Random question for the forum


Do you think that people are predisposed towards one personality, or that who we are is purely based off of our environment? I’m writing a paper on the question and would love some input, personally I think that it’s a mixture.


We are born a certain way, because else we wouldn’t have personality affecting mental “disorders” from birth, like autism and ADHD*, but your personality isn’t “molded” or set in stone before you are around 7 years old.

*Which is not negative I feel I need to add, of fear of being flagged.


I think there is no one reason for the development of personalities, environment, genetics, circumstance, reinforcement… all kind of things mix together to provide the psychological forces that shape who we are, and the recipe calls for different amounts in different people. People who go through significant trauma obviously will have more circumstantial changes, while someone with genetic abnormalities will have more personality predispositions. One thing I think a lot of people overlook however is an individuals ability to affect their selves. People can actively fight their natures and overcome and replace what they were, or where they were going. Sorry if this is a little personal and makes the thread awkward, but I am always fond of referencing my own life for examples.

As a kid, I was very outgoing. Nothing embarrassed me, I had no problem wearing everything on my sleeves and I didn’t much consider what other people thought or felt. This is pretty typical of children. I moved around a lot as a kid, and the shifting environment changed me, and I became more withdrawn. The environment definitely shaped who I was in a lot of ways. Anxiety and depression run in my family, and as a teenager, these genetic tendencies hit me pretty hard. For several years I let anxiety and depression change me. I became an entirely different person because of a bad mix of genes that left me vulnerable. So genetics obviously also affects personality. Another big player is reinforcement, both positive and negative. Pretty much everyone can see that in their own lives. Because of a long pattern of reinforcement and personal conviction, I chose to serve a religious mission in a foreign country! The biggest things that have shaped my personality I feel though, is what I myself did with my own will. On that mission, I tried too hard. As anxiety, stress and trauma piled up over months and months, I refused to accept that the shy withdrawn guy inside of me was at his limit and I pushed him too far. Because of the choices I made, I suffered from a psychological break that absolutely shattered the person I was. It was a lot like hitting the reset button on my own identity, personality, and life. My point is, even if people do have a predisposition in personality traits, there is no way to dispute that a variety of environmental, genetic, and circumstantial factors go into the development of personality.

It is also very interesting to me to realize that perception and reality may as well be the same thing. The truth is that people in all regards are blind and senseless, with no power to perceive things as they really are. A devout atheist, muslim, and christian all have the same conviction with absolute certainty that their way is right. People are imprisoned based on eye witness accounts, when the human memory and senses are easily fooled an manipulated. People fight and die over misinterpretations, and perceived insults. The truth of humanity is that each person, is a squishy, vulnerable organ soaking in hormones and chemicals in a dark dark room, and all of our senses are incomplete puzzles that we put together from signals that have been telephoned throughout our nervous systems, that we foolishly attempt to reconstruct and fill the blanks in. The only thing that keeps us sane in all of this is that we believe what we perceive and trust that we perceive better than others. I do believe that there is absolute truth. Things are, they always have been and will be, but the only thing important to an individual is what we make of it.

Anyway, I will stop my little rant now… I just love psychology and philosophy so much… I could talk about it forever! :slight_smile:


We are based purely off our environment. Their is no “food” that makes you an introvert, or a “song” that makes someone loud and outgoing. The only thing that can effect any of these things are genetic disorders, and even then they only cause limitations, not actual changes designed to give someone a personality.


Actually there has been a lot of science done that links certain genes to emotions like rage and apathy, there’s a really good BBC article on it- http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31714853

I think that to some extent this could possibly be true with a lot of our personality.


At no point we were able to determine if our brains are a blank sheet when we’re born, or by a certain extent set in limits in our genes, or not.

Thus, this question is impossible to answer.

I’d be highly inclined to say that we’re based mostly off of our environment. After knowing someone who’s personality isn’t static or only changing slowly for quite a while, it would be foolish of me to say that genetics play that much of a role.


As many movies mention a ‘human factor’ that makes use unbreakable at certain points. Usually this is the will to live. Some could also take this to mean that humans strive to be different from each other. A lot of our responses to the environment come from experiences we have had in the past. But at a person’s core lies some idea that cannot be broken, like the will to live. Although this is subjective, as depressed people don’t exactly place value on their own lives, they may place that value elsewhere.


[quote=“Raptor, post:1, topic:59018”]
I think that it’s a mixture.
[/quote] I also believe that both environment and genetics play a large part in our personality. But like @PeirsPryce touched on, we all have the ability to change ourselves to some degree. Genetics and upbringing will always effect us and influence our hearts so to speak but we can make conscious efforts to change our habits whether for good or bad.


Both. For instance there are some pretty nutty people who were born that way seeing as their life was normal and they had a good family environment. Then there are people who are formed from the area they grew up in and the challenges they encountered in that environment. Take a look at successful athletes. Some are very humble and others are very egotistical. This could from being borne into a family with or without enough money to meet basic needs.