Nature, Nurture and Personality - Essay Example

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As some individuals believe that personality can be determined on the farther ends of either of these poles, I personally believe that personality is more highly rooted within the genetic…
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Nature, Nurture and Personality
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Nature, Nurture, and Personality Do you think personality is genetic or environmental? Justify your perspective. It seems that personality is a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. As some individuals believe that personality can be determined on the farther ends of either of these poles, I personally believe that personality is more highly rooted within the genetic category. When I examination my own personality I realize that I have demonstrated an introverted and reserved personality since birth. While there have been different social circumstances that significantly influences the extent of my outgoingness or openness with others, I always tend back towards a base personality. I believe that it is this base personality that is genetically determined and is the most important factor in determining the true nature of personality. While there remains a number of external factors that contribute to the development and change of an individual’s personality, my personal understanding is that ultimately personality is most closely linked to these genetic factors that are affected upon in a variety of ways by external cultural and environmental factors.
2. How is personality related to culture?
Personality is related to culture in a number of prominent ways. Indeed, this question can be considered on a micro and macro level. On a micro level, immediate social relations affect personality as individuals must tailor their personality and demeanor to fit into a variety of social situations. While this is not directly considered an element of culture, it is culture that determines the social structures in which human beings interact. As culture is a learned phenomenon and has evolved over the centuries there are many such elements that influence personality. It’s important in these regards to consider what constitutes personality. While the outward expression of an individual’s actions has become the accepted definition of personality, can one more accurately identify personality as an entity that is more highly personal? In terms of the first definition, culture greatly determines how a person acts in nearly all situations. In this understanding, personality is also an evolving thing that is directly connected to the evolution of culture. As social mores and appropriateness change with the progression of time, or even with the change of one’s culture surroundings (poor New Orleans vs the Hamptons, for instance) personality continues to be strongly linked to culture.
3. Do you believe our personalities are affected by the culture in which we are raised?
While psychoanalytic thinkers believed that personality was greatly affected by early childhood events that become rooted in unconscious desires and impulses (some of which can be determined to affect later psychological dysfunctions), my personal understanding is that personality can be more directly linked to genetics. This does not, however, eliminate the culture one was raised from directly affecting personality development. I don’t necessarily embrace ideas of unconscious desires influencing human behavior, but I do think culture influences, in part, the way that individuals interact with other individuals. This has been referred to as class distinctions, but regional culture must also be considered in relation to differences in an individual’s personality. I also think it’s important to consider the ways that significant or tragic experiences can greatly influence personality later in life, for instance a child whose parents die can be extremely affected by this occurrence such that it permanently alters their personality. Similarly, individuals who have experienced wartime situations have been noted to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder later in life. In these regards, personality can be greatly affected by culture in early childhood. Read More
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