Resilience & Hardiness: Innate or Learned Personality Traits

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Resilience & Hardiness: Innate or Learned Personality Traits Zac Schutt

Resilience is the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, and similar occurrences. The question though, is whether or not you must learn resilience and hardiness, or if you are born with the personality traits that allow you to jump back from illness and other similar issues so quickly. According to a paper by G. A. Bonanno, when a person is exposed to a major stressor, such as the death of a loved one, there is a response in the brain that causes both a psychopathological breakdown, and, in some cases, a resilient response. In this resilient response there is little to no loss in the functioning of the brain, unlike what usually happens. This response is less recognized and is not nearly as common. The question is whether or not this is a learned personality trait, received from going through another similar event in the past, or if this is a trait that some individuals are born with. According to Salvatore R. Maddi, it has been shown that individuals usually have a certain level of hardiness, which leads to a higher resilience. While hardiness is usually an inherited personality trait, it is also possible for hardiness to be learned from the environment that the subject grew up in, or is currently living in. The question, is resilience an innate or learned personality trait, is simple to answer now that we have seen the facts. I come to the conclusion that while hardiness can be an innate personality trait, it is also possible for you to learn the trait after being affected by factors in your environment, either when growing up, or during other parts of your life.

References
Bonanno, G. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events?. American Psychologist, 59, 20-28. Maddi, S. R. (2005). On Hardiness and Other Pathways to Resilience. American Psychologist, 60(3), 261-262....
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