kinzl015: April 2012 Archives

Throughout this course, I have learned about many psychological theories; however, one major concept that particularly stuck with me was the one concerning how personality develops. Is it nature? Is it nurture? Or is it both?

twins.jpgThis topic has made such a great impact on me because I am an identical twin and I believe both environment AND genetics play a major role in personality. My twin and I have grown up in the same house and shared the same room for 18 years. We've always had the same interest in music, friends, humor, food and style and have always enjoyed the same activities. Last fall, however, we finally separated for the first time as we left for different colleges. She stayed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I decided to venture off to Minneapolis.

During spring break, we finally were able to reunite. Although we hadn't seen each other in six months, our interests were still relatively the same. We still found the same things funny, liked the same type of guys, and even had matching songs downloaded on to our IPods! However, our interests in social activities changed, majorly due to our different social environments and friends. While I began to prefer more low-key and close setting outings, she enjoyed more of the bigger scene. This change in social activity interests was due in large part to our new group of friends we hung around with in our new college settings. This further cemented my belief in the dual impact of the environment and genetics on personality.

Because this issue of nature vs. nurture can be applied to my own life, it made a great impact on me. I will always remember this debate and apply it to future personality situations I encounter as an identical twin later in my life.

Throughout this course, I have learned about many psychological theories; however, one major concept that particularly stuck with me was the one concerning how personality develops. Is it nature? Is it nurture? Or is it both?

twins.jpgThis topic has made such a great impact on me because I am an identical twin and I believe both environment AND genetics play a major role in personality. My twin and I have grown up in the same house and shared the same room for 18 years. We've always had the same interest in music, friends, humor, food and style and have always enjoyed the same activities. Last fall, however, we finally separated for the first time as we left for different colleges. She stayed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I decided to venture off to Minneapolis.

During spring break, we finally were able to reunite. Although we hadn't seen each other in six months, our interests were still relatively the same. We still found the same things funny, liked the same type of guys, and even had matching songs downloaded on to our IPods! However, our interests in social activities changed, majorly due to our different social environments and friends. While I began to prefer more low-key and close setting outings, she enjoyed more of the bigger scene. This change in social activity interests was due in large part to our new group of friends we hung around with in our new college settings. This further cemented my belief in the dual impact of the environment and genetics on personality.

Because this issue of nature vs. nurture can be applied to my own life, it made a great impact on me. I will always remember this debate and apply it to future personality situations I encounter as an identical twin later in my life.

voting-booth-6a00e54fa1b0a188340133f379ed6b970b.jpgSo I took the 2012 Implicit Associations Test and was quite surprised by the results!

In this task, I was asked to categorize "good" words, such as successful and wonderful, with white faces compared to "good" words with black faces as fast as I could. Afterwards I was asked to categorize presidential candidates with good words as fast as I could. The faster I categorized good words with one presidential candidate compared to the other candidate determined my implicit preference for that candidate. The same concept was measured when comparing white and black faces with good words: The faster I categorized good words with one racial group compared to the other exposed my hidden preference for that group.

The results of my test suggested that I had a MODERATE implicit preference for white people compared to black people and a SLIGHT implicit preference for Newt Gingrich compared to Mitt Romney.

I thought these results made sense for the most part. I wasn't surprised that I showed a higher preference toward Newt Gingrich due to his Republican affiliation; however, my white racial preference caught me off guard. Although I do not consider myself racist, I'll admit to stereotyping racial groups by using the shortcut way of thinking--the availability heuristic. The IAT revealed my subconscious racial predispositions and allowed me the opportunity to self-reflect on these test findings.

I think this test is very informative and sheds much light on the role racial attitudes and party affiliation plays on voting preferences. Although we may be unaware of some of our feelings, the IAT successfully exposes the impact implicit thinking has on our judgment, perception and action and also provides participants the opportunity for self-reflection on their individual results.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by kinzl015 in April 2012.

kinzl015: March 2012 is the previous archive.

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