Does a child's biological make-up contribute more to their personality than environmental factors?
Does this mean that a child's personality is predetermined at birth or does their personality change over time due to different environments they are exposed to?
No, I do not believe in predestination. Yes, a child comes into the world wired a certain way, but home, environment, love, nuturing etc., or lack of it, also affects a child's personality. With a positive environment a child will thrive and so will the personality. With a negative environment the child's personality will suffer. No one's future or outcome is predetermined. We have control over our destinies and the forming of our personalities.
Only in very rare instances of mental illness is a child's behavior in any way predetermined. Never in my entire college and research career have I seen any compelling evidence that nature is more of a factor than nurture. BEHAVIOR IS LEARNED. There are no exceptions to this rule. An infant is a tiny little present-hedonistic creature who undertstands nothing more than the here-and-now and instant gratification. Effectively, every child is a blank slate. Whoever they become is largely influenced by environmental factors and experiences.
I will answer this question based solely on what I have personally experienced over the past 43 years as a mother who brought 4 human beings into the world. This is an extremely interesting topic and one I have made a point of focusing on and researching. "Nature," our DNA, which we are born with, half from each parent, is what can be considered, the BASICS. In other words, here's a new tiny human and this is what he/she came with....(characteristics/talents/possible health issues/etc...per DNA) From that moment, HOW this child is raised, in what type of environment, by WHOM, how they are loved, or not, nurtured, nourished, educated, guided, groomed.........all of this and much more....play an integral part in the "making, sustaining, and including....or destroying, injuring and deterring"....of WHO & WHAT this human ultimately becomes, for the MOST part, as an independent adult in this world. This topic can be studied, discussed and dissected forever and ever.....and still leave room for more facts, ideas & opinions.....("educated expert," experience & otherwise). I agree w/ the comments of both suzettenaples and Jonesy0311.......although we have given a simple answer to a complex issue, it is the basic foundation from which to begin a very involved Study of Human/Nature/Nurture with unending branches of further study.
Most of you seem to believe that personality is based mostly on the environment a child is placed in, but how does this explain the similarity between twins that have been separated at birth and are not reunited until a later point in their lives? Our own sexualities contribute to our personalities in behavioral and emotional ways, so does this mean that sexuality is a choice? How does the nurture debate contribute to a child that seems to be completely different from the rest of their family? Using the nurture theory at least 50% of their learned personality should come from their family. I definitely believe that environment plays a huge part in our development, but this does not mean that our own DNA does not play a role in our development.
Both seem to be important factors, but I think a person's environment ends up being more prevalent. Genetic factors may predispose a person to having a longer or shorter lifespan, for example, but individual choices can override that. This is not to say that some people can't overcome a terrible environment (or throw away a great one), but, in general, once you're born, the world starts shaping you.
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