Nature V Nuture

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2001

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"Nature versus Nurture" After a semester of intensive research into the "Nature versus Nurture" personality debate, the investigators of this topic have concluded that personality is not shaped strictly by either genetics or the environment.

Because the topic of personality is so broad, the invesigators decided that narrowing the topic would prove to be more productive than trying to tackle the entire rhelm of personality. Thus, the area of study was limited to the specific traits of introversion and extroversion.

In additon to narrowing the search, the investigators split the research team in half and had three students focus on the side of the argument that suggests personality is made, and three students focus on the side of the argument suggesting personality is inherited.

Empirical studies, texts and the World Wide Web were utilized to aquire the information neccessary to draw a conclusion about which side of the "Nature versus Nurture" debate has more validity. Specifically, adoptive studies, and twin studies were examined.

The reason that the investigators centered their research on these types of studies is that in twin studies, the genes are similar, while in adoptive studies, the environment is similar.

The "Nature group" examined studies by Plomin, Scarr, and Loehlin. All of the studies conducted by these psychologists demonstrate that one's personality is made as a result of one's inherited genes. Birth parents play a greater role in the development of an individual's personality than the living environment does.

The "Nurture group" examined studies by Bergeman, Baltes, Greenspan and Lynn, etal.

Lynn and colleagues determine that "environmental factors contribute to the personality characteristics of extraversion and it supports the argument that personality traits are a result of environment" (Agahi, Hampson and Lynn, 1989).

While at first it seems that these findings contradict one another, upon further examination the investigators have come to the conclusion that genetics and environment do not shape personality independently. The genetic makeup shapes one's...