- Published: January 26, 2022
- Updated: January 26, 2022
- University / College: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Level: College
- Language: English
- Downloads: 32
Role of Heredity and Environment in shaping Human Personality Heredity and environmental influences are interrelated and linked factors influencing childhood development. Emphasis was initially on heredity supported with the proverb “ A chip derived the older block”. The pendulum swung to the opposite side and emphasis was now on the environment. This new perception was based on the Freudian perspective that the development of personality disorders often resulted from unhealthy and unfriendly environmental conditions (Woolfolk & Perry 33). Heredity and environment, however, cannot be separated into watertight compartments as much as psychologists and the public may try to debate over the supremacy of either over the other. The best argument is that the two are the most influential factors of all. This paper illustrates the vital role played by both child development with particular focus on personality and mental development. It is shown that personal traits and reactions depend on the joint effect of the factors.
Psychologists have gradually shifted from the perceptions that child development and acquisition of traits depended on either of the two extremes. It is acceptable that the foundation of personality is from the maturation of heredity characteristics. The heredity traits, however, are significantly influenced by learning and direct social contacts (Woolfolk & Perry 33). Therefore, the environment serves to condition the character development. Clearly, there is a constant interaction between these two factors. They are in fact forces that operate in a collective and integrated manner to shape personalities. Their importance may be relative hence cannot be affirmed as operating exclusively (Woolfolk & Perry 40). Remarkably, heredity factors could be operating differentially. This differentiation, however, is determined and depended on the environment. The impression is that heredity could be the foundation of character development in children. The environment that affects the course of development of personality because children are not excluded from it (the environment).
Based on the bulk of research evidence availed through literature, there is certain operation between heredity factors and environment. The relative significance of the contributions the environmental and heredity in the development of personality depend on several factors. It may not be easy to understand contributions of these factors without careful quantification. This is from the perspective that the factors have cumulative significance when viewed objectively. Heredity and environment have numerous influences that are specific yet interactive and dependent (Woolfolk & Perry 43). With regard to child development, the interactions occur within and between specific factors constituting the two categories. The interrelationship between these two is further revealed in the way nature and nurture work together to shape character development among children (Woolfolk & Perry 47).
In conclusion, it is evident that both the heredity and environment are essential for character development in children. These two factors work together in an interrelated manner to shape human character, behavior, and mentality. They have equal significance. Heredity serves as the platform for personality development whereas the environment dictates the development. The two, therefore, cannot be separated or compared. Their influence is better understood when compared to the development of a seedling. The development depends on heredity of the planted seed and the environmental stimuli, in this case soil, sunlight, and moisture. Both the heredity of the seed and the environmental stimuli are crucial for proper seed growth. Similarly, the growth and development of personality is an outcome of both heredity and environment. Without heredity, we would not have the person to develop personality. Without the environment, the person would not have anywhere to grow and develop personalities hence the interdependence.
Woolfolk, Anita and Nancy E Perry. Child and Adolescent DEvelopment. Boston: Pearson Publishers, 2005.
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