Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

“Make Me” Part 1: Nature or Nurture

Go on, make me. Once you have made me, you will have, in part, made me.

Is your character innate, or are you a product of your environment? I think it has to be a bit of both.

Siblings start off and turn out to be vastly different from one another, although their enviroment is almost the same – with the variations of family dynamics. And in the same breath, I have to admit that there are family traits that may touch them all, so, perhaps to an observer, they may appear to be similar in character. Perhaps the differences are only clear close up.

Life’s circumstances can have an impact on someone’s character. Although I have known people with the same event happen to them, and their reaction to be entirely different, perhaps indicating that their nature is more engrained that any character change you would expect as a result of circumstances.

What do you think? Are you the way you are because of your genes; because of your environment or as a result of particular life events?

It must be a mix.

So, when it comes to making choices, how big a hand does peer pressure play?

There’s something about pressure of any sort that makes me go into reverse gear. There are loads of things I like to do, but if I feel pressured into doing something, I almost immediately do not want to.

It is like in a shop when they ask – perfectly nicely – if I want help or need anything, I find myself deciding not to buy anything. I’d rather decide on my own. The same with online advertising. I would never respond. I figure, if I wanted something, I would figure it out myself and go and get it.

But I am not sure whether my aversion to pressure is nature or nurture. Bit of both.

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4 thoughts on ““Make Me” Part 1: Nature or Nurture

  1. I am a completely different person to the one I once was, shaped by my experiences of the last twenty years. So, for me, it’s more nurture than nature.

  2. theotheri on said:

    This was a major – and I mean major – issue in psychology for almost a century. Is intelligence inherited or learned? if a bit of both, what are the percentages of each? what about personality? or criminality? or generosity? The list is endless.

    The final verdict is as you have concluded: both. But it’s not that simple. First of all, it’s never a finished work. As Tilly Bud suggests, it keeps on going as long as we keep learning.

    The second conclusion is that nature and nurture are not added together, but interact. Each person’s genes potentially interact differently to similar environments, and vice versa.

    To illustrate that it’s always genes interacting with environment not genes or environment, here’s a simple illustration. Farmer John has chickens whose eggs are brown if he feeds them corn, but white if he feeds them oats. He says it’s a question of environment. Farmer Joe, on the other hand, has chickens fed only on oats. Some of the chickens lay white eggs, another breed lays brown eggs. He says it’s genetic.

    If you start thinking about it, everything is like this. You’ve given several examples in your post already.

    Sorry – I couldn’t resist. Like you, I have found the question fascinating.

  3. A question that makes for great conversation because everyone has an example or a story to back up their understanding of the dynamic between nature and nature and how it can affect how one approaches life. Having made two babies, each different as night and day, with similar childhoods I see the influences of different genetic material come into play. With kids you can only have faith that your nurturing produced a solid foundation in their character that will whisper in their ear reminding them about good decisions. That is what helps me when I worry.

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