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Thread: Every action has a reaction

  1. #1 Every action has a reaction 
    Forum Freshman
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    My sister and I grew up with some hard times and we both have our issues. My sister does not stand up for herself. Yet I, stand up for myself and anyone else who does not have the courage to. It can be a burden as well and a blessing. My question is, are people born with blank minds or with slight characteristics that help mold their personality with personal experience, or do you think that people are born the way they will be, to some extent?


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  3. #2  
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    The good ol' nurture vs. nature debate.

    The short answer is: Yes.

    The answer that might actually tell you something is distributed through many many pieces of writing from research papers to books to web articles.

    There is certainly an innate element to personality which is revealed through the variability in temperament of infants even soon after birth; some cry more than others and respond to contact more or less swiftly/easily/strongly. Also twin studies have shown strong similarities between twins raised by different parents (biological vs. adopted). My personality psychology lecturer last year told us that genetics accounts for about 30% to 50% of variance in personality attributes within the population.

    But similar studies show that the family environment also influences how an individual's personality develops, to some extent. Parenting style certainly has a significant effect; how well a parent adjusts to a child's temperament will influence how stable that child's attachment to the parent is, and this has carry-on effects with in relationships that person will form later in life.

    And while it's a common belief that personality doesn't change much at all over time, some research has shown there is a considerable degree of stability. One study (Costa & McCrae - I can find more details if necessary) found that if someone had a specific degree of a measurable personality trait at age 30, they'd have an 83% chance of having a very similar score at age 50. And another study (Roberst & DelVecchio, 2000 - a meta-analysis) found that stability does increase with age by a considerable amount. The influences over that stability are varied and include aspects of both nature and nurture at all levels from close to an individual to cultural influences.

    And it's good to know that change does occur because it means that people who are bothered in any way can do something about it, in most cases, with the right kind of support.


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