Nature and Nurture: Personality and Intelligence Perspective

Everybody is unique because different people have different nature and nurture factor to influence who we are going to be. So, what are nature and nurture? In reflective essay about nature and nurture will be an attempt to give the answer. Nature means the biological factors in a human, including the genes and hereditary. They determine our physical appearance, intelligence, gender, health, etc. Besides, nurture means the environmental variable, including childhood experiences, upbringing, relationships with families, friends, etc. Nature and nurture are the elements to change human development such as personality, behavior, etc. There is a controversial debate called Nature versus Nurture. The side of nature argues that gene is the most important influence because they think nature is those things gained by genetic or hereditary influences. On the other hand, the nurture side argues that nature is influenced by nurture which means nature can develop by the environment. So, which is the relative importance in human development, nature or nurture? Now I am going to illustrate it from personality and intelligence perspective.

Personality is an important part of our human development, it determines the character of a person. According to the Trait theory, it suggests that our personalities are made up of different broad traits, including people’s moods, beliefs, behaviors, ways of interaction between people etc, which represents who the person is. In fact, there is a link between genetics and personality development. An American psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin proposed that “ The key to personality traits does not lie in how you were treated by your parents, but rather in what you inherited biologically from them: namely, the genes in your DNA.” While some twin and family studies have shown that personality traits are heritable moderately, and can predict various lifetime outcomes, such as the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart studies 350 pairs of twins between 1979 and 1999. The participants included sets of both fraternal and identical twins who were either raised together in the same household or raised apart. And the results showed that the personalities of identical twins were very similar whether they were raised in a different environment, also suggesting that at least some aspects of personality are largely influenced by genetics.

Despite the fact, this does not mean that the environment does not play a role in forming the personality in which genetic factors are work with environmental factors to create a personality. So what are the environmental factors that influence people's personality? These include the daily experience people encounter, the place where people live, the people whom the individuals surround, etc. And these unique situations help to build a unique characteristic of personality. During the stage of a child, home brings a great influence to develop a personality, for example if a child raised in a positive and nurturing family environment, Since they know that they are loved, they are able to take the psychological risks which to build an ability not to be afraid of learning new things. They know it’s important to try their best to accomplish a task. If they fail, their family will be there to comfort them and help them try again. And these children are more motivated to learn. Besides, the school environment during the stage of teens also provides an important influence on personality development, a positive educational environment provides them useful information and problem-solving skills. A teen can learn these skills to equip themselves throughout life which when they encounter any problem, they are less likely to become negative and also able to solve the event. So, personality trait is a combination of nature and nurture which personality is shaped by both inheritance and environmental factors.

In addition, genetics and environmental factors also influence intelligence development. According to research studies, intelligence was found to be closely related to the family lines. Children with high intelligence because they are born from the parent with high intelligence. This signifies that parents passed over their genes involved with intelligence to their children. This is true through allelic studies that reaffirm the child's genetics from parents. It has also been reported that children show similarities to their parents in the structure of the brain. According to a study by Thompson et al. , he performed magnetic resonance imaging in an in vivo study of brain structures, one of the heritable factors involved in intellectual development. In addition, genes associated with cognitive ability have been found to be heritable. For example, Winterer & Goldman pointed out that chromosome 22 of the human genome carries a heritable gene encoding catechol-O-methyltransferase, which is expressed in people with genetic links such as relatives. Similar. These studies provide evidence that heredity plays an important role in determining the development of intelligence. Normally, children have the genetic component of their parents because they are products of sexual reproduction involving the fusion of male and female gametes by known biological mechanisms. So, genes related to intelligence are inherited from parents by children, just like other gene fragments, and their expression levels are the same as those associated with other characteristics such as gender, height, and pigmentation.

On the other hand, It has also been found that environmental factors can affect intelligence. Heffner reports that environmental factors contribute to differences in children's cognitive development. Devitt & Ormrod highlight some of the environmental factors that influence intelligence, such as the family environment, formal education, and nutrition. The family environment is thought to have an impact on determining intelligence. For example, the socioeconomic status of families raising children can affect their IQ scores. Wahlsten pointed out that children raised in low-income families have a lower IQ than those raised in families with high socioeconomic status. Often, Child intelligence can be affected in an environment where they grow. Twins and adoption studies can provide evidence for this phenomenon. Devitt & Ormrod proposes an IQ correlation between identical twins (identical twins) and adoptive children in two different environments to explain how environmental factors affect intelligence. It is reported that intelligence associated with identical twins is .86, while the IQ correlation for raising twins in independent houses is .72. Similarly, adoption studies have shown that the IQ of unadopted children is lower than adoptive children that of. As a consequence, it is clear that intelligence is not completely influenced by genetic factors, and environmental factors also play an important role.

To sum up, there are many different perspectives on human development to certify the relative importance of nature and nurture, not only in personality and intelligence perspective. With all of the above, nature or nurture both are relative importance in human development and there is no extreme position that nature or nurture affects ourselves entirely because there is much research or test to testify the impact of each side. By nature aspect, there are genes and hereditary factors to determine who we are. On the other hand, nurture includes environmental variables. The fact is that both go hand-in-hand and they work with the interaction between the other. 

10 October 2022
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