Where does personality come from – is it nature or nurture?

Article author
Rachel Scriven
  • Updated

Are we products of our environments or the embodiment of our genes? Does nature drive our behaviour or does nurture? Almost everyone agrees that it’s a mixture of both, but it’s hard to determine the exact interaction and weighting that each contributes to personality.

The old debate used to be thought of as "nature versus nurture" - is it genetics or environment that influence personality and behaviour most?

In reality, these can't be readily separated. Your genetics will influence some of the environment you seek and create around you, while your environment continues to influence and interact with genetic predispositions over your lifetime. It’s really more like nature via nurture, with genetics and environment constantly changing together.

While debate and research continues, it’s important to recognise that personality offers insight, self-awareness and strong predictions when it comes to behaviours - not certainties. It helps us to understand our underlying predispositions, explore how these show up day-to-day, and the degree to which we are aligned or adjusting our core personality to our current environment. 

 

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