Thursday, November 19, 2020

Personality Traits & Genetics


The time old question is ‘are your personality traits based on nature or nurture?’ Does your inherited genetic material determine your personality or is it the environment you grew up in or could it be a mixture of both? The Minnesota study of Twins conducted between 1979 and 1999 viewed pairs of identical twins, whose genetics are at least 50 percent interchangeable, and fraternal twins, whose are about 20 percent interchangeable. Some sets of twins studied grew up in the same household and others grew up apart from each other, in different environments. The study concluded that identical twins had similar personalities, regardless if they grew up together or apart. This outcome is looking more towards the fact of genetics determining personality traits. And while the twin study strongly suggests that personality traits are dependent on inheritance, environmental factors could still play a role in personality. Think of the Theory of evolution. The idea of survival of the fittest would indicate that environmental factors would influence your personality.

I believe that both genetic inheritance and environmental factors influence our personalities. Our personality traits are a mixture of both nature and nurture. The twin studies have strong evidence supporting the idea that genetics determines your personality traits but I think the way a person was brought up affects them as well. For example, people who grew up in the city and people who grew up in more of a country setting have different personalities, which would mean their environment influences them. What do you think? 


  1. I found it really interesting how you brought up the "survival of the fittest" aspect of this topic. Now that I think about it, certain personality traits could have been inherited if they have helped your ancestors survive, but there could be variations in personality throughout generations because the environment around individuals is always changing and new obstacles arise for each generation. Maybe if the environment and world in general stayed the same for multiple generation, then each generation would have more similar personalities than the do right now.

  2. The "nature vs nurture" debate has always been one to interest me, and this article adds to that interest. I have always believed that both nature and nurture affected our personalities and mental health. For instance, sometimes depression is connected to our genetics, but our family life is as close to perfect as can be in an imperfect world, and sometimes depression can be connected to our environment and trauma we have faced from it, but seemingly nothing worth noting from our parents genetic standpoints. Not everything with personality can be black and white, and this is a very interesting article showing that.