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How much of your personality/character is natured/nurtured? watch

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    So as the title suggests:

    How much of your personality/chatracter/habits, is "natured"... shaped by your heritage and genetics, and how much is "nurtured"?

    I have a theory that one's heritage/descendency shapes their character a lot, even. Take Irishness for example:

    They are often stereotyped as drinkers, fighters and gamblers. Is there a positive correaltion between the fact that they're genetically removed from Celtic warriors that make them "fighters". Fighters in the sense that they literally fight (bare knuckle boxing etc is a big sport in Ireland) and a lot of Irish people have fiery, fiesty personalities too . Drinking is a big thing in Ireland too. Is it coincidence that there's a positive correaltion between people who have Irish descendcy and alcholism/at very least a penchant for alcohlic subtances? Is how intelligent we are natured or nurtured even?

    On the other hand, are we nurtured, characteristically, by things that we see in the media and as we grow up etc etc? In many ways we are... humans are influenced subconsciously by what they observe IMO. Whether they choose to acknowledge it consciously is a different matter.

    How much of us do we take from our parents? Are we directly influenced by our parents' characters and personalities, who are in turn influenced by their parents?
    They influence us whether it's not intentional, in many ways. I would say I have many of my parents' personality traits. And yet am the polar opposite of them in many respects. It's strange.

    Thoughts?
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    Personally, I belive that our nature is the 'raw' base of who we are, but that our personality is built on top of this base and 'moulded' by our nurture (upbringing).

    You used the example of Irish people. I bellieve that while it may have something to do with their genetics, it's mostly to do with their upbringing. They've been brought up in an Irish society which has boxing and alcohol - thus meaning that the Irish brought up in this environment would have their personality/character (slightly?) affected by their society. I'd like to an Irish child separated from his parents and brought up in a completely different society - I'd be interested to see how he turned out! (I'd expect him to affected by his new culture and not become a stereotypical 'Irishman').

    You also mentioned your relationship with your parents. I'd say that since you were brought up by your parents (I'm assuming you were!) it would be natural to expect that their personalities have somehow affected you and shaped you as a person. I'd say this may be slightly down to genetics (nature) but mostly down to the fact that you were surrounded by them while you were growing up (I'm assuming you were). You also mentioned that you are different from them as well - I'd say that this is because you're a different person to them, have been brought up in a different society, have been influenced by different friends/schools/cultures and probably have had different experiences and outlooks to them.

    As for intelligence, I'm really not sure. True, people with clever parents often have clever children - but how much (if any) of this is down to genetics, and how much is down to the fact that clever parents tend to encourage reading/writing/etc to their children when they are young. Both my parents are highly educated, but I'm not sure how much that effected my intelligence levels. I mean, my Dad really pushed maths and reading onto me as a child - I'm not joking, but I had maths posters covering multiplication and fractions in my room from a young age, some of which he hand-drew, and before bedtime he used to test me on them. On top of that, I'm quite musical, but neither of my parents (or any of their families) play anything.

    Hmmm... also, it's often been noticed that people who come from 'dysfunctional families' tend to display slightly different characteristics from their peers who come from 'normal' families - e.g, more disruptive in class and more disobediant... or on the other side of this spectrum, much more introverted and anti-social. Despite both my parents being confident and having jobs in teaching/lecturing, I'd say that I'm definetly the most introverted person in my year at school - which I put down to the effect my parents' extremely dysfunctional relationship has had on me.

    Woah, I didn't mean to write so much! If anyone can prive me wrong (or 'less right' ) I'd be very interested to hear!
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    It's not a theory. Everyone knows it's the truth. How much depends on yourself a lot. My blood's studious so I guess you could say my blood is a nurturing personality blood, ironically.

    But I'd say 50% nature 50%nurtured
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    (Original post by Lintu93)
    Personally, I belive that our nature is the 'raw' base of who we are, but that our personality is built on top of this base and 'moulded' by our nurture (upbringing).

    You used the example of Irish people. I bellieve that while it may have something to do with their genetics, it's mostly to do with their upbringing. They've been brought up in an Irish society which has boxing and alcohol - thus meaning that the Irish brought up in this environment would have their personality/character (slightly?) affected by their society. I'd like to an Irish child separated from his parents and brought up in a completely different society - I'd be interested to see how he turned out! (I'd expect him to affected by his new culture and not become a stereotypical 'Irishman').

    You also mentioned your relationship with your parents. I'd say that since you were brought up by your parents (I'm assuming you were!) it would be natural to expect that their personalities have somehow affected you and shaped you as a person. I'd say this may be slightly down to genetics (nature) but mostly down to the fact that you were surrounded by them while you were growing up (I'm assuming you were). You also mentioned that you are different from them as well - I'd say that this is because you're a different person to them, have been brought up in a different society, have been influenced by different friends/schools/cultures and probably have had different experiences and outlooks to them.

    As for intelligence, I'm really not sure. True, people with clever parents often have clever children - but how much (if any) of this is down to genetics, and how much is down to the fact that clever parents tend to encourage reading/writing/etc to their children when they are young. Both my parents are highly educated, but I'm not sure how much that effected my intelligence levels. I mean, my Dad really pushed maths and reading onto me as a child - I'm not joking, but I had maths posters covering multiplication and fractions in my room from a young age, some of which he hand-drew, and before bedtime he used to test me on them. On top of that, I'm quite musical, but neither of my parents (or any of their families) play anything.

    Hmmm... also, it's often been noticed that people who come from 'dysfunctional families' tend to display slightly different characteristics from their peers who come from 'normal' families - e.g, more disruptive in class and more disobediant... or on the other side of this spectrum, much more introverted and anti-social. Despite both my parents being confident and having jobs in teaching/lecturing, I'd say that I'm definetly the most introverted person in my year at school - which I put down to the effect my parents' extremely dysfunctional relationship has had on me.

    Woah, I didn't mean to write so much! If anyone can prive me wrong (or 'less right' ) I'd be very interested to hear!
    Totally agree with you... especially about the dysfunctional family bit. My family life and relationship with my parents is crap, and I have an eating disorder, which I'm pretty sure I didnt inherit. As well as that I'm bordering on having a personality disorder, though perhaps my dads mental conditions slightly contributes to that whoop ^ ^
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    (Original post by Boo!xx)
    Totally agree with you... especially about the dysfunctional family bit. My family life and relationship with my parents is crap, and I have an eating disorder, which I'm pretty sure I didn't inherit. As well as that I'm bordering on having a personality disorder, though perhaps my dads mental conditions slightly contributes to that whoop ^ ^
    Exactly! I'm in a similar situation in that I wouldn't say that I have an eating disorder, but I definately have 'issues' with food - which isn't inherited.

    Although an interesting thing about inherited personality disorders (that are perceived to be inherited) is that often a lot of people have be brought up by parents who have personality disorders. How much of the personality disorder is genetic and how much is it due to their upbringing? Perhaps it's both - genetic, as well as triggered by their upbrining? Perhaps parents were brought up in a way that shaped their personality but unfortunately nurtured disorders - and they've gone on to raise their children in the same way?

    Ah, it's a mystery! :holmes: (A very interesting mystery nonetheless...)
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    I'd say I was distinctly "un-nurtured" in my upbringing. And this probably led to a fair amount of my character traits now. On the other side of the coin, there's the argument about siblings receiving the same treatment but being totally different to you. I think everybody responds differently to the nurture aspect, due to their gene nature. So it's a bit of both. Always an interesting topic.
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    I would be tempted to say that it's ~10%/90% nature/nurture.
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    Both nature and nurture play a large part in what makes us who we are today; I think that although they both play a large part, the percentage varies between each individual.

    Personally, my upbringing at home and the environment I grew up in shaped me into wwho I am today, and I'm thankful for that. From my parents to grandparents on both sides, everyone was a teacher at some point in time, so education and the strive for knowledge, so to say, played a prominent role.

    My parents wer very kind and caring, as a result I am somewhat quick to love another and in the case with my girlfriend, I love her more than anything.

    My father taught and was very interested in technology while I was younger and I'm a big nerd now; I constantly read to stay up to date concerning all things related to technology and things of that nature.

    I have most of the morals and values of my parents and grandparents who raised me along with the influences society has embedded in me as well.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    I would be tempted to say that it's ~10%/90% nature/nurture.
    I think we are a product of our environment and act on our observations.

    But I think it a tad extreme to totally disregard almost nature. Nuture plays a big part in the evoloution of our characters but even though we could consciously try to remove instrinsic traits of ours that we have acquired genetically I still think you could never remove the person that genetics has pre-determined you to be.

    Also, if it were almost completely nurture, why would we not all be the same in character? Say you get two people living in the same street. Why are they completely different? Is it because they are nurturued differently? And if so is that basis of nature there the reason why they're nurtured differntly, ie through the upbringing of their parents?

    As for intelligence, can it be nurtured through study? Yes, I think so. But there's still that natural scholarastic instinct that is in some of us...

    @ Lintu93: I agree with kids being from dysfunctional families being more likely to be disruptive in class, to an extent.... I think the socio-economic factors of the locality of the school and the students' social class plays a big part- that's almost certainly nurture at work, the evolotion of the society shaped by many factors. HOWEVER, disruptiveness isn't exclusive to comprehensives, I would think (I can only speak from experience of going to a comp. that there's a high proportion of kids that were "disruptive" pupils) My Mum and Dad aren't academic but they're quite intelligent nonetheless; I think that intelligence is something you genetically inherit but through nurture you can improve it through environment and academic influence. Is there such a thing as an "anomaly" in families when it comes to intelligence? Do you get bright kids and then the ones that aren't really academic in the same family? I think so- take mine as an example (and this is where nature comes in) me and my twin have pretty bright, but then our step brothers (different biological dads) aren't that academic at all. The same upbringing, the same school; if it were completely nurtured then we'd all be at a similar level academically.) So I think there's a mix there.
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    'nature' filters how we percieve the world.

    'nurture' takes what we perceives and makes it you. So although nurture makes up the vast majority of a person, it is all tinted with an aspect of their 'nature'
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    (Original post by jaydoh)
    But I think it a tad extreme to totally disregard almost nature. Nuture plays a big part in the evoloution of our characters but even though we could consciously try to remove instrinsic traits of ours that we have acquired genetically I still think you could never remove the person that genetics has pre-determined you to be.

    Also, if it were almost completely nurture, why would we not all be the same in character? Say you get two people living in the same street. Why are they completely different? Is it because they are nurturued differently? And if so is that basis of nature there the reason why they're nurtured differntly, ie through the upbringing of their parents?
    I can't say I really buy the idea that personality is genetically encoded. The brain's gross morphology is genetically encoded and determined by biological intrinsic/extensic messaging systems, yes.. But, this process produces an overconnected brain which may essentially be the 'default brain'. In the period after birth, there is a mass pruning and reorganisation of connectivity which is probably determined by our experiences.

    I think certain primative traits can be genetically encoded. Tendencies for aggression, for instance. It has certainly been shown in rat breeding, at least. But, personalities are a grand collection of diffuse habits. I don't think there is much predetermined influence there. I don't see the mechanisms which would allow for the circuitry can be organised so intricately. The nervous system is one that learns from its environment. The biology just sets up the tools for that and nurture does the sculpting. A system without that environmental input would be one radically devoid of learned circuitry (take LTP for example. It requires environmental input). This would be a system that resembles nothing like a personality. Biological mechanisms (e.g. following genetic structure) alone is not sufficient to 'teach' its own circuitry. It's just not possible.

    If it were all completely nurture, of course we wouldn't 'all be the same'. My lifetime experiences are radically different from yours, despite the fact that on a societal level we probably lead very similar lifestyles.
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    Mostly nurture.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    ...
    Nature does set the foundations, and nurture sculps them, that I don't disagree with... just wondering what ratio/proportion is nature/nurture. Environmental factors can be the determiner to what sort of personality someone has, particularly socio-economic factors which determine stuff like mental health problems, for instance, which can have a massive impact on our personalities purely for a general example.

    Look at aspects of personality traits for instance that can directly be attributed to almost soley, genetics. Addictive personalities, for example. People are alleged to have that "addictive gene" so are prone to compulsive behaviour... nurture does play a small part but it's not a given that someone will become an alcoholic due to growing up in with alcoholic parents, for example. I think if you have that impulse it's governed chemically as opposed to otherwise.

    What gets me though, is how people can be vastly different living in the same city, street, family even................. the combination of nature/nurture dictates how we'll be characteristically. And yet if you live in the same household you are prone to the same lifestyle/upbringing, one would assume? Same with the same city, your environements are similar, depending on where you grew up within that city.
    It's like, I'm a twin and personality wise we're similar and yet so different...what determines that difference, even though we grew up together, if it's not a pre determined instrinsic factor, and we had similar nurturing??
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    (Original post by jaydoh)
    @ Lintu93: I agree with kids being from dysfunctional families being more likely to be disruptive in class, to an extent.... I think the socio-economic factors of the locality of the school and the students' social class plays a big part- that's almost certainly nurture at work, the evolotion of the society shaped by many factors. HOWEVER, disruptiveness isn't exclusive to comprehensives, I would think (I can only speak from experience of going to a comp. that there's a high proportion of kids that were "disruptive" pupils) My Mum and Dad aren't academic but they're quite intelligent nonetheless; I think that intelligence is something you genetically inherit but through nurture you can improve it through environment and academic influence. Is there such a thing as an "anomaly" in families when it comes to intelligence? Do you get bright kids and then the ones that aren't really academic in the same family? I think so- take mine as an example (and this is where nature comes in) me and my twin have pretty bright, but then our step brothers (different biological dads) aren't that academic at all. The same upbringing, the same school; if it were completely nurtured then we'd all be at a similar level academically.) So I think there's a mix there.
    With regards to the bit in bold, I think you have a point. But of there is the question of how much is nature and how much is nurture. There are plenty of examples of siblings who have different intelligence levels. I know a family with three children, two of which go/went to Oxbridge and one who (literally) failed half his A-levels and works in a supermarket. Looking at the example of your family, were your step-brothers brought up in a different envrionment to you (I mean, at a very young age)? If so, that might go partly to explaining it, but yeah I do agree that a certain percentage of intelligence is inherited. Another question would be: Do all people inherit the same percentage of intelligence from nature and nurture, or do peoples nurtures define how much of their inherited intelligence is brought through?

    And looking at your point about disruptive behaviour and dysfunctional families, I agree that disruptive behaviour isn't exclusive to comprehensives - although I would be tempted to argue that it's more prevalent in comprehensives (a tad controversial, I won't go there). No, I go to a grammar school and looking at my peers... in one of my classes we had 12 people last year. The 4 of us who weren't performing at the same standard as the rest all came from 'dysfunctional families'. We weren't disruptive in any way, but just didn't seem to perform the same as the rest. I wouldn't say we were any less intelligent than them though... maybe we had different attitudes to learning or to life? I don't know, but I do doubt that it was a coincidence.

    More food for thought?
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    I would be tempted to say that it's ~10%/90% nature/nurture.
    So I'm guessing you are not a big fan of Pinker, huh? I've read his book The Blank Slate: A denial of human nature , and I found it very convincing, in which Pinker argues that human nature plays a much larger role than some people think it does
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    (Original post by jaydoh)
    Nature does set the foundations, and nurture sculps them, that I don't disagree with... just wondering what ratio/proportion is nature/nurture. Environmental factors can be the determiner to what sort of personality someone has, particularly socio-economic factors which determine stuff like mental health problems, for instance, which can have a massive impact on our personalities purely for a general example.

    Look at aspects of personality traits for instance that can directly be attributed to almost soley, genetics. Addictive personalities, for example. People are alleged to have that "addictive gene" so are prone to compulsive behaviour... nurture does play a small part but it's not a given that someone will become an alcoholic due to growing up in with alcoholic parents, for example. I think if you have that impulse it's governed chemically as opposed to otherwise.

    What gets me though, is how people can be vastly different living in the same city, street, family even................. the combination of nature/nurture dictates how we'll be characteristically. And yet if you live in the same household you are prone to the same lifestyle/upbringing, one would assume? Same with the same city, your environements are similar, depending on where you grew up within that city.
    It's like, I'm a twin and personality wise we're similar and yet so different...what determines that difference, even though we grew up together, if it's not a pre determined instrinsic factor, and we had similar nurturing??
    Interesting.

    In Steven Pinker's book he points out that in studies of families with a mixture biological children of the parents and adopted children, when the kids mature into adults they are no more or less like each other personality wise than two strangers off the street living in the same city with a similar socioeconomic status.
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    (Original post by Lintu93)
    With regards to the bit in bold, I think you have a point. But of there is the question of how much is nature and how much is nurture. There are plenty of examples of siblings who have different intelligence levels. I know a family with three children, two of which go/went to Oxbridge and one who (literally) failed half his A-levels and works in a supermarket. Looking at the example of your family, were your step-brothers brought up in a different envrionment to you (I mean, at a very young age)? If so, that might go partly to explaining it, but yeah I do agree that a certain percentage of intelligence is inherited. Another question would be: Do all people inherit the same percentage of intelligence from nature and nurture, or do peoples nurtures define how much of their inherited intelligence is brought through?

    And looking at your point about disruptive behaviour and dysfunctional families, I agree that disruptive behaviour isn't exclusive to comprehensives - although I would be tempted to argue that it's more prevalent in comprehensives (a tad controversial, I won't go there). No, I go to a grammar school and looking at my peers... in one of my classes we had 12 people last year. The 4 of us who weren't performing at the same standard as the rest all came from 'dysfunctional families'. We weren't disruptive in any way, but just didn't seem to perform the same as the rest. I wouldn't say we were any less intelligent than them though... maybe we had different attitudes to learning or to life? I don't know, but I do doubt that it was a coincidence.

    More food for thought?
    The step siblings lived in my house from pretty much aged 1 and above, so arguably before they were really conscious of learning properly.

    And I definitely agree it's more prevelant in comprensives but that's a different issue for a different day
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    (Original post by Liquid27)
    Interesting.

    In Steven Pinker's book he points out that in studies of families with a mixture biological children of the parents and adopted children, when the kids mature into adults they are no more or less like each other personality wise than two strangers off the street living in the same city with a similar socioeconomic status.
    Interesting indeed. That sounds like a very interesting read actually.
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    (Original post by jaydoh)
    Look at aspects of personality traits for instance that can directly be attributed to almost soley, genetics. Addictive personalities, for example. People are alleged to have that "addictive gene" so are prone to compulsive behaviour... nurture does play a small part but it's not a given that someone will become an alcoholic due to growing up in with alcoholic parents, for example. I think if you have that impulse it's governed chemically as opposed to otherwise.
    I don't buy the 'addiction gene' at all. This kind of theory is usually the kind of nonsense that you find on the BBC headlines. "Addiction gene found!!". Then you read the paper and you find that only 60% of the addiction group had x genotype and almost all of the healthy control with x genotype aren't addicts. Of course, this is addressed legitimately in the article, but the news story it's not even mentioned. Then the general population just buys the idea and it gets engrained into social thinking.

    (Original post by jaydoh)
    What gets me though, is how people can be vastly different living in the same city, street, family even................. the combination of nature/nurture dictates how we'll be characteristically.
    Our personalities are sculpted by countless subtle and intricate interactions with our environment. Additionally, this is not just a one-way linear process. The system is dynamic. It re-writes, it consolidates, it interacts with previous instances of learning. These are billions and billions of very very subtle and minute interactions with our world. This can range from associating the feeling of this exact carpet on my bare feet with the declaritive knowledge that I did not put any socks on today, to feeling ill on the day that I happened to eat cornflakes and now in my adult life I strangely resent them, etc etc etc. Every single interaction that we complete with our environment is a potential learning experiment. It's far more subtle than "Oh we both live on the same street therefore we have the same environment".

    (Original post by jaydoh)
    And yet if you live in the same household you are prone to the same lifestyle/upbringing, one would assume? Same with the same city, your environements are similar, depending on where you grew up within that city.
    The environment is similar, but the interactions with it are not. And as I said, it's not just a linear progression. Your prior learned experiences compound with other interactions. Things are re-written, things are modified, things are incorporated, things are omitted.

    (Original post by jaydoh)
    It's like, I'm a twin and personality wise we're similar and yet so different...what determines that difference, even though we grew up together, if it's not a pre determined instrinsic factor, and we had similar nurturing??
    Your interactions with the world will be radically different from your twin's. You need to think more subtley and more fundamentally than just 'living in the same house'.
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    My personality is nurtured as from a young age my dad raised me to be someone that is emotionally detached... something that he says is good for business he has also influenced my alcohol choices, my sports (Golf being the main thing, most business gets done at the gold course he says) and how I treat relationships... the one thing is screwed up on as that made me a womaniser (more or less) and I find it hard to commit. he truly wants a businessman :lol:

    So yes I'm nurtured not natured although I'm sure my arrogance/ignorance comes from being a Parisian
 
 
 
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