In the field of psychology, there is the age old debate; do we inherit our personalities or are they formed by our environment? This is usually referred to as the nature vs. nurture debate. Nature refers to our DNA and the traits which we have inherited from our parents. For instance, those who argue that our personalities are formed by nature believe that those who have introverted parents will also be introverts. This side of the debate concludes that we inherit our personalities just as much as we inherit the color of our eyes.
On the other hand, nurture refers to the environment in which we live in and our experiences within that environment. Those who believe that our personalities are formed by nurture may argue that a child who has a father with an anger problem will not necessarily have a poor temperament if certain conditions are met.
In other words, if he is raised in a positive environment, that environment will form his temperament and genetics will simply not play a role.
Personally, I feel that the argument of nurture makes more since than the argument of nature. Each day we experience so many different situations, sometimes ones that are even traumatic. If a person is a car accident, for instance, and becomes afraid of driving then that fear has been derived from an experience. It simply would not make much sense to say that the fear of driving is genetic when it was a sudden on—set caused by an environmental factor.
Moreover, many of our beliefs regarding how we should act are influenced by media and the society in which we live. Society emphasizes the importance of obtaining a college degree, which in turn, leads many of us to obtain one.
We are not born with this believe however and do not express this goal as toddlers typically. In turn, this is another example of how we are more influenced by our environment rather than our genetics. It is likely that the nature vs. nurture debate will continue to be argued by scientists and everyday people alike since both arguments have valid points. In my case, however, I simply feel that the argument of nurture makes a great deal more sense than the argument of nature. I do not have the same personality traits as my parents but I have had very different experiences outside of the home which helped to form me into the person that I am today.