Do you feel like personality is more inherited or learned?

I was thinking about babies (because I'm always thinking about them). I sometimes hear people say "I hope he/she has my personality" and it always makes me think. Like when I think of my personality I think that it's mine lol. It's me, it's who I am. But then I think about my mom and how she acts, and I see some of her in me. Then i think, did I inherit that behavior? Or did I learn to be that way from her? I've always been interested in behaviors and psychology and such. I really wish I had stuck with it in school.

Anywho, this is the randomness that is on my mind lol. Interested in your thoughts.
  • Inherited
    Vote A
  • Learned
    Vote B
  • A mixture
    Vote C
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Is it inherited or learned? Yes.

    It's been found that certain traits like habits and addictions may be passed down through epigenetics. For those that have never heard of it, the epigenetic code is responsible for activating and deactivating parts of the genetic code to allow an organism to adapt to its environment.

    In this sense certain traits (including personality) are inherited. However, as is made clear by observing identical twins, it's certainly not the whole story. Identical twins are the same genetically but they're clearly different from each other. This is because our personality is something we develop with our environment. Even two identical twins don't develop the same personalities in the same environment though so it can be hard to tell if part of it is simply human nature.

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  • I would reframe the poll because almost nobody is 100% in the Inheritance camp. I think it’s about 80% learned and 20% inherited. There are also other factors like nurtrition and health that factor in as well. There’s the “stress level” of the family which helps the child either avoid or take risk. There’s encouragement vs discouragement, or outright neglect. I am who I am in spite of my parent’s upbringing. Which makes it difficult for me to care about them now that I’m elderly. On the other hand, I have prepared my children in every way possible for the world, and they are rocking their worlds.

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    • Reframe it why? You feel like it's a mixture. Other people don't feel that way.

    • Yes, there is too much in one’s environment for things to be 100% genetically determined. Even the very smartest kid will not succeed without love and support of parents. There is a saying that I tell my kids that persistence, staying at a task is more important than being smart. I know a dumb billionaire.

Most Helpful Girls

  • I don't think personality as a whole is inherited, its just who you are as a person though children do inherit some traits for example people say am as quiet as my dad but still as crazy as my mom, while there are things that compose your personality that you learn such as your values, principles and beliefs sometimes we are thought those from parents or just experience and the environment.
    Plus we know some kids be having parents who are assholes or criminals but they still turn well and better.

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    • This is true. It's so many factors that come into play with so many possible outcomes

  • Scientists agree that it is in fact a mixture, however I will say that I think majority of it may be inherited. You see all the time siblings who are brought up the same way, in the same environment, are drastically different. Also, there’s been a couple crazy stories of how identical twins who were adopted, living completely separated lives, didn’t even know each other ended up with the same names, same careers, same strange antics, etc. Addistionally, serial killers often show very abnormal traits early on in childhood, such as tormenting animals and many were brought up in normal households, with no abuse. Jeffrey Dahmers father had said that he had always had urges to commit murder, however never did because he knew it was wrong. So, that could have been inherited. So for these reasons I believe that majority is inherited. But I also think the environment has a great impact as well. For example, Someone could have inherited aggressive tendencies but were raised with wonderful parents and grew up with love surrounding them, had a great experience in school and so that trait was molded and changed and never was acted out.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 87

  • Some aspects of my personality is nurtured and natured. To understand why that is the case, we need to be cleared about the term personality.

    Most literature define personality as “a set of enduring, observable and unobservable qualities that influence how a person looks, feels, thinks and behaves”.

    Derived from the definition is the conclusion that one’s personality traits are stable and durable, and some of which are hard to perceive. One’s personality traits affect their appearance, feelings, thoughts and actions.

    I strongly think my propensity to be calm even in stressful situations is reflected in my composed and gentle demeanour, which also matches my composed speech pattern. This trait comes so natural to me.

    I would, by many measurements, pass for a shy or introverted person. However, in my days at college and university I engaged in activities, such as drama classes, dance and stage performances that suppressed my shyness. Today I do a lot of public speaking and my job involves giving many presentations per week, which probably are not associated with introverted people.

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  • Mannerisms [: habitual or characteristic manner, mode, or way of doing something; distinctive quality or style, as in behavior or speech] come from both. But that's not Personality [: the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual]. Some of a personality can be inherited, but I think most of it a person is just born with (God-given).

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  • The basis of your personality is strongly inherited. However, we know very little about individual personality and how they form in the first place. Some psychologists theorize that it is a biological factor that develops during gestation. As the kid interacts with things in a given environment, these experiences mold his personality. But there are some aspects that will never truly change as they are subconscious and innate within the person's brain.

    The environment might change your perception and reaction to particular situations but your underlying personality can never truly go away. We have tried to forcibly change someone's natural tendencies throughout history and it has never worked. In fact, the only change you could say happened was violent outbursts and paranoia.

    Of course we evolve and progress over time but there are some things you had as a kid that still remain to this day. Whether that be your temperament, your interests or your reactionary traits.

    www.verywellmind.com/personality-psychology-4157179
    Theories of Personality Psychology - Verywell Mind
    http://www.apa.org/topics/personality/
    Personality - American Psychological Association
    www.simplypsychology.org/personality-theories.html
    Theories of Personality Simply Psychology

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  • Personality in my opinion isn't just your interests or certain expressions, but also how you act, walk, talk, even eat or do something in a way only you do like a certain laugh or a little dance someone does when they win something, personality i think is simply the little things we do/react to things built into a word called personality

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  • I think the majority of it is learnt, a point of nurture (as opposed to inherited nature). I think you start with mostly an inherited peronality but over time you get more nurtured personality.

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  • Its inherited. I don't understand why people can't understand that.

    Pitbulls produce pitbulls with the same temperament as themselves unless they are trained.

    Same with humans, we inherited our parents genes and mannerisms by nature.

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    • But we don't always get our parents genes. Especially when multiple kids are involved. Things skip. And you can definitely learn mannerisms by being around someone for a long time.

    • Not all, but you do have a huge portion of your mom or dad personality.

      Maybe you just haven't noticed the small things you do by nature as they do because you been doing it your whole life that you see nothing that stands out.

  • Ummmm, depends whether you and your parents support you in your self development or no. I've seen parents who're strong personalities tend to dominate kids n they have a say in everything they do. Kids who are allowed to grow n explore will eventually develop a personality of their own n could be way different than their parents... for both good or bad.

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  • I think people are born with the personalities they will have for life but sometimes aspects of it can change. For example, someone can be shy as a kid but become more outgoing later.

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  • I voted Learned. Of course a mixture. I believe that attachment theory has large impact. How comfortable is mother in being a mother, holding you, nursing you, how quickly do your cries get attention (not sure which way is good). Later, how do parents encourage you? How much stimulation do they give you and what kinds? How genuinely loving is family as opposed to conditional love or emotionally threatening?

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  • Absolutely learned. If you see some of her in you, it's because you learned it from her.

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  • Inherency is a present thing and learning has been since the caveman times. Our forefathers learnt different ways to live lives and that became an inherent trait. So i beleive it's a mixture of both.

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    • I think it's learned. If it was inherited then we wouldn't change through life from what we experience. If we end up with our parents same traits it's because we learned them.

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    • I agree now that I think about it. It's like my fiance and his biological father. He didn't see him since he was 14 years old. It's been 30 years and they recently reconnected. Hr puts their conversations on speaker so I hear everything they are talking about. They are learning that my fiance despite not having his dad around are so much alike. So yes I change my opinion and agree with your percentage.

    • @PinkMichae well thank you for understanding. :)

  • i think it's a mixture of both. like part of it is inherited from the people we're always hanging out with, and part of it is learned from the experiences in life, which affects our maturity level, EQ, and mentality.

    it's like, say you have a baby, and you have the baby grow up in the hood. chances of him growing up meeting gang members, being violent, and etc. are higher.

    but if you gave the same baby to a rich family instead, the chances of him growing up to be a spoiled brat, living a sheltered life, meeting classy people, feeling entitled to have certain things when they shouldn't, cocky, and etc. will also be higher.

    so it's the same baby, same person, but completely different personality because of the people they met and had different lifestyles while growing up. but for anyone reading, this is just my theory, and opinion with no sources to back it up so don't take it too seriously if anything lols.

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  • It's both. Although if you read astrology there'll be things there that just are there without reason. Johnny Depp fore ex. Uranus in first house. Clearly an eccentric personality. Where you get that from? Can be family can be out of the blue.

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  • Learned. For example girls that have lots of sex know that they are hot and get fuck a new guy whenever they want - so they take advantage of that.

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  • I see it like this. If you think of possible personalities as a list of possible options a mile long, genetics is by far more influential. These things can't be changed and aren't subjective like desire to eat, emotions, needing sleep, seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, wanting control, wanting to be liked, fear of danger, physical attraction, liking certain sounds, not liking other sounds, interpretation of body language, etc.

    Within the small part of that mile I believe we can adjust or vary, I think maybe half or possibly more of that is determined by learning and different life choice paths though. These things are amount of patience, how well of a listener, amount of empathy, attitudes towards others and general outlook.

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    • It's interesting all that you list under genetics

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    • I'm not sure it's really disagreeing as much as it is just being curious.

    • I guess they are things people wouldn't ordinarily think of as fixed in genes.

      Things like wanting to be liked and desiring control are true, but many people learn to deal with not needing them. They are still ingrained in us. Like for example even dogs want to be a part of the pack of course, but if the pack becomes too abusive, they'll say F you and leave.

  • It's a mixture of the 2, parents bare a lot of responsibility for this and make mistakes without even thinking about it.. Things they say etc.

    Much of it is formed at an early age. But adulthood you can improve certain chacteristics but are more or less stuck with how you are

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  • Learned... in the past i panicked a lot for dumb reasons... but now its the complete opposite... i did not revise for my baccalaureat and somehow i did not feel anxious or got a panick attack (btw i had a 13.52 out of 20)
    You can change a lot of negative traits of your personality... i dont mean big changes but more like "improving it"

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  • It's a mixture cause i have a personality of my own, i don't have my moms and sure don't have my dads so i got my own.. Now i could have my Maternal Grandmas personality cause hers was unique really hard to say.. My Maternal Grandma had a great personality , she was very nice and very loving Woman.

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  • I think parts of your personality is definitely genetic, but the majority of who you turn out to be is largely based on the environment you grow up in

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  • I think a mixture of both, however I think personality is more inherited than we sometimes realize. Funny how a lot of things are genetic.

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What Girls Said 36

  • From the moment I was born I have always been introverted and quiet. Barely cried and when I did it was usually because some stranger was trying to hold me haha. When I went to nursery the teachers thought there was something wrong with me and would always tell my mum - I always preferred to play with toys on my own, being alone is my default setting and it feels normal to me. When I got to school most of the time I was happiest chilling on my own in the corner of the playground watching other children play. I didn't mind making friends though.
    Also I was very sensitive and still am - I still have the hurtful memory of the first time being told off by a stranger when I was 3 at nursery because (surprisingly) I decided to stand my ground when a little boy tried to snatch a bucket and spade from me >.< it sounds silly but I remember how crushed I was to see the lady's angry face as she put me in timeout knowing I did nothing wrong :( and I know most people wouldn't remember stuff like that, especially not hold emotions to it.

    But I will say learning plays a part because as I got older I was taught (/forced lol) to be more extroverted. However, when that social pressure isn't there I revert back to how I am naturally.

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  • You grow up around your parents, which means you learn their behaviour and you adapt some of it into your own life. Yes, I do think that some aspects of personality are inherited from the parents, but a lot of the personality is built throughout your life. The situations you're put in, the problems you have and the choices you make.

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  • I feel like it can be a mix. Its weird. because my brother is exactly just like my uncle. They both look the same, both smoke countless number of cigarettes, tons of alcohol, always crying about something and both players. xD aaaaaannd. he never taught my brother anything. seems like inherited. haha! But really its how the surroundings are for the kid. how the parents act, the kind of people they brought into their life and so on.

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  • A mixture. Gentle or outgoing parents would probably produce a more gentle child or outgoing child.

    Just like more aggressive people would probably have a more aggressive child.

    It's how people breed animals, you breed for personality.

    Then you work on it by handling them aka socializing them.

    And in the same way a breeder can influence personality, upbringing can influence a human's personality.

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  • I suppose mixture but honestly I lean closer to neither. I believe each human is their own unique soul with their own unique personality at birth. And while some things come from my parents either from genes or learning much more comes innately from somewhere else.
    It's why my 3 siblings and I all have very different personalities despite the same parents and upbringing.
    My kids have different personalities that I started noticing when they were just babies.

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  • I’ve never met anyone whose personality was identical to someone else’s in their life. People are definitely shaped by their environment and their families - I for example make many of the same gestures as my father - but they are still their own person. My parents both have a goofy sense of humour, while mine is very dry. They’re both into sports and I am so not lol. Though I’m prone to fussing over feeding people like my mother is.

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  • I believe its learned.
    Like instincts and stuff are obviously in our dna but that is not what defines our personality.
    Babies just look at how other people in their environment do everything and then copy it.
    And if they figure stuff out on their own it is a learning process.

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  • I have my dads personality but I act like my mother. My dad always tell me I need to stop. Cause she is something else... so I think it’s a mixture.

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    • So do you feel like you inherited from him but learned from her?

    • Indeed I’m so quietjust likehim andver reserved. My mom is super bossy and controlling. I have some of the bossy traits.

  • Nature vs nurture. Its an age old debate, you should research it. I think its both, more so nurture

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  • i think at first its inherited then it changes in teen years, thats why we call it the rebelling phase, its actually the child passing from being a child to being an adult and learning how to interact with its surroundings through trial and mistakes, its obvious that the parents are the base of your personnality, but it's the kid's choice whether to demolish that base or keep building on it, at the end, the result is the same, personnality is learned

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  • Mostly inherited, also biological, astrological and learned.

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  • Well a person, being born in this world might inherit personalities from their parents. But as time goes by and that person is growing and engaging to the environment, it depends on him/her whether they're gonna take the lesson from the experience they're having. Because, the environment itself, thr surroundings, will let that person be affected and it depends on his reaction or attitude that he'll use, whether the inherited attitude, or the learned-phase.

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  • I'd say a mixture- but I'm not sure. I have a lot of my moms personality, like a lot. And I also have my dads introvertedness. But I also think that it's something I've learned growing up and dealing with life.

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  • A personality is something that’s learned. However, a person can be “inherited” their parents personality, not through genetics persay, but by being raised by them.

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  • A mixture, but more towards learnt.
    I am absolutely nothing like any of my family... i think completely different to them and same with actions.

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  • I think it's both, but I think the environment you grow in has the most impact for the majority of people

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  • I think it is a mixture of many factors. I would think how you were brought up plays a big role in it. For instance if you were brought up in a family where no one ever said I love you to each other you may not be able to show any yourself. If you mom took drugs or smoked when pregnant with you, you may be depressed and have anxiety your whole life. And there are many other factors. But it is hard to have a bubbly personality when saddled with some of these afflictions and you will always fill like you just stepped in something.

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  • It's a combination of the two. I don't know which one plays a bigger role though

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  • Its a mixture. I have heard I act like my grandfather and I never even met him so my behavior could be inherited. I have also learned how to behave and what is appropriate in my fanily from watching my parents and siblings

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  • I like your question! I think it is both. Some thinhs you are born with and some that you learn from the people you are surrounded with.

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