Effect of Heredity and Environment on the Development of Personality

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Q. Effect of heredity and environment on the development of personality. Ans.
What is Personality?
Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. Some say that personality is inherited or hereditary. Some raised the idea that it is environment that shapes one’s personality. Both are correct, many studies have shown that both heredity and environment are responsible in shaping an individual’s personality. Heredity is one of the major factors in the development of our personality. Hereditary factors were passed by our parents and ancestors to us. The individual’s talent and some other traits are just few examples of these traits. The environment is another factor in personality development. These include the place we live and the people around us. Our experiences in our day to day life, as well as the people whom we associated with such as our family, friends, people in the school, in the church and the community as a whole, all influences our personality. Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioral theorists include B. F. Skinner and Albert Bandura. Biological and Evolutionary Approaches to Personality suggests that important components of personality are inherited. Research on heritability suggests that there is a link between genetics and personality traits. One of the best known biological theorists was Hans Eysenck, who linked aspects of personality to biological processes. For example, Eysenck argued that introverts had high cortical arousal, leading them to avoid stimulation. On the other hand, Eysenck believed extroverts had low cortical arousal, causing them to seek out stimulating experiences. Some researchers contend that specific genes are related to personality. For example, people with a longer dopamine-4 gene are more likely to be thrill seekers than are those without such a gene. These thrill seekers tend to be extroverted, impulsive, quick-tempered, and always in search of excitement and novel situations (Hamer et al., 1993; Zuckerman & Kuhlman, 2000) Illustration of Effect of Hereditary and Environmental Factors on Personality: Twin studies are a vastly important tool in dissecting the nature versus nurture argument. Identical twins, or monozygotic twins, are siblings whose genotypes are duplicates of each other. They are most likely the best indicator of whether biology affects traits and psychopathology in human beings. Fraternal twins, or dizygotic twins, share exactly half their genes with each other. They are not as optimal as identical twins for deciphering the degrees of genetic influence, but they are a very good basis for comparison for identical twins. Fraternal twins are similar to first-degree relatives, except they are sure to share the exact same age, as do identical twins. Twin studies usually rely on samples of identical and fraternal twins; if biology has a greater hand than environment, then identical twins should behave or possess psychopathology similar to each other more so than fraternal twins (Plomin et al., 1997). Identical twins reared apart are far more similar in personality than fraternal twins. These observations suggest that personality is heritable. However, the environment must also be looked at. There are two kinds of environmental effects: shared experiences and non-shared experiences. Although identical twins are genetically identical and share the same family environment, identical twins raised together do not have identical personalities. These differences must then be explained entirely by non-shared environmental effects. * Attitudes:

One particular study sought to determine the heritability of attitudes among twins, as well as the genetic variables, such as intelligence, that could affect attitudes among...
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