will be switching gears and focussing on nurture. I hope to discuss how family, friends, siblings, books, movies or anything else we may see or interact with on a daily basis may effect us and our personalities.
First, I will talk about our general environment situation. There seemed to be many good points for nature, but something we must consider is the environment and how we are raised. If all of our personality was due to genetics, we could just blame our actions on our parent and ancestors. (7) One of the examples I personally found interesting was that of a criminal. If a criminal is convicted of a crime and only nature or genes were responsible for shaping our personality and actions, then the criminal’s children should be raised in jail to prevent further crime. Evidentially, this is not the case and doesn’t really happen. Why? Because of our environment and how it affects us. People grow up in all sorts of different places around the world and are raised in so many environments. (7)
A good example of how environment effects us is by looking outside. Seeing and being in nature makes us feel more relaxed and decreases anxiety. Being in nature can also actually help us cope with pain. A study was done on a group of people who went through a gallbladder surgery. The patients who viewed nature during the recovery had better pain tolerance than those who merely saw a wall. (4) There are lots of environmental facts that create our emotions and personalities. But what about our friends and family?
Our family and friends also play a crucial role in shaping our environment. Infact, many of our own personal decisions are based off of our piers decisions. (6) Some various studies have been shown to prove this. A group of people is asked a simple question like this one
The answer may seem obvious to you. However, in the group that was being tested, only one of the participants was actually there for the experiment. The rest of the group were paid actors that were pretending. Those actors answered the question first and they all chose “C”. The one person who wasn’t an actor decided to also chose “C” even though that clearly isn’t the correct solution. That person was swayed by his peers. (6)
Birth order can also determine our personality. Depending on if you are the eldest, middle, youngest or an only child, you have some characteristics that associate with that birth order. (1)Eldest children are often said to be very independent and have a sense of power, middle born children tend to be competitive, the youngest are also independent and have more freedom and finally if you are an only child, you are often more mature or creative.(1)
How we were raised has some great affects on how our personality comes to be. (1)A study has been done in rats. At birth, if a rat mother licks her newborn pups excessively, it is proven that those pups will go on to become less stressed in their adult lives. (5) However, if a rat mother ignores her pups and doesn’t give them the attention they need, the rat pups will grow up to be stressed-out rat adults. Now obviously it’s not the exact same with humans but their is definite proof in this study that our environmental factors and how we were raised plays a big part in how our personalities end up. (5)
What we see or read also affects our personalities and characteristics. When we read about the various characters and plot lines, and we actually enjoy it, it changes our personality. (2) Deep reading allows us to connect with the characters in the story, increasing our empathy. When we can relate to a character and image ourselves in their shoes, our empathy is increased and we can become more aware of others around you in the real world.(2) Movies, or more importantly, the genre of the movie can also influence our personality. Watching comedies is said to help ease anxiety. When we laugh, it can also reduce any aggressive behaviour and fright. (3)
There are so many various environmental factors that play a role in deciding our personality. Who we are is quite dependent on our environment but also on our genes. In conclusion, both nature and nurture in important and us becoming who we are. Next post, I will be building off of todays post and adding on the question, does personality change over time. Thank you so much for reading and commenting and hope you enjoyed it! 🙂