Nurture

This is the first part of the assignment

  • What is the status of the nature-nurture debate in psychology relative to the development of personality?
  • Do you believe that nature or nurture has played a greater role in the development of your personality and why?

This is the second part of the assignment I have to respond to two classmates which I will post now they do not have to be long responses

What Is Nature VS. Nurture? How Does it Relate to Personality?

The debate of ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ is one that is been going on for decades regarding the traits in which an individual embodies. When these individuals refer to the “Nature” side of things, they are referring to a genetic combination or how our DNA makes us who we are. ( Aka, being born with certain traits, mental illnesses, etc. )

Whereas, “Nurture” refers to what we are exposed to and how it affects our personality as an individual. This could be positive things like, a loving home life, and supportive individuals around you, or could be negative and a result of things like traumatic events, or abuse. The nurture side believes that our environments are what makes who we are.

When it comes to Personality building, both of these theories are said to influence many things such as: our behaviors, our cognitive or intellectual abilities, how we engage with other individuals and build relationships, our attitudes / values  towards certain things, as well as our emotions and things that trigger us. — All of which are items that play a part into an individual’s personality, or who they are.

Do you believe it has played a greater role in the development in your personality? Why?

Personally, I do not believe there is a ‘versus’ or ‘one or the other’, I believe that both aspects of “Nature” and “Nurture” play greatly into the facts of who we are as individuals. To me, it seems almost impossible to think that each of these things could not play a part into building an individual’s personality.

For Example:

I am adopted. I have always known this fact, and as I have stated in previous discussions, my relationship with my birth mom was always open; though she was not always around. This affected me, on the “Nurture” aspect– which, we of course, can relate to “Attachment Theory”….

This played a part into how I felt at the time, but also eventually led me to finding the path of my career I envision myself in because of this, how I viewed the world, and how open minded I was with things.

My adoptive parents were amazing, and as were the people I was surrounded by–gave me the sense of confidence, taught me to stay determined, among many other traits. Along with this, I watched how my adoptive parents were with each other, and learned a sense of family– this showed me what I wanted in my life, and things to look forward to in my future. (Nurture)

Though, in the same breath, my birth parents, both suffered with mental illness. I also deal with mental illness in my day to day life. Who is to say that if I had never of known these parents I wouldn’t have also had this genetic combination? — This, playing in to the part of “Nature”, that it was already something deeply embedded in my genes.

On a interesting and positive thought, my birth mother’s husband ( who I call my step-father ), was in the Army, so they always moved around, I didn’t see them a lot until almost my freshman year of high school. But, when I did see my birth mother, we would have similar tendencies, attitudes, and mannerisms, even not being around each other. Which, makes you wonder if some of these things really are, as stated before, embedded in our genes and part of us all along. Or maybe this was because of things that happened at a young age that were traumatic to me, going back to Nurture.

There are so many different factors in which made us, as individuals, who we are. Whether it’s our genetic makeup, our childhood upbringing, our families, what we were exposed to– whether that be something traumatic, or a light at the end of the tunnel from a friend you meet in college; all of these have the ability to shift and alter us into who we are. I believe we are ever-changing, and growing into who we are supposed to be, and honestly, I don’t think we ever stop; but it’s so interesting to think about the “how” and the “why” of what made us get to this point we’re at.

Sources:

Burger, J.M. Personality (9th edition). Cengage Learning, 2015.

Example of reply

Hey Nacayla,

Awesome post!  I agree that when it comes to personality building, nature and nurture do in fact influence many things such as our behaviors and intellectual abilities and also how we engage with other individuals and build relationships.  They both mold what we put out into the world.  I love how you mentioned you were adopted since you would be an excellent candidate to determine whether nature and nurture prevailed in how you have developed!  Mental illnesses can unfortunately be inherited and it makes sense that if both of your birth parents suffer from them that you would be more susceptible in developing such conditions.  I’m glad that your adoptive parents nurtured you and allowed for you develop confidence and were able to provide you with a sense of family which is so important in yours and other adopted children’s circumstances.  I agree with the fact that we are ever-changing and with our genetics are situations in life are also changing so our personalities in 15 years could possibly be altered with life happening, but our genetics are always with us and do provide the backbone of our development and this is even extended into our personality development.  Nice job!

2.With the nature-nurture debate the conflict is attempting to figure out whether our genetics or our environment shapes who we are and the development of things such as temperament, behavior and personality.  With each perspective examined in-depth, it is thought that on the nature side that these things develop as a result of evolution and heredity.  These characteristics arise thanks to the fact that our individual differences that arise thanks to our genetics would lead to the development of our personality thanks to the combination of genes we receive.  The nurture side of the debate takes the stance that our environment and learning shapes and governs the development of our personality.  With both sides of the debate taking such strong stances, the current status of the debate through the usage of various studies such as studies on twins and child rearing, nature may prevail over the nurture perspective with genetics prevailing over our personality development.  The environment can allow for us to adapt with things such as social interests and feeding off of our friends, which can influence our personality.  Nature and nurture therefore both feed into the development of our personality and our genetics, as well as the situations we live through really do shape who we are.

I think that both nature and nurture can prevail in different ways when examining the development of our personality, which is what we exhibit to the outside world.  My culture and relationships with friends and family I believe shaped me and gave me life skills that shaped my personality.  Things such as only having one sibling and being the oldest of the two, having both of my parents in my life, and traumatic experiences have definitely molded me, but I do think that I have inherited traits such as patience from my mom, as my dad is not as patient.  The debate is obviously still ongoing and with more discoveries in this debate more answers will eventually come to light.

Burger, J.M. Personality (9th edition). Cengage Learning, 2015

With the nature-nurture debate the conflict is attempting to figure out whether our genetics or our environment shapes who we are and the development of things such as temperament, behavior and personality.  With each perspective examined in-depth, it is thought that on the nature side that these things develop as a result of evolution and heredity.  These characteristics arise thanks to the fact that our individual differences that arise thanks to our genetics would lead to the development of our personality thanks to the combination of genes we receive.  The nurture side of the debate takes the stance that our environment and learning shapes and governs the development of our personality.  With both sides of the debate taking such strong stances, the current status of the debate through the usage of various studies such as studies on twins and child rearing, nature may prevail over the nurture perspective with genetics prevailing over our personality development.  The environment can allow for us to adapt with things such as social interests and feeding off of our friends, which can influence our personality.  Nature and nurture therefore both feed into the development of our personality and our genetics, as well as the situations we live through really do shape who we are.

I think that both nature and nurture can prevail in different ways when examining the development of our personality, which is what we exhibit to the outside world.  My culture and relationships with friends and family I believe shaped me and gave me life skills that shaped my personality.  Things such as only having one sibling and being the oldest of the two, having both of my parents in my life, and traumatic experiences have definitely molded me, but I do think that I have inherited traits such as patience from my mom, as my dad is not as patient.  The debate is obviously still ongoing and with more discoveries in this debate more answers will eventually come to light.

Burger, J.M. Personality (9th edition). Cengage Learning, 2015

Example of reply

Hello Nicholas,

I definitely believe that both nurture and nature play a part into one’s personality and how it develops. As I stated in my post, I believe that there are so many things that go into a personality. Our lives skills, like you said as well as different things going in your life, the people who you’re surrounded with, and traumatic or big events that happen to you all pay a part.

I don’t really agree with things such as, “patience”, being able to be inherited down (i.e., hereditary). Though, I do believe that by being around your mother and seeing her traits, it may be something that was learned. I do also believe that things like addictive personalities and mental illness can be passed down; hence why people try to “break the cycle.”

I also think that as we grow and evolve as individuals, our personality is able to evolve as well. For example: at age 14, I do not have the same personality as I do at 25. I think that we mature, and so things change around us. Who we want to be around, what we like, our choice making, etc.

Burger, J.M. Personality (9th edition). Cengage Learning, 2015