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Is Personality, Behavior, and Temperament Genetic or Environmental?

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Is Personality, Behavior, and Temperament Genetic or Environmental?

The word "attempt" is critical when discussing the value of the coupling of genes and environment. Each person possesses differing qualities and attributes that, when put together, establish that person as an individual member of society. Psychologists study the questions of why and how in a very broad sense to encompass human beings as both a whole and an independent entity. Scientists have long studied the reasons why people develop different personalities, behaviors, thinking styles and temperaments, ultimately reaching the conclusion that a combination of genetic and environmental influences reflects equally in the overall understanding of personal development. Research involving identical twins who were separated at birth and eventually brought up within completely diverse families illustrate how there may exist some residual genetic components to inevitably assist in the overall developmental process, yet the twins ultimately grow up to be two very dissimilar individuals due to their respective upbringing.
The social, political, economical and religious activities experienced in everyday life represent the very essence of what it means to be a human being. These representations illustrate how and why a person act the way he or she does; how people attribute their moods, feelings and emotions; the way in which they interact with one another; as well as what governs their overall behavior. Attempting to ascertain the laws that influence human social behavior is a grand task, even though humans as a species are much the same, individually there are many differences. There exist areas where conclusions can be drawn to the effects on human behavior, including community, family, substance addition, divorce, deviant behavior, child abuse, public opinion and government. In short, there are a number of characteristics that make up a human being and his or her interaction with the environment. With all this said, however, research does indicate a connection between genetic composition and criminality, which points toward the possible conclusion that people can, indeed, be "born bad." Most often attributed to criminal behavior are factors of a social and psychological nature; however, the biological element has been the focus of studies that illustrate how "an imbalance of biochemicals such as testosterone and serotonin may lead to violent behavior" (Garelik, 1993, p. 66). According to Wasserman et al (2001), the eagerness to slap various social theories upon the reasons behind criminal behavior sorely overlooks the very legitimate argument for genetic composition. "The success of genetics in understanding human disease suggests that it could be a powerful tool in the scientific investigation of human behavior, including criminal behavior" (Wassmerman et al, 2001, p. 1).
The control theory, for example contends that while everyone maintains the potential to violate the law but does not do so out of social fear, people who have minimal social bonds at risk are not concerned with the consequences (Uggen, 1998). The opportunity theory states that for an individual to display criminal behavior, there must be a way to find valid prospects for reaching material goals, as well as no other availability to acquire these goals (Uggen, 1998). Neither of these popular theories of criminality nor any others for that matter even alludes to the potential for genetic involvement.
Genetic composition, while a strong indicator of behavior, is not the only means by which conduct is developed, the synergistic influence of environmental factors coupled with biological makeup serves to provide the equation that ultimately shapes an individual 's behavior. It may be true that at the very core of each person exists a common thread of kinship with regard to the inner workings of behavior, but there are grand variances that separate one individual from the next; while people may share various human traits, there will always be both subtle and extreme differences that set one person apart from another. Human behavior is a complicated and curious equation. The answer to why a particular action is exhibited may be locked away in centuries ' worth of evolution. Psychologists have come to understand that the human mental condition is part of a complex connection between the environment and biology, pointing to a direct link between brain chemistry and environmental structure that ultimately dictates behavior. I believe that personality, behavior, and temperament are genetic. As I get older, I realize that the things I do, the way I act, the way I think, and how I handle different situations is the same exact way my father is. I am so much like my father. I am a strong believer that people really do inherit the "person" that they have become. I just thank God that my father is a positive influence because if he wasn 't, I wouldn 't be where I am today. REFERENCES

Garelik, Glenn (1993). Born bad? New research points to a biological role in criminality. American Health 12, 66(6).

Uggen, Christopher (1998). Crime in the breaking: Gender differences in desistance. Law & Society Review 32, 401-428.

Wasserman, David; et al, eds. (2001). Genetics and Criminal
Behavior. Cambridge University Press.

*MLA and/or APA format does not require page numbers for WEB site in-text citations or bibliographies.

References: Garelik, Glenn (1993). Born bad? New research points to a biological role in criminality. American Health 12, 66(6). Uggen, Christopher (1998). Crime in the breaking: Gender differences in desistance. Law & Society Review 32, 401-428. Wasserman, David; et al, eds. (2001). Genetics and Criminal Behavior. Cambridge University Press. *MLA and/or APA format does not require page numbers for WEB site in-text citations or bibliographies.

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