Nature Versus Nuture; Effects on Personality Development Vol. 9. No. 16


An interactive discussion between the moderator and members of the bed briefing family on the topic: Nature Versus Nuture; Effects on Personality Development

Date: 17th December 2020

Time : 7:00 pm

Venue: Bed Briefing House via telegram Moderator: Miss Jennifer Ezema Collator: Miss Benita Aniebo

It is without doubt that the role of genetics is highly paramount, it is one whose roles in the formation of one’s personality cannot be overemphasized. However, the environment in which a person is cultivated, has overtime, also proven to be undisputed in the same personality formation.
Nature: refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are; from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics.When we refer to nurture, we are talking about all the environmental factors that influence us. It also includes parenting style, birth order, peers, family size, culture, language, education, etc.
Personality development is the relatively enduring pattern of the THOUGHTS, FEELINGS and BEHAVIORS that distinguish individuals from each other.Nature is usually constant and reveals with time, nurture can change since it involves learning and experience. Now looking at your personality, which do you think plays a greater role, your genes (nature) or nurture (environment and experience)?
All play roles in human life but nurture overpowers nature reasons being:
1. Language: no can speak language by nature but by learning the type of language spoken in the environment the person is coming from.
2. Behavior : 90% of human behaviour depends on the environment which comprises peer group, situation of environment, influence from loved ones, belief of the family and fate.
Looking at NATURE playing a crucial role, in the Minnesota study of twins reared apart, it was actually found that there was a high similarities in the life of identical twins reared apart, this implies that Identical twins reared apart are far more similar in personality than randomly selected pairs of people. Also, biological siblings are more similar in personality than adopted siblings. Each observation suggests that personality is inheritable to a certain extent. Adoption studies also shows that adopted siblings share less similarities irrespective of being in same environment. A man that smokes that has two children, one ended up being a smoker, the other hated smoking, meaning that they perceived it differently. Thus perception played a role. One saw the dad as a role model the other learnt a lesson.
NURTURE Intelligence and subsequent learning also are viewed to be influenced by the environment in which the person grows up, both before and after birth. (European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2007; Kan et al, 2013). That is to say that appropriate prenatal care in the womb as well as conducive environment after birth can catalyze the production of a super smart individual irrespective of genetic makeup and vice versa. A pair of identical twins separated at birth, Twin A was trained in a civilized environment and he had everything he wanted, at 50 he was found to be younger than twin B who grew up as a hoodlum and drug addict.Is there any instance where nurture or nature can totally override and inhibit the other?
Yes Nurture can override nature and that is called Epigenetics. What about those who were once the introverted type but later became more open? Is it that the gene was not yet at work or their environment Changed the gene? The gene is still there, that’s where nurture overriding comes in.And can that change be transferred to offspring?No. It is simply acquired, if it can be transmitted, then a man that lost his leg in a war can transmit amputated leg to the offspring. Examples of How Environment Can Affect or Override NaturePeer pressure and Traumatic conditions, Change of social status/ class and friends. They said leaders are born(nature)not made (nurture) but it seems the opposite is true for queen bees according to a new study by researchers. Larvae turn into queen bees when they are fed a nutritious diet called “royal jelly”. Royal jelly has the capacity to influence the genetic instructions encoded in the honey bee genome. 
So nuture alters nature. Yes it actually can. A typical example is an eagle, naturally eagles fly but an eagle was extracted and kept with chickens from birth and this made it see itself as a chicken thus it could not fly because of environment, (NURTURE suppressing NATURE) This same eagle, when taken high up the mountain, on seeing fellow eagles fly started flying since it was left with no other option (The nature of flying is still there, This shows nurture overriding nature and not changing nature). You can work on a particular character you detest, an example is hot temper. Most hot tempered give the excuse that it’s in their nature to get angry easily but one can work on oneself to be less tempered. We can’t doubt the fact that nurture plays a role, but even among the hoodlums there are still people worse and better than the others. We are a product of both Nature or Nurture. We are a product of our genetics, and our environment. Through our genetics, we have a certain baseline personality, but that changes over time due to the influence of our surroundings: the people we hang out with and the overall level of nourishment in our growing environment. Nature and nurture can be reconciled since they work together. Some nutritional diseases (nutrients-related diseases) such as diabetes and obesity are passed on from parents (genes).
In summary, based on several studies and research, it can be deduced that human behaviour is both nature and nurture. In addition, evidence also supports that animal’s behaviour specifically grizzly bears is also due to the both factors. Nature is the foundation on which nurture gets built, therefore none is anything without the other. However, it is possible that one variable (nature or nurture) from the theory may contribute more effect on an individual.What do you tell someone who believes that all their shortcomings are natural and does not believe anything can be done about it?Explain to the person that one can overcome shortcomings by reading helpful books and seeking advice. Most motivational speakers had shortcomings, like Joyce Meyer but she overcame them, reading her books can help such a person.
God bless you!

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