View Full Version : Questions about personality
A few articles I've read said personality is determined through a mix of nature/nuture. Even if that's true, or if it's solely one or the other, I wanted to ask for some insight.
How can personality be influenced through genetics? Is there a "shy gene" and an "outgoing gene", along with a bunch of other personality genes? Since personality is how you react to people, among other things, wouldn't this mean the genes somehow "know" about other personality types, and are formed to influence the individual to react to those? How much control do we have over these genes? I've always thought genes only determine clear-cut traits, like hair colour, where there is no room for change. So how can they influence something so complex and changing like a personality? Do animals have personality genes too, perhaps ones that are less developed? If animals don't have them, and we came from them, why and how did we develop personality genes? Is there a scientific reason as to why humans actually need a personality?
How can personality be influenced through your environment? Is there a certain event in a person's early life that, perhaps along with genetics, determines their general personality? Or are there a series of events that steer a person one way? Why is it that the personality you have in your teens/early twenties is the one you'll likely stay with, where as your personality as a child can drastically change when you reach your teen years?
07-31-2009, 02:53 AM
Introverts and Extroverts tend to use differing pathways in the brain. For introverts, they more easily gain stimulation from themselves or their internal thought processes. Basically the neuro-pathway is stronger, shorter/quicker, and more heavily relied upon on a consistent basis. This makes it easier for introverts to think and reflect, but harder for them to interract and engage with the external world. For extroverts, this is the opposite.
Whether this is congenital or genetic or not idk but supposedly this is an observable thing via MRI scans or whatever. And how people divert their attention (introversion/extroversion) is pretty much one of the most cardinal traits, so I would tend to assume that some measures of personality are likely to be innate.
07-31-2009, 07:21 AM
I'd say that although there is a component of personality predetermined by genetics and 'structuring', as Gantz pointed out, a good deal has to do with upbringing and environment. And even still, the term 'environment' is quite broad, as this includes everything from whether or not your father liked to drink to your birth order amongst your siblings.
In fact, one's birth order amongst siblings is commonly thought of as one of the strongest determinants of personality. There's a very concise website dedicated to this thought train
I had a ball reading what it said of middle children; fit me like a tee. It's thought that birth order moulds a child's personality as they're ingrained into the sibling dynamic. Other than birth order, one's personality is also affected by how one's parents brought them up, and of course the parent's personality sometimes 'rubs' off unto their children.
Example. My mother is strict about cleanliness and has a sharp and critical eye about appearances (over anything). I myself am strict about order, and although my mother's eye for appearance has endowed me with a good sense of looks and fashion, I have self-perception issues, and I'm quick to judge people on appearances (just as she is too). My father's contribution to all this was mostly to soften my mother's 'blows' :p
08-03-2009, 06:57 AM
Is it socially defined, or can you be an entire person in complete solitude? What makes a personality?
08-04-2009, 09:40 PM
Really? No one?
08-05-2009, 12:57 AM
I think you picked the wrong forum for this one--seems more appropriate for Inhumane Condition.
That said, our personality only manifests in the company of others--that is, how we relate to and with them, and how we treat them.
08-05-2009, 01:00 AM
It's a combination of all the biases you pick up by the time you're 21.
08-05-2009, 01:06 AM
^Um, that implies that there is no personality for those under age 21.
Heck, a two year old has a personality--and usually, a rather unpleasant one at that.
It's not only socially defined.
Let's say someone's alone at home drinking a cup of coffee, and they accidentally drop it and it shatters. They can say "Oopsy daisies!" or "JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! *PUNCHES HOLE IN THE WALL*"
It carries over to everything. The difference between atheists and christians, conservatives and niggers. It's all a mix of psychological/environmental influences and genetics.
08-05-2009, 03:49 AM
Your personality is just what you say and what you do in social situations.
08-05-2009, 05:04 AM
The personality is a pretty odd thing, considering how eerily accurate the MBTI indicators place us into the 16 'type set' personalities. Although I think its more of a collection of preferences (i.e introversion/extroversion or a preference to preform rather than learn/absorb) and like ChiChi says a mix of different influences rather than rigid structures of personalities we all fall into. However, the Myers-Briggs type indicator and related socionics does a rather remarkable job at empiricizing the personality.
I do think the genetic aspect of personality is rather overlooked, as personality is largely genetic. if you take a look at statistics based on the MBTI. (and other more structured experiments done by psychologists I cant be bothered to find) there is strong evidence supporting the heritablity of personality. Although of course, one cannot deny the fact that the environment plays a huge role in the development of a persons personality. (personality being defined "the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual;"). A boy would obviously grow up into a different person if he was raised in sub sahara africa rather than San Francisco, but I would go so far to say that the boy and his parents are similar people with similar preferences.
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