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What shapes personality?

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    Are you of the opinion that people are born the way they are in terms of ability to deal with certain situations, making judgements and their view on others? Or are you of the opinion that everyone is born essentially neutral and that it is soley outside influences that determine our character? Or neither?

    I have trouble with both theories.

    I think that there is most definitely a case for outside influences, but then, for example, my two younger sisters and I, up to the age where I went to secondary school, had very similar experiences. We all went to the same primary schools, had similar friendships, went through everything as a family, and even then we were all very different.

    I think personality can most definitely be affected by outside influences but that our basic characteristics which define who we are as people are always there.

    What says you?
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    Why do you think it has to be exclusively down to one or the other? I think both genetics and our environment shape who we are.
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    (Original post by Philbert)
    Why do you think it has to be exclusively down to one or the other? I think both genetics and our environment shape who we are.
    I don't think it's one or the other - I'm just highlighting two different schools of thought.
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    Triangle.
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    I think that personality is influenced by external factors.

    Firstly I wanted to thkn about your theory about you and your sisters.You all have different interests and mabe a few different ideas about what is most important to you. I think even these little things are important as they make you choose what you are exposed to. For example If I'm interested in opera and someone else from the same situation is interested in rock, we have different surrounding. Therefore our reality has a slight different perspective.

    Also i think that the people that you surround yourself with also influence you. Your best friends are different from your sisters. Therefore your reality is slightly different because of what you choose (I.e. interest and friends) Does that make any sense lol???

    And even when you are born in the same family, its like you still have different realities because say for example you are a little sister. Your older sister was born into a family with no other siblings, but you were born into a family with another sibling.

    Lol I know that these are all small small differences but they all add up to make a larger context of different perpectives, therefore a slightly different surroundings that form our personality. Does that make any sense at alll???
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    'What shape(i)s personality?'

    I don't know, I mean I think it could be a circle, or an hourglass, with fine curves.... :sexface:
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    I think people's personalities depend on both their genes and the environments they grow up in but I think the enviroment has the greater effect.
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    (Original post by Mehra)
    I think that personality is influenced by external factors.

    Firstly I wanted to thkn about your theory about you and your sisters.You all have different interests and mabe a few different ideas about what is most important to you. I think even these little things are important as they make you choose what you are exposed to. For example If I'm interested in opera and someone else from the same situation is interested in rock, we have different surrounding. Therefore our reality has a slight different perspective.

    Also i think that the people that you surround yourself with also influence you. Your best friends are different from your sisters. Therefore your reality is slightly different because of what you choose (I.e. interest and friends) Does that make any sense lol???

    And even when you are born in the same family, its like you still have different realities because say for example you are a little sister. Your older sister was born into a family with no other siblings, but you were born into a family with another sibling.

    Lol I know that these are all small small differences but they all add up to make a larger context of different perpectives, therefore a slightly different surroundings that form our personality. Does that make any sense at alll???
    That makes sense, but I'm not just talking about interests. I'm talking about personality as a whole - like how we deal with other people, how we manage our feelings and how we perceive things. E.g. even as a young child I hated make-believe games and would never play with my toys - I'd just set them up and look at them. My sisters on the other hand would love make-believe games and play with their toys making up little role plays, etc.

    One of my sisters, even as a young child, was very moody and didn't deal with anger very well - she blames it on being the middle child but my mum spent equal time with all of us, it's not like she was excluded from anything at all - far from it! As a child and still (she's 14 now) she's loved to be the centre of attention and always gets her way.

    What about people's conceptions of others. As children, we perceive things differently to how we do as an adult - this is due to outside influences. But surely there are certain parts of us that are unique to us as individuals?
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    You should read 'Nature vs Nurture' by Matt Ridley
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    I think both personally. imo opinion some people are born with characteristics which shape their personality. But i also think that your environment, experiences, the people around you etc heavily influence your personality, more so than being born the way they are (if that makes sense).
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    Ah, the wonderful 'nature vs. nurture' argument! :rolleyes:

    I think that it is mostly external environmental factors which influence us. Even if two twins have the same genetics and the same upbringing, they may have different outlooks on life, thus leading to slightly different personalities.

    That's not to say that our (genetic?) characteristics don't matter. I think that they provide the platform for external factors to build upon; they are our raw personality, but is the environment we live in that defines us as an individual person.
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    I don't think either. A personality doesn't exist, it's just empty pop culture that says so.

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