Saturday, March 4, 2017

Nature vs. Nurture


Nature vs. Nurture. It has been an ongoing debate in psychological circles since the dawn of the field of psychology itself. 

Some psychologists insist that our personalities are formed at the same time our brain is formed. That whether we become a sociopath, and introvert, an extrovert, a compassionate person, a selfish person, etc. is hardwired into our brain from birth. They state that the environment we are raised in has no impact whatsoever on the presence, or lack thereof, of those traits. They point to the brain scans of sociopaths, where the region of the brain that controls empathy is literally a dead zone, as evidence that biological factors determine personality. They also point out that introverts and extroverts exhibit completely different brain patterns. 

Perhaps the most convincing argument for the nature argument is that siblings often have completely different personalities, despite being raised in the same environment. If environment was truly the determining factor, they argue, then wouldn't siblings have almost identical personalities? 

Other psychologists insist that our personality is molded in our formative childhood years, and is largely dependent upon the environment that we are raised in. They state that a child raised in a compassionate and loving home will become a compassionate and loving adult. That a child raised in a dysfunctional, abusive, or unloving home will become an adult unable to form healthy relationships and more prone to criminal activity. They point out that those raised in loving and supportive homes have much lower rates of juvenile delinquency, for example, than those from "dysfunctional" homes. 

Other psychologists find some middle ground by positing that it is a combination of the two, both nature and nurture, that determine who we are. 

What are your thoughts? Are we shaped by nature or nurture? Does one have more influence than the other? 

191 comments:

  1. Both are "factors" in the development of the thinking (the "thought-process") ... as well as the way that person perceives the world around them... Great topic ... one of the greater "psychological" debates...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Undoubtedly both. You only have to look at the way the first born is treated compared to the last born, maybe the fourth child. Of course they will be different because of their upbringing. But then the genes kick in too. All a very vague science, but interesting too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I firmly believe it is both. I know for a fact that events in my childhood affected my personality. I also know there are genetic components. I've studied myself enough to know these things are true.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ditto for both. Not to mention that people changes, even parents.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know which is on, but, nature is my favourite.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Keith, a great topic and very interesting. I would think both have a great bearing in the development of the individual but other factors also comes into play.

    Depression, stress, certain drugs, heavy metal, damaging chemicals and alcohol are factors that can affect the developing fetus. and no two pregnancy are the same...

    Our stress emotions are driven by the hormone we call cortisone which the developing fetus also is subjected to.
    It's hard to think straight when we are depressed or stressed or very tired and it affects the way we function. I would think it also affect the developing fetus.

    Some very young kids are allowed to play electronic games that are not appropriate for their age, some are exposed to pornography early and traumatic events. I think these can all have a damaging effect on a child's brain development and their conscience also. These are just my thoughts.
    Hugs, Julia

    ReplyDelete
  7. I believe it is a combination. We all have certain tendencies and how we are raised has a strong influence on who we become. Thankfully as a Christian I know that Christ sets me free from my past and makes me new :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My guess is that nature does play a slightly more significant role than nurture but that nurture can possibly turn the tide regarding some characteristics, especially in the first five years. I’m also guessing many of our behaviours are guided largely by instinct, similarly to all the animals with which we share the globe, but that we also have a rich array of choices.

    ReplyDelete
  9. hmmmm, you always make me think!!! i believe nature, life experiences, play a huge role in who we are. take bullying for example - i believe a child who is bullied is changed forever. i think it changes ones self confidence at an especially formative time in life. i don't think that is the end all, i just think experiences like that, that only being one, are so important!!

    as a parent of 2 grown boys, i often felt that the things they did, right or wrong, were a reflection of something i did, either right or wrong. it took me a long time to as a young mother, to change that thought process. i know now that nature, the outside world in which they spend much of their time - shapes them as well. they also play a big role - they emulate the behavior they see. so wow, that was deep for first thing this morning!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have two sons which were raised in the same household and have completely different personalities. I think it is a combination of the two. Good write!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Both. No one is predetermined to be something. Despite how the brain is wired, a person's environment can shape it and turn down those bad traits.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a hard one Keith-I go for both too-but I think the way one was raised makes a huge difference too and our experiences or life lessons will have an impact it all interacts together

    ReplyDelete
  13. Some psychologists insist that our
    personalities are formed at the same
    time our brain is formed

    Nature is more likely than nurture. One is blessed by nature into certain personalities and these may be impacted upon by the environment in the course of time! Enjoy your weekend too Keith!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  14. I tend to agree that it's both.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Having children myself I've seen first hand both nature and nurture. And in my experience it is both, but there is also a third factor. Parents have a tendency to treat their kids differently based on the situation at hand. I can tell you that my parents treated me and my 3 siblings differently and that taught us to judge ourselves based on your own family. That is a whole other ball of wax when it comes to nurture

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well ... my brother and I are literally the 'exact' opposites. So I would lean towards nature. Especially since I was raised in a very religious home, then in my teens I had a VERY rough and dangerous time, and yet I have turned that past around and made myself into a much better person. I could have continued on that destructive path and ended up in jail or worse, but I took the better way and am a better person today. Yet, I was raised by religious people.... so someone should do that math on that one! LOL! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Combination of. Sometimes nature can not be reversed by nurture, and sometimes visa versa...or not.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with other psychologists, Keith, that say the character is formed upon the environment that we are raised in.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to say both also. We adopted two abused children at the ages of 6 and 7. They came into a very loving extended family and had lots of therapy. One thrived on the therapy, went through some rough times as a teenager and young adult, and is now a wonderful woman with a great job and very happy life. The other, raised in the same environment with the same advantages and privileges and love, has been in and out of prison since he was 15.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Used to teach psychology on the college level and it is really both nature and nurture that influence the outcome of an individual ~ genetics is the biological base and environment is world one is reared ~ Psychologist separate the two for purpose of research ~ One professor used to say ' nature deals the cards and nurture plays them out ~ They are very much intertwined and not easy to determine what has impacted the individual the most ~ Some will rise above their genetics and/or their environmental influences ~ Pathology is another area that is more difficult to change but not impossible ~ Just my thoughts ~

    Happy Saturday ~ ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  21. Greetings! Nice to hear from you again. Doubtless, both play a part, but I think nature has the largest influence. Naturally, that's what I would say. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. The "nature" argument appears to have the upper hand....look at the numerous studies of twins that were separated at birth is an interesting example.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think both! But is really curious some things coming with us when we born but is inportant where you live, your parents and how you grow.
    I have twins and we adopted 22 years ago. They arrived when they had 3 days. well the curious they are different she is funny a little crazy, study art, Gerardo more serious, introvert study computation. But both love rock music (goes to the same concerts) and enjoy the same jokes and sometimes are really alike :)
    the life is a mysterious and a joy!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I didn't have a much of loving childhood...so I got my motherly attention from the television. I sought out good characters and emulated them. God help children if they do that now!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello Keith so nice to hear from you! Very intriguing post as usual. I am thinking I have 4 siblings all different so there must be something about us being born the way we are.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think both play a part, but nurture probably is the strongest. I was raised in a war zone. I made sure that war zone wasn't part of my life as an adult. There are choices we make, and often I hear excuses.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  27. __ It may be that... parental control has been overcome by this expansion of our technological society. We cannot let population growth soil our direction, and it's time we retrieved that guidance.
    Society:
    __ Five ants in a teacup walk around each other.
    Double that;
    __ Ten ants, walk over each other.
    Double that;
    __ Twenty ants, and chaos is the dictator.

    _m

    ReplyDelete
  28. Keith, I forgot to ask you...does Beate not do her blog anymore? I notice that this is the first post you have done this year. So, hope all is well with you both, you must be busy being happy!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello there Keith, thank you for stopping by : )
    I found Magyar response very interesting.
    I am an advocate of the combination theory .. both nature and nurture plus many different additional "stimulation" such as chemicals in our environment that we are exposed to, let alone a fetus in the womb from the very start of life.
    It is an extremely complicated process to "grow" a human being, let alone "explain" their personality traits.
    Stress has become a major factor in our lives and again that starts straight from the beginning with the fetus if the mother is under such pressure .. sorry, I could go on and on. There is the tip of my iceberg answer though ?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I believe nature has the upper hand. I suffered at the hands of my mother so I leaned on my dad for guidance. There was a world war in progress and I think it knocked all silliness out of me. That... and nature.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think it's both. There are four of us sisters, lots of similarities and some clear differences. Nice to see you online, thanks for the birthday thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello,
    Very impressive and interesting to read.

    Best regards,
    Marco

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ya know, I've thought a lot about this because my grandparents were fun, loving people and my dad turned out to be a really dark, hateful person. His brother and sisters were nice like their parents but my dad beat all three of his wives, did drugs and was an alcoholic. He's mellowed in his old age but I can see that hateful person underneath when he gets mad.

    My brother and I were raised in an abusive home. Both our parents used to beat the hell out of us to the point that I had welts and my legs would be bleeding that I couldn't go to school for days until it healed. My brother and I are total opposites now. He's 2 years younger than I am and has been married 6 times while I've been in the same relationship for 26 years. He's antagonistic and hard to get a long with while I'm not.

    I think nature and nuture has a little do do with it but I also think you grow up to be who you are because of brain chemistry and your core beliefs. You can be brought up in the most loving home and turn out to be a serial killer.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm convinced that both have huge influence on who we are.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Interesting post and comments. I think nature and nurture do what they do, but then one's own choices have an impact. Good to hear from you. again!

    ReplyDelete
  36. A very interesting and intriguing question and something that I've thought about a lot myself, coming from a family of three kids. My siblings and I share many of the same characteristics, but are also very different in other ways. I wonder, have the differences stemmed from personal experiences (school, peer groups - nurture), since we all shared the same ones at home?

    Conversely, a case study I remember reading about in university stated that twins who were separated at birth were found to share many of the same characteristics and behaviours even though they grew up in completely different environments.

    My siblings and I believe that each of us is the funniest in the family. When I tell them that I have come across many studies that claim that firstborn children (that would be me), have been found to be the most intelligent, they crack up!;

    Nice to see a post from you!

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  37. A very thought-provoking post!
    Have a wonderful weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I believe that the combination theory is probably more correct. We are each born with a set of characteristics such as eye color, body type, and blood type. DNA among siblings is similar but not identical which causes the varieties we see in family members. Then there are the multitude of chemical and electrical interactions which affects reactions to our surroundings. Of course even being raised in similar environments does not mean that experiences are the same. I may not have been present when my sister received her first kiss for instance. Her reaction would not necessarily been the same as mine when I was first kissed. Opportunities may have been offered to me that were not offered to my brother. Those are things that shape us. So I think nature/nurture are both instrumental in a person's make-up.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "You can take a man out of the desert but you cannot take the desert out of the man", and that's very true. Education is an outer envelope; it smooths out things but doesn't change one's inner character.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for the thought provoking question. I'm not sure, but I think it's both. This is where my faith kicks in as a mom and I stand on the only truth I know: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

    ReplyDelete
  41. I doubt that the nature vs. nurture controversy will ever be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I tend to think that both play a part in determining the type of person we become.

    ReplyDelete
  42. A very interesting topic, I too think it's both but a child's upbringing has a huge influence, I have four children and I would say that child one and three are very similar in nature as are child two and four, however the first three were effected by negative events at home whereas the fourth child was removed from them at an early age as a result his whole persona is far removed from his siblings this child can and will fly. My brother and I have far different personalities, we were brought up by a very verbally abusive Mother as a result we are both introverted and have very low self esteem. Have a great weekend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. This is very interesting, Keith. And I don't know the answers because all three of my kids have their own personality traits. They lived in the same environment, yet one never seemed to get into any trouble while growing up. I would think that it's the nature of the child and how much nurturing he/she needs, maybe a combination of the two. But this is, indeed, interesting. I hope the March days are bringing you much joy.

    ~Sheri

    ReplyDelete
  44. very interesting question.

    if in doubt, remember the scorpion and the frog. it's in my nature.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love what Carol L McKeena said about "nature deals the cards and nurture plays them out" and I agree somewhat. I believe nature/genetics is what shapes us, like DUTA said, "you can take the man out of the desert, but you can't take the desert out of the man".

    The way you are born, your personality traits and way of looking at the world will be that way whether you are born and raised in a home filled with love or in a home filled with sadness and misery. It's the nature you were born with that will decide how you handle both.

    Many "bad" people who have done "bad" things, were raised in loving, nurturing homes, but their natural instincts and tendencies are to do the "bad" thing. Many "good" people who have done wonderful, generous, and beautiful things in the world were raised in homes filled with strife and discord and yet their natural instinct was to do the right thing.

    Just my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I believe nurture more than nature. Very interesting question. I enjoyed reading the comments.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your thoughts are very interesting, as are those of your readers. My guess is that both are a factor. Circumstances such birth order probably figure in too. And some personalities might enter adulthood determined to reverse negative behavior for their own children while others repeat it. Fascinating topic to think about!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think that nurture plays a great role in the making of a good human being. I believe also that nature has a strong role in us and if that seems to be very strong for some reason than no matter how good nurture was the nature will shine through unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Both have a profound effect. There's no way to measure units of one versus the other, so - as someone said - this will never be resolved. Someone also mentioned studies of twins. Even though twins raised in completely different environments have striking similarities, they are also very different. Alas, so many other factors shape who we are. Another great discourse, Keith. Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  50. This is such an interesting subject. I firmly believe that it's a combination of both nature and nurture - and that there are always exceptions!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    ReplyDelete
  51. It is both in a way, for nature sure wants its say no matter what, but nurture can help squash some of those bad habits if nurtured the right way. If not, then it can increase such bad habits. Nature brings it while nurture decides how much of it will show.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Some very interesting comments here, I too think its a combination and genetics play a part, but nurturing can equip and individual with good life skills.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think it's all of both. We're born with a set of characteristics that develop based on the environment we're in. Two identical personalities in children can turn out completely different based on what kind of place they grew up in.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I think it's both. I have a sister that's adopted. She did not know her biological family when she was growing up. Guess who she's more like? Her biological family. That's not to say that she didn't pick up things from the family she lived with her whole childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hello... Interesting thought! I always believed that the surroundings and upbringing plays a significant role in shaping our personality. I sure do think that I am today who I am because of certain paths I took in my life. But, your article makes me think again.

    As a teenager, I took some decisions that went against the opinion of my family. I wonder, How that happen if I were to behave per my upbringing? Perhaps there are a certain inbuilt characteristics of a person that of course, gets formed and developed over the years, along with the influences from the environment. So, I think I would pick the middle ground here. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  56. That is a very good question. It is my belief that it can be a bit of both but mostly nurture. But the hand of God working in a life, whether it is troubled or not is a powerful thing. My two boys were raised exactly the same but they are totally different due in part to who they took after, their mother or their dad. Also being exposed to a traumatic experience as a child can have a huge impact on decisions that are made in adulthood. Praise God for His mercy and grace and that He can make beauty from ashes.

    ReplyDelete
  57. It's a complicated subject and I don't think that one theory can completely prevail over the other.

    I believe that our personalities are largely formed at the same time our brain is formed. Our early environment does have a lot to do with how we develop emotionally, but it is not solely responsible. Many normal, mentally sound people came from disturbed environments - - and many seriously disturbed people came from good environments.

    Somehow, this made me think of the movie (and novel) "The Bad Seed".

    ReplyDelete
  58. Six of one and half a dozen of the other seems to be applicable here, in my opinion. And then, on the other hand, perhaps, half a dozen of one or six of the other! :)

    Definitely a combination of both...with lots of nurture thrown in for good measure!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I opt for both. With shifting goal posts about how much influence they have.

    ReplyDelete
  60. This one is difficult for me. We adopted our son right after his birth. He was born to a drug addict/alcoholic and had to go through withdrawals before we could even bring him home. At first they labeled him as failure to thrive. But he started to eat for us and began to thrive. I was told he would more than likely have learning problems so I took classes to know how to help him achieve and not be held back. But he turned out to be very intelligent and scored in tests as being in the upper 10% in the nation, which was so wonderful. He did so amazingly well until he hit puberty. Then it was as if he were possessed. He started drinking, doing drugs, being violent, running away...we were so shocked. He got arrested and we arranged for rehab. It seemed to work but after a few weeks home he was back to old ways. We arranged counseling, and they had him tested. We actually had it done 3 times as so shocked. He was determined to have anti-social personality disorder, lack of empathy and narcissistic. When it was explained to me it broke my heart. We did all we could and listened to all advice. But once h turned 18 h said ADIOS and left to live his life as an addict and criminal. He has been in and out of jails, he had robbed and beaten people, been arrested for concealed weapons and threatening others, for drugs, drunk driving and so much. We had to cut him out of our lives, which broke our hearts. The night his father was dying, he was caught robbing our home. I would never have believed he would stoop that low.
    As he grew up, we often had several of our nieces and nephews visit and enjoy activities with him and us. They said they loved that and wanted to live with us. Two had told me they would love to have been raised by us (their father and stepmother drank, and their mother was drug addict). They said their happiest moments in their lives was the times they spent with us. I was reassured over and over that we were good parents. So nature won out over nurture. I just wish nurture would have won. I have learned that many drug babies do have problems, many for the rest of their lives. I am thankful to have had him in or lives as his childhood memories are a blessing to me. I pray for him every day. Do not even know if he is still alive or where he is.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Forced to choose, I'd say Nature is dominant.
    A typical "lonely, only" (child) I've spent an extraordinary amount of time observing my friends and relatives' interactions with their siblings. Almost without exception, they've become very different individuals. Great poser!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I think it's a mixture of the two. I think we're born with certain innate tendencies, but a toxic environment can warp them into something unnateral. No way will I ever accept that the children who are forced into being savage killers and suicide bombers are doing that because it's "in their nature."

    ReplyDelete
  63. I think it's a combination of nature and nurture. Both matter. Interesting post, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  64. i think it is a bit of both, i remember talking about this in school. thankfully i have a family who is there always who does nurture me ... but nature has taught us so much!! hope you are ok, i see you have not posted since Christmas time. hope all is well. take care. Beth ( :

    ReplyDelete
  65. I also think it's both. Very interesting post and thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am convinced it's both. I've witnessed identical behaviors and mannerisms in relations who never met until they were adults.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Just when one thinks the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it may do a turn-about. I recently ran into a psychopathic that is not under lock and key. It is amazing how they can convince one they have empathy, all the while stabbing one in the back while perhaps eating a sandwich. They are one empty shell inside and extremely dangerous. I wish they would wear signs.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I think it's a bit of the middle ground. But statistically nature does seem to win out. Like if someone has a Low IQ, they most likely have a Trump bumper-sticker.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I haven't studied this subject, but I think it's a combination. I also believe there are some things that are genetic and can't be changed. But other than those, everything else can be influenced by nurture. Great question.

    ReplyDelete
  70. A very good question.
    Interesting to read the comments too.
    I would go for some of both ...

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  71. As a human being, humanist, parent and educator, I think that nurture has the last say. How we shape our children's lives and what support we provide for them are more key to a child's development than any pre-destined traits.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Keith! Great to hear from you and what an interesting post! This is an especially interesting post to me. For the last two years I’ve been volunteering at one of the large hospitals in Seattle. What I do is go into the nursery where newborn babies with health issues are cared for until they can go home with their parents. Some of these babies are premature, some have drug dependency, some have other health issues. The nursery for these little ones is called the NICU … Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sometimes parents can’t be there, for example, when they have other children at home who need them. Sometimes nurses are busy because they have multiple babies to be caring for. My job is to help by simply holding a little baby and comforting them, especially when they are in a fussy mood. My experience has been that taking a baby in my arms, gently rocking them, and softly speaking to them will almost always settle them down and soon they will be closing their eyes and sound asleep. Now that is rewarding! :-) Having said all that brings me to your question. I often wonder what kind of adult our little ones will turn out to be. They are totally innocent when born so all behaviors must be learned. Is there something in their brain that will cause some to be kind and others cruel? I don’t know and I don’t really think Doctors know either. Reading the earlier comments here it looks like most believe it is a combination of nature and nurture. I tend to agree with that, especially for the babies born with drug dependency. Would it be too much to expect that would modify one’s brain? Thanks, Keith, for another intriguing post. I hope all is well with you and yours. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog! As always, I’m already looking forward to the next post on Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer!

    ReplyDelete
  73. i vote nature, and nurture brings out the qualities.

    ReplyDelete
  74. As someone who is pretty much of a "both/and" person, I certainly think it's some combination of both nature and nurture. There's seldom anything simple in the world--and we are all products of that complexity.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I think it is a combination of both. One sees the influence of nurture/non-nurture in a child's development, but as you stated, two children from the same environment can see/act in completely different ways.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I think it's a little of both. True, siblings grow up in the same environment but can be totally different personalities. A loving, caring home life can help a child with problems deal with the problems, whereas one left to deal with life on his/her own may make wrong choices. I'm rambling. Don't know how to explain it; I think nurture is most important.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I don't have the answer yet, but perhaps one day when we leave this planet, we'll all find out?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Definitely both. I also think we are because of and in spite of. Genes definitely play a role but circumstances and our ability to think and explore can make all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I don't know what makes us up..But I think it a multi of things in our life.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  80. ...too much for me to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I continue to hope, given a chance, we eventually become our own person. i realize, if we watch pop-culture television on the subject, it would seem hopeless . . .

    Still, if humans are given the opportunity - I hope they rise above the way is was - and become something new -

    ReplyDelete
  82. I've been missing your thought provoking posts. Very interesting comments.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I think environment has a powerful bearing on who we eventually become. Even though siblings grow up in the same house, their experience is almost always different.
    R

    ReplyDelete
  84. Mine's the cop out answer: it's both. There's too much supporting evidence on both sides. And really, I think life's too complicated to believe in one to the exclusion of the other.

    Here's a related question, though: what of our own choices? Certainly, we are each dealt a hand to play but the decisions are ultimately up to us. Are those choices predetermined by our background? Where and when does free will truly begin? And don't the results of those choices in turn have an impact on us as well?

    ReplyDelete
  85. I too believe it is both nature and nurture. Add to that mix, free choice and we all could have turned out many different ways. I think we all reinvent ourselves over the years and live these micro-lifetimes at different stages of our growth.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I think it's a bit of both... I've seen children who were in the worst situation's who found a way to believe and became wonderful people... yet others who came from good, loving homes who went down the wrong path... no on knows for sure.. xox ♡♡

    ReplyDelete
  87. I feel myself lucky that was raised among so many loving blood relationships like parents grand parents,aunts,cousins and caring teachers.
    though all got my sister too but inspite of this we both hve completely different personalities .
    ithrough my observations and experiences i learnt that EACH of us has instinct to absorb learning from outside world according to its own such as sitting in one same room around one statue people copy it according to the angle they look at it .
    No matter how worse the environment we raised in it is up to our way of learning that what we take out of it and this outcome make us who we are.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I think there is evidence of both. Glad to see you post again!

    ReplyDelete
  89. I'm going with both too. Every person born is unique in their own way with their personality and then the environment in which they are raised does affect so many key aspects of their "wiring" so to speak.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  90. Yesterday I wrote a comment, but I haven't sendet it...
    Have a good time

    ReplyDelete
  91. I just cannot believe that people are born bad as the nature arguments would suggest. However, I do think we are born with certain traits - BUT what we decide to do about them and with them is up to us and also influenced by the way we have been brought up.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I think it`s a mix of both. Very intresting blog, I like it very much-but I miss the gadget for translation ;) . I ould like to follow your blog and I am a new friend on instagram.
    best regards
    susa from Hamburg

    ReplyDelete
  93. Middle ground, but more nurture than nature. :)
    I have lived in a rich neighbourhood, where people were thinking success is only based on one's own merit and if you are poor it's because you are stupid and/or lazy. I remember, with much pride, how during a conversation between neighbours, I claimed that all children are born with the need to love, to be loved and to become useful and respected members of the society (or at least of the own community). If this doesn't happen, it's much more because of environmental than genetic factors. :)

    ReplyDelete
  94. No impact whatsoever? Well, I speak from experience when I tell you that I've been fighting my sociopath genes for decades and doing a very good job at that. I would therefore say, Keith, that it's a combination of both. There's a but, of course... There's always a but.... You have to be willing to change.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I found this very thought provoking . . .
    Taking the time to read the comments, I think the general
    consensus was that nature and nurture each play their cards.
    I wonder, will there ever be "the answer" . . .
    What I do know, I must have been born into some good "nature"
    and "nurture" wins consistently . . .
    Simply said, it seems I am a natural nurture . . .
    I was touched by Johns Island comment . . .
    and this
    One professor used to say ' nature deals the cards and nurture plays them out ~

    ReplyDelete
  96. One more thought . . .
    I am always so happy to read your posts.
    Return again soon please . . .
    You are my "first favorite" . . .
    Look at the many you nurture . . .

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have seen loving families with one bad seed, so I think it is a combination of factors. Certainly, the best way is to raise children in a loving home.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I'm thinking that it's a combination. This makes me think about the book I'm reading now - Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Her practice and studies have shown the impact of our thinking on our mindset and lives. She's worked with people who have everything from challenges with fear to brain injuries and seen vast improvement. It's very interesting. Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  99. It's an interesting debate. I'm simply happy that I was adopted! I met my birth mother and did not like her!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Hi Keith. Good to see you. I think it's a mixture of both. I can see distinct differences in my children and I can see similarities in them too.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hello Keith!:) Thank you for your visit, it's always a pleasure to read your kind comments, and to visit with you. Your post is certainly though provoking and complex, but I think it's a mixture of both nurture and nature. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Best Regards.:)

    ReplyDelete
  102. Though how one is raised makes a big impact on how we turn out, but the outside world has a lot of influence on our future. Once we mature, we decide to better or worsten ourselves.
    Deep though.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  103. I feel that there is no one answer as to how we evolve our personalities. It is to easy to blame someone or something else for our problems.
    A good home environment is a very important part of our growing-up years. But as we mature into adults, we then need to take responsibility for our actions. By then we should know right from wrong as well as making other decisions.
    There are other factors such as alcohol and drug abuse that can alter personalities. So,I go with a combo of nurture and nature...with a side order of fries :)
    Great post and food for thought~

    ReplyDelete
  104. Another vote here for both. :)

    ReplyDelete
  105. Interesting topic! I think it would be both and also it depends on individual. Nature may win on someone but nurture would change other.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I think it is both but I also think I would have a different personality if I looked different. I am an introvert mainly because I am self conscious about how I look and so don't want to draw attention to myself. If I was happy with how I looked I think I would be much more extrovert and I am ashamed to say - perhaps more selfish too.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I believe we are basically formed by nature, but that our environment has a huge impact that we either accept or reject.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Good question, I do not know, probably a mix out of all. :)

    ReplyDelete
  109. An interesting and thought provoking post, I think nurture has a lot to do with what type of person a person is yes their genes have a say but I think those in loving and supportive families and nicer and more loving people generally speaking yes there are exceptions to the rule that is just the way it is

    ReplyDelete
  110. I believe both are factors but I think nurture could over come some negative nature characteristics and visa versa. However I have know people who had abusive upbringings become loving and caring parents themselves. This may forever fall in the chicken and egg category.

    ReplyDelete
  111. I remember discussing this topic in our religious instruction class in high school. We didn't have the answer then, and I don't have it now, but I agree with most of your commenters that it's probably a combination of both.

    Glad to see you posting again!

    ReplyDelete
  112. I'm of the opinion that both matter, just in differing degrees. And there are other things that come into play that aren't looked into (nor could they be, really). Like, a psychopath is born a psychopath, so nurture isn't going to change that. But, a psychopath who is raised in a good home won't turn into someone who kills.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Both matter...Have you read Susan Cain's Quiet ? She does a wonderful job discussing brain research...

    ReplyDelete
  114. I think it is most likely a little of both. Great food for thought, Keith, thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Ever since I studied education, I have thought about this topic a lot. I have even had extensive discussions with my brother over it. I think it is a bit of both, but I do lean a little more toward the nurture side.

    ReplyDelete
  116. I remember studying this at college. The interesting studies are those of twins being brought up in different environments. Seemed to prove that environment is a major factor but not the only one. Nature also plays a role. My first child was adopted out but when I met him at age 30 he had similar mannerisms to my other two children. Funny thing too is that he misspelled words in the same way as his siblings.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I always find these types of topics interesting! I loved reading through the comments on this post too, and I definitely agree with a lot of the thoughts echoed above. I agree that it's a definitely a mixture of both, I think that our experience and environments can shape who we are and change the way we see the world, and I think we also have inbuilt sets of ways inside us too, whether or not we inherit them from our family I'm not sure, but it's definitely interesting! Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my last post too! - Tasha

    ReplyDelete
  118. Such an interesting topic! I'm in the "both" camp. There are definitely things that nature decides, but nurture also plays a huge role.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I think nature and nurture have an equal balance in how we end up. There are things that are genetically predisposed; that's a scientific fact. But there are also people who are able to overcome their genetic "programming" through nurturing. You can't overlook either.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I agree with Arkansas Patti. Nature is responsible partly for our behaviour and so is nurture. There are so many factors playing a role in our upbringing. We are all capable to become good or bad people.The thing is: "What are our choices?"

    ReplyDelete
  121. WOW...thought to ponder, indeed. I just WISH I knew what caused certain traits in people. My hubby is a good example of children born to same parents and raised the same...and turned out soooo different. I don't think we are BORN with certain traits...I think we "pick" them up somewhere along the way. Some of the most loving and caring parents in the world end up with a child that turns into a killer...oh, it's all too confusing....I really have NO ideas on your subject....very interesting, tho

    ReplyDelete
  122. Well, I have thought about this question many times. I would guess it would be about 50/50. I know adopted children who have particular gifts that seem to have been passed to them by "nature" - from the bio parents they never knew. Musical ability, for example, when the adoptive parents are not musical at all. But, of course, without someone taking the time to nurture those inborn talents, nothing will come of them. So I think really nature & nurture work together.

    ReplyDelete
  123. I think it's a bit of both, but the brain changes, so I have to think that having a loving home is a good thing in terms of a child's brain development.

    ReplyDelete
  124. I think mostly nurture, but different factors enter into that: different parental expectations for each child (gender, birth order), spoiling by older sibs etc etc ... even siblings growing up at the same time in the same household may be nourished in different ways by the parents or have different reactions to the way it is provided.

    ReplyDelete
  125. I think it's definitely a mixture of both

    ReplyDelete
  126. hello,
    I also sense it is a mix of both and more.
    Siblings raised in the same home, well it is never the same for each child. The parents are different parents with more experience by the time each child comes to them.

    It is interesting to consider.

    Wonderful week to you!

    ReplyDelete
  127. I think that this is a very difficult question to answer and an even more difficult theory to prove. I tend to think it is a mixture of both nature and nurture but that nature plays a much bigger role in the final outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I actually believe it's a mixture. Nature may have an upper-hand, but nurture can be more powerful at times.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Interesting post! Good question!
    From what I have experienced and learned in my life time, I feel it's what we do with our lives! From bad experiences, can come a brilliant person who conquers everything. You have to learn, forgive and forgive yourself, then live. It's all about choices and what you want out of life. Some of us, never learn and keep going through things, but some of us do, and grow. I hope I am making sense? LOL! Take Care!

    ReplyDelete
  130. I think it is a mix of the two. Both influence who we are, but there are certainly people born into terrible circumstances who have a strong will to change their lives for the better (some memoirs I have read come to mind). I see lots of siblings with very different outlooks and personalities, even those born only a year apart. So, I am sticking with a mix- but it is always fascinating to think about. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  131. Good question. I think it's a mixture of both, but then again, I have 3 siblings and we were all raised the same. They are criminal drug addicts and I am a role model citizen. I think we choose many of our own behavior patterns based on who we let influence us in our lives, but some of it has to boil down to how we are hardwired.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I think we are shaped by a little bit of both. While a part of my personality might have been formed early on by nature, I am also aware that aspects of my personality have changed through the years, and I think that has a lot to do with nurture.

    ReplyDelete
  133. I believe we are a good mixture of inherent traits and our surroundings. No one overrules the other, or can be influenced both positively and negatively, by the other.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Sorry I couldn’t come to a term but i feel only good sand and soil or clay could support a structure however intelligence you put on a building… and at the same time, in lack of knowledge, having good sand and soil is useless. And that’s what nature and nurture also. It’s a balance act toward the personality and I believe any common person get into this term easily but one can’t go with either unless taken studies over there.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Most of the more recent research indicates it's a combination. They can predict with decent accuracy whether an infant will be shy or not. However, environment definitely plays an influence as well in our personality traits. I do know that my child that is the most active and the biggest performer was also the child that kicked me the most when I was pregnant, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  136. It is a combination although I tend to believe the 'nature' angle (psychologists) a little more... I have seen loving families have kids with so many different personalities, even though they were all raised the same...

    The tendency for possible bad behavior must be there when a child is born. THEN---if that child is not "nurtured healthily" that child may allow the BAD things to take over and control him/her. IF a child is loved and cared for in a loving home ---the 'bad' tendencies don't come out as easily....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  137. Oh I do believe it is a combination, because some are predisposed genetically for personality disorders, as well as for the genius factor. Some may say that these two factors are related. And the nurture aspect plays well into both of those scenarios. Aloha to you, Keith!

    ReplyDelete
  138. What a good discussion... and something I think about often. It must be both.. Both my daughters "came out" from day one as unique individuals with unique tendencies, but children also "learn what they live" I believe. Makes me know we need to provide the best examples for the future generation... and for those we influence in our homes and elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Nurture is important, but so is the genetic disposition. Some of us are genetically wired to go above and beyond our capabilities and push ourselves. Others are wired to be accepting and benign. That can be changed if a person is 'groomed' to be a certain way by parents. Some children see their parents and want to be different, others want to emulate their parents. I think there are indeed addictive personalities, and likely psychotic personalities, some of which are caused by imbalances of certain chemicals. It's best to nurture what nature has bequeathed, but nature can be improved.

    ReplyDelete
  140. What a wonderful post!

    "Nature," to me, is the unique style in which a person navigates "nurture." Nature and nurture are in constant interplay -- sometimes running counterpoint to each other. There is an ebb and flow in the balance of nurture to nature. Perceptive nurturing, I believe, should lead a person back to his own nature. To the extent that it doesn't do this, nature must grab the reins and fulfill its own mission.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I'm inclined to think both. I know nurture is very important and probably affects how we approach life or treat people. If we're raised kindly, hopefully that transfers. But I have a friend who was adopted by science-oriented folks. She had an amazing voice and always a great desire to be onstage which she did professionally, along with singing in choirs and acting. Many years later, as an adult, she found her birth family and learned her birth parents were both musicians, her father a conductor, her mother a singer. Definitely nature, I think, coming out there.

    ReplyDelete
  142. i think the middle ground. Very informative post!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Interesting... In my opinion, I think we have much more control of our destiny by choices than either school of thought gives credit.
    Su

    ReplyDelete
  144. I think both equally shape who we are.

    ReplyDelete
  145. This post is very interesting, and the comments are equally thought-provoking. Like a lot of others I think it's a little bit of both.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Before I became a mom, as a psych student and enthusiast I was passionately arguing that it is mostly nurture, I gave a ten percent to nature mostly to acknowledge the biological out of the norm inclinations. But then she came. I started getting to know her before she was born. I could already sense her stubbornness and her inner fire. I could feel her strength. I expected her to have above the average intelligence because of her almost everlasting inside the womb activity. And then I witnessed her amazing journey of self and world discovery and I knew all I once believed were wrong. Nature is so much stronger than I once thought. Of course a loving and nurturing environment with complicated stimuli will safely help everyone to unfold themselves better and more effectively and is crucial for a healthy development, but our gene pool plays a huge part. If I had to guess, now I would say it's 60-40.
    Thanks for opportunity to share my thoughts!
    I hope you are well!!

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'm in the latter group--both!

    ReplyDelete
  148. I don't know the answer to this, nor do I know what to think. I have a friend that was raised in the worst of situations and is a wonderful person. And you see situations where parents are the best, and dumb founded when their child turns out to be a horrible person. I'm sure each situation is different, and probably there are a bit of nature and nurture in each situation.

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  149. I think the "hard-wiring" of the brain and physiology have something to do with the behavioral outcome of a person, but still I think the most influence comes from upbringing and various external stimuli. Even in families where the personalities and behavior of siblings is different I think there are differences in parental responses to a child that could exist for many reasons as well as the influence from the outside such as teachers, friends, and so on.

    So I guess I'm somewhat a middle of the roader who leans more heavily towards nurture.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  150. I agree that I think it's a mixture of both. You hear of people that were raised in horrific situations and turn into great people, and then you hear of those that were raised in wonderful loving families and do terrible things.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
  151. I think it's a mix of both. We have tendencies to be a certain way, which is part of our biology. But the environment can shape us to be extreme in our natural tendencies or more moderate. I'm not sure about sociopaths, though. I think only medication can change them.

    ReplyDelete
  152. I wonder if we will ever know for sure. I have studied children over the years and think it is the first three years of life that have a lot of influences on them, but what do I know! Wonderful posting! Hope you have a happy weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  153. I think that it is mostly likely a mix of both. There are so many examples of children turning out well in bad situations, and also the other way around. Some people, however, do seem to lack empathy for others. That could be something we are are born with.

    ReplyDelete
  154. I think it's both. Children do learn what they live. They mimic their caretakers attitudes and habits, but a caretaker isn't always the biological parent. On the other hand, I'm sure there are plenty of conditions that can be inherited that come into play.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Both!!! Oh I am now your newest follower!! Thanks for the interesting thought provoking posts!

    ReplyDelete
  156. Ah, this is a large discussion in our theory of knowledge class. I do think, though, that nuture is what wins out. Yes, siblings are completely different despite growing up in the same environment, but then, isn't their nuture different as they not only have parents nuturing but also older siblings? This then makes the nuture factor different. And there are external factors such as friends and teachers and so on, who also contribute to nuture.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I think mixture of both, I’d say nature 20 percent, nurture 80 percent. My two children were quite different from the day one as a new born baby. They were raised in the same home environment with love, but I think parents’ way of treating them ( the first and the second child) can be somewhat different either conscious or unconscious. Not only from parents but we learn from our environment including friends, teachers, coworkers, and special incidents as we get older as our learning lasts to our end. Someone could develop another character due to the nature of his/her work. Now I enjoy watching my grandchildren grow and develop personality. The most important is to be raised with unconditional love.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
  158. you have raised a pertinent question in your post.
    i guess, nature largely determines our behavior and the right nurture can help it prosper or disintegrate as the situation may be. humans are so complicated. damn!

    ReplyDelete
  159. Yet another interesting post you've posted!
    I believe it's a mixture of both nurture and nature.
    I enjoy reading your posts!
    Keep it up! :D

    ReplyDelete
  160. Definitely a mixture! However, stories of siblings who were separated at birth show that some amazing traits are inborn.

    My two daughters are very different in many ways. One thrives in the city but the other relishes country life.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Nice post - the thing I often ask is that how can nurture be the same for two siblings if they are not the twins - for the first part of the older siblings life they were an 'only child' - thats a condition that can never be experienced by the second child. But what do I know!

    Cheers - Stewart M - In Melbourne, but jet-lagged!

    ReplyDelete
  162. I would definitely say it has to be a bit of both. Amazing people come from dysfunctional backgrounds to rise above. And then there are those who have everything and yet wind up becoming miserable, angry adults. Once we are on our own in the world, it is up to us to choose our path. As long as we are living, we are ever growing and evolving.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I agree with Tammy that it's a combination of nature and nurture. We do our best to raise our children to become good, caring individuals, but it doesn't always work out that way. I always hear stories about parents who have spoiled and selfish kids and I'm so thankful that our boys have grown into such kind hearted and hard working young men. Another interesting blog, Keith!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  164. definitely both. great question.
    :)
    Marie

    ReplyDelete
  165. I also believe in a combination of the two, both nature and nurture. We all definitely inherit genes and personality traits but then life events, siblings, friends, teachers, work mates and so on, also shape who we are.

    Thanks for the interesting question!

    ReplyDelete
  166. I try to remember this advice: "All generalizations are wrong, including this one."

    ReplyDelete
  167. Good question.

    I wish I knew the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  168. oh.
    what a question.
    i think it is both.

    nature is our core. what we cannot change. often what we wish we could change.
    our personalities. often our likes and dislikes that we gravitate towards. however, even things like this can be altered.
    often siblings are a good example of this.
    i have one older sister (18 months apart).
    and though we are very close and act like twins, we are polar opposites.

    however.
    we were raised the same.
    yet one is extroverted. the other introverted.
    one loves driving. the other hates it.
    one could eat chocolate all day. the other won't touch it.
    one is passionate about relationships and family. the other is passionate about academics and intelligence.

    i believe that nurture can alter the results of nature.
    even the most stubborn child can be tamed.
    the most rebellious heart won over.

    but. then again.
    who really knows.

    it was a joy stopping by again!

    ReplyDelete
  169. I'd like to think 'nature' as I have 4 children and I continue to wonder 'who are these people and why do they keep calling me Mom?"! LOL! Also, as a child people (myself included) thought I was adopted as I was so different from my parents not in looks as much as personality. Interesting to think about...thank you for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  170. One of my early childhood professors nailed it on the head when she called it 50/50. Yes, we come with a personality and preferences, but half of our forming mentality is based on the patterning and environment we're exposed to. I was not by nature a nurturing person. I really wasn't. Blame it on the 4 older brothers or over-worked mother, but I would have been perfectly happy being a career woman. However, when I moved away from all relatives and was living in NYC, that changed. Maybe it was because I craved more than the big city offers anyone. Maybe it was because I finally truly treasured the value of family. All I know is, I went from being career minded to family minded. I went back to the roots my family planted.

    ReplyDelete
  171. Good question. I believe it's a combination of the two--nature, nurture, plus a bit of God's grace in my case.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Its so good to see you back here, writing with all the love.

    I think we're both along with a little bit of magic! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  173. Nature or nuture....that's quite a question. I'd have to say both but I tend to lean a little more toward nuture.
    Man, oh man, that's a tough question!

    ReplyDelete
  174. I'm thinking it is both, but I agree with Sage and Spirit about leaning towards nurture. Perhaps some people are born a certain way, but with love and guidance, they might be turned around.

    ReplyDelete
  175. I'm definitely thinking it's 50/50. I've taught kids from really dysfunctional homes that were very compassionate and thoughtful. It always amazed me. I've also seen kids whose parents seemed very loving and efficient, but the kids were rebellious. You never know.

    ReplyDelete
  176. I've always been on the nurture side though age and experience has brought me to consider "human nature" is likely more important than I originally thought...:)

    ReplyDelete
  177. I believe both are a factor, but in the end, it's my opinion that nurture takes a bigger toll on someone. Just my opinion though.


    www.ficklemillennial.com

    ReplyDelete
  178. Nurturing is important, but we need challenges to bring our nature out, share with others.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Hi Keith.....great topic.
    I believe the middle ground theory (combination of the two).
    What is the consensus from the above comments.
    Keep shining my friend.
    Peggy xxx

    ReplyDelete
  180. Nature trumps nurture, but nurture is still a key ingredient in socialization and stability.

    ReplyDelete
  181. i'd say both, but more the nature side because if you have a strong will you can overcome your surroundings and upbringing

    happy april!
    Tara Tyler Talks

    ReplyDelete
  182. Great read Keith. It's got to be both, the brain is such a resilient creature isn't it... so many of us having experienced challenges early on with dysfunction and abuse...and yet somehow we are able to persevere...even thrive. I only know I came from dysfunction, abuse and an economically challenged upbringing... I consider my parents to be pretty middle of the road on the intelligence scale. I truly believe the lack of nurture in my childhood drove me to challenge all the nature I was given. I am currently a health and wellness educator for a great university. Go forth and conquer regardless.... my opinion anyways, for what it's worth.

    ReplyDelete
  183. hhmmmm...first time here and you made me thinking....
    well, I personally feel it's both but nature has got an edge over nurturing because nurturing can only brush up the things we got by nature as default....

    ReplyDelete
  184. I favor a combination. Methinks our species has some deep almost instinctive tendencies we are barely aware of. Still the social environment can effect us profoundly. The result make explaining all human behavior difficult at best....

    ReplyDelete