What makes 'us' us?

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Chapter 14 Personality

This chapter was all about personality, how it is formed, and how our personalities shape us as humans. This chapter starts by focusing on two twins from the University Of Minnesota twin studies. Their names were Jack and Oskar, they are identical twins that were separated at birth, and raised in completely contrasting environments. A Jewish family in the Caribbean raised Jack, and at the age of 17 he moved to Israel to join the kibbutz. Oskar, contrastingly, was born in Czechoslovakia under Hitler's rule. He went on to join the Hitler's youth program.
When these two were reunited, one a fanatical Jew, the other a passionate anti-Semitic, they were given a personality test. When the tests were completed the scores were closer than if one person took the same test twice. This shocked the researchers. Since Freud, psychologists have seen personality being a result of the situations and environment that people have been in. These new findings leads psychologists to believe that genetics plays a major role in personality, and that environment holds little weight.
I find this very interesting not only because it contradicts the previous theories about the importance of environment on personality, but also because my major is Genetics. It is amazing to me to think that our personalities are all imbedded in our DNA. And that our DNA doesn't only make us look like we do, but it can also determine the way that we view the world.


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It is interesting how much of us is due to our genes. I think environment does have an impact, but not as large an impact as we like to think...Kind of scary, because what can we control and what can't we control about ourselves?

It's very odd how these two were raised in such polar opposite environments. Do you know if they were purposely separated into these contrasting environments or if it was purely coincidental? Either way, it's incredible that these two scored so similarly on the personality test. Even though their external influences were completely opposite, their internal influences remained the same throughout growing up. It makes me wonder if we are born to be friends with certain types of people who share similar personalities. Maybe if two very close sets of friends took a personality test they'd score similar? Most likely not as close as the twins, but you never know?

This was very interesting to read, I look forward to reading this chapter.

I just wanted to comment again because I had another idea.

Going off of the question, "what makes 'us' us?" I go by the belief that we all contribute to everyone's personality. By this I mean, we shape our opinions and behavior based off of what we like in some people and what we don't like in others. We're either attracted by other's behavior or appalled by it. Sure there are in betweens, but to get my point across I'll go by that sentence. I believe we are also born with a personality in the way that we find actions in others to be positive or negative. Just an idea.

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This page contains a single entry by shul0129 published on January 22, 2012 8:22 PM.

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