Do Genes Determine Character Traits

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Psychology, Human nature Pages: 3 (610 words) Published: November 27, 2012
“Character Traits Determined Genetically? Genes May Hold the Key to a Life of Success, Study Suggests.”

I: Introduction
Do genes distinguish our personality traits or is it simply environment, and upbringing that makes us who we are? Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh have discovered that genes may play a greater role in forming character traits than they were thought to before. Things such as self-control, decision-making or sociability could be more nature than nurture.

II: Background
The debate of Nature vs. Nurture has been a widely argued topic among psychologists for more than a century. Both opinions of the nature vs. nurture debate have been examined among researchers and a great amount of research has been found, just no clear conclusions of whether it is one or the other. We have always thought of genes distinguishing your physical features such as eye color, hair color, height, etc., but can genes play more of a role in your personality than scientists thought?

III: Experiment
In this study, more than 800 sets of twins, mostly age 50 and over were tested by a method of asking a series of questions to see how they viewed themselves and others.

The questions that were asked included questions like "Are you influenced by people with strong opinions?" and "Are you disappointed about your achievements in life?" The answers to these questions were then compared with the Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scale. This scale is a Self-perceived quality-of-life scale that is used as a psychological assessment instrument. It is based on a comprehensive theory of the Self-Perceived Quality of Life and provides a multi-faceted measurement of health-related and non-health-related aspects of well-being. The psychologists found that genetics were more influential in shaping key traits than a person's home environment and surroundings. They also found through this study that genes affected a person's...
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