THE FIGHT FOR PERSONALITY
Nature versus Nurture
In chapter 14 of the Lilienfeld textbook, it discusses personality. What is personality? What determines your personality? How is it measured? And, can you change your personality? These are among the many types of questions asked in chapter 14. In the following video, you can see some of the ideas that were common in the early 1960s regarding the nature versus nurture debate.
Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq28qCklEHc
The Jets (the group in the video) say that in the papers, the police read that "Juvenile Delinquents" act the way they do on account of the way they were raised and their environment. Their behaviors and even personality thus spring from nurture.
One part of the chapter that I found especially interesting was talking about twins and personality similarities. One pair of identical twins discussed, Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe, were separated at birth, raised in completely different environments, and established very different sets of values, one Jewish and the other an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer. Despite these staunch differences in ideologies, they had extremely similar, almost identical personality traits. In this, nature seems to be more of an influence than nurture.
Many people, myself included, hold the view that both nature and nurture hold a place in establishing personality. With myself and my siblings, we share some DNA, and mostly a similar environment (with the exception of birth order and such), but our personalities are all different. We all have in us through our familial environment, a wish to help other people, but we all exhibit this helpful personality in different ways, ranging from giving advice to offering physical assistance to being an emotional helper by listening. Our personal nature and nurture together make our personalities.