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Environment Shapes Personality Essay Sample

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Environment Shapes Personality Essay Sample

There has always been a long and never ending debate of what really affects personality is it with a person’s genetic makeup or with his environment. Many researchers have agreed that personality is both influenced by nature and nurture. But I will still stand that nurture has bigger impacts than nature. If environment didn’t play a part in determining an individual’s traits and behaviors, then identical twins should, theoretically, be exactly the same in all respects, even if reared apart. But a number of studies show that they are never exactly alike, even though they are remarkably similar in most respects. (Powell, 2013) In operant conditioning, when you reward a behavior, chances are that same behavior is likely to occur again in the future. When a behavior is punished, it becomes less likely that it will occur again in the future.

These principles underlie the concept of operant conditioning, a set of learning techniques that utilizes reinforcement and punishment to either increase or decrease a response. For example, when a child is rewarded for cleaning her room, she becomes more likely to repeat the same behavior later on. (Cherry, 2012) The nurture theory holds that genetic influence over abstract traits may exist; however, the environmental factors are the real origins of our behavior. This includes the use of conditioning in order to induce a new behavior to a child, or alter an unlikely behavior being shown by the child. According to John Watson, one of the strongest psychologists who propose environmental learning as a dominating side in the nature vs nurture debate, once said that he can be able to train a baby randomly chosen in a group of 12 infants, to become any type of specialist Watson wants. He stated that he could train him to be such regardless of the child’s potentialities, talents and race. (Sincero, 2012)

True, there is a shared environment. Siblings may have the same parents, live in the same home, eat the same meals, attend the same schools, take the same vacations, and celebrate the same holidays Perhaps most important is that siblings are raised within the same culture—which has a powerful influence on several aspects of development . But brothers and sisters also experience unique nonshared environments. Born at separate times, and possibly in different places, they are treated differently by their parents, occupy different niches within the family, have different friends and teachers, play on different sports teams, and so on. One sibling may even fall victim to illness or have an accident that another does not. The point is that the forces of nurture are vital to development and can steer us in different directions—both between families and within families as well. (Kassin, 2004) Therefore, we conclude that even there are evidences that nature is affecting more the personality of a person we could see that nurture has greater say with the debate. But for many of us it is an unending debate. We just need to see both sides and be open minded about this issue.

Sources:

Powell, Kimberly, 2013, Nature vs. Nurture: Are We Really Born That Way?, (http://genealogy.about.com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture.htm) Cherry, Kendra, 2012, Experience and Development: How Experience Influences Child Development. (http://psychology.about.com/od/early-child-development/a/experience-and-development.htm) Kassin, Paul, 2004, Essentials in Psychology

Sincero, Sarah Mae, 2012, Nature and Nurture Debate: The Argument Continues (http://explorable.com/nature-vs-nurture-debate)

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