Heredity determines personality - Essay Example

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A central question that predominates in this discussion: Does heredity determine personality? Hereditary or the genetic transmission of certain physical characteristics from the parents, determines the physical part of an individual’s personality…
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Heredity does not alone determines personality Personality of a human can be defined as the sum total of his/her behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, values, etc, etc. The formation or evolution of personality starts off in one’s childhood itself, and importantly based on many factors it further evolves (it keeps on evolving) ‘providing’ personality to the individual. The factors which forms and tunes a personality includes heredity or genetic factors, which will be imbued as when the child is born and the other environmental factors, which the child will be exposed to. So, the crux is, our personality is the product of the interaction of these two factors and is not exclusively molded by the environment or genetics but a combination of both. (Cuizon). That is, heredity only establishes the basic foundation of one's personality particularly the physical aspects, while the environmental factors, which are represented by the cultural, social and situational factors, more greatly influences the actual development and evolution of personality.
Hereditary or the genetic transmission of certain physical characteristics from the parents, determines the physical part of an individual’s personality. Hereditary characteristics manifest at birth such as hair and eye color, skin color and body type and this becomes part of the personality. (Cuizon). Although, hereditary is said to influence the aptitude of the individual and thereby their personality, it is not the case all the time because the environment in which their genetically related parents play a key role, only develops the personality. Another perspective put forward by the Behavioral geneticists, which shows how there is interplay between heredity and environment, is that the genetic make-up of a person only brings out particular reactions to things and people, which in turn determine the person’s personality. (Cuizon). Apart from these perspectives, many experts view that environment, education and the previous experiences will develop a personality maximally. That is, based on the social, cultural and situational factors, an individual faces and how he/she reacts to those factors, based on his/her education and previous experiences will determine one’s personality. Experts normally use the case of identical twins, who in spite of sharing majority of the genes will have or could have distinct personalities, to prove how environment only plays a crucial role in developing a personality. “If environment didn't play a part in determining an individual's traits and behaviors, then identical twins should, theoretically, be exactly the same in all respects, even if reared apart.” (Powell). From this analysis, it is clear that heredity alone does not develop personality, but in association with the environmental factors only develop, evolve and fine tune the personality of an individual. According to psychologists, the most reasonable answer of all is neither one, nor the other, but the interaction of the two - the genetic and the environmental/ educational/ experience factor. (Lupu).
Works Cited
Cuizon, Gwendolyn. Heredity Determines Personality. 5 May 2008. 2 November 2009.
Powell, Kimberly. Nature vs. Nurture. 2 November 2009.
Lupu, Alexandra. Our Personality - Is It Genetically Inherited or Determined by The
Environmental Factors? 2 July 2006. 2 November 2009.
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