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The personality traits of every individual are different and are highly complex. The personality traits are always influenced by both inheritance and the environment of an individual. This essay will discuss the way environment and genetic links with personality by analyzing twin studies.
The influence of the genes on the personality of an individual is always higher than the influence of the parents and the development of the personality traits are affected by the environment of the individual (Ayoub et al., 2019). A concurrent and longitudinal twin study presents the fact that the genes and the environment always affect the Big Five personality traits and recognized stress. In study 1, the twin sample was used from the National longitudinal study of the Adolescent to the adult health which indicated that almost 70% of the influence on the Big Five Personality traits and the recognized stress is because of the genes (King et al., 2019). On the other hand, the second study which utilized the twin sample which was collected from the midlife in the United States survey (MIDUS 1 and 2) stated that the influence of the environment is higher on the recognized stress in the comparison to the personality traits (Luo et al., 2017). The results of the twin studies indicate that the continuity in the recognized stress always influences the genes whereas the environment always influences the changes in the recognized stress. This is the reason it is stated that the continuity in the link in-between the Big five personality traits and the recognized stress is always affected by the genes whereas the changes are influenced by the environmental factors (Brambilla et al., 2014).
The behavioral genetic approaches like the monozygotic or dizygotic twins are used to analyze the influence of the genes, the environmental and the non-environmental factors on the personality of human beings (King et al., 2019). The Meta-analysis of the twin study on the monozygotic and dizygotic provides the idea about the influence of the environment and genetics on spatial ability which is one of the major personality and mental traits of a human being (King et al., 2019). The twin study states that spatial ability is more hereditary and this is the reason the impact on the environment is very little. However, another twin study states that biological and environmental factors have joint influences on the personality of an individual (Ayoub et al., 2019). The genes and the environment always interact together and affects the disclosure and stability of the behavior of a human being (Perlstein & Waller, 2020). This twin study determines that the same genetic factor which gives rise to the personality of a human being is also responsible for shaping the environment of the person (Kandler & Zapko-Willmes, 2017).
Well-being is one of the major personality traits which is very essential for every person to possess. A twin study states that the environmental and genetic factors are neither independent nor static and are highly interlinked with each other in the development of this positive personality trait (Røysamb & Nes, 2018). This twin study determines that several people developed this trait because of their genetic assimilation whereas it is also observed that the environment is also highly linked to the development of this personality trait (King et al., 2019). Parental divorce or the marital imbalance are also the reasons which affect the environment of an individual and develop ill-being which is a negative personality trait, hence this indicates the gene-environment link on the personality of an individual (Abramson et al., 2020).
It is observed that the delusions or hallucinations can be termed as STPS are highly common among people, and this is the reason a twin study has been conducted for analyzing the influence of the genetic and environmental factors on superstitious thinking and personality (Luo et al., 2017). The twin study was conducted using a Italian twin register-based population and for assessing the personality temperament and character inventory (TCI) as well as Wechsler adult intelligence scale is used (Brambilla et al., 2014). It was observed that the genetic and the environmental factors both have a shared influence on magical ideation whereas the genetic factors have a higher influence on personality. The score from the WAIS also helped in understanding the IQ level and cognitive ability which is influenced by the genes (Perlstein & Waller, 2020).
A twin study was conducted on 266 complete twin pairs which are drawn from a population-based Italian twin register, to analyze the influence of the genes and the environment on the autistic personality traits of the individuals (Picardi et al., 2015). However, the study was conducted on twins below 18 years but the study included the TCI and general health questionnaire as well as the Autism-spectrum quotient. The result of the twin study demonstrates that 44% of the genetic factors are responsible for the autistic personality traits whereas the remaining proportion determines the influence of the environment which is more than the genetic influence (Twito & Knafo-Noam, 2020). Hence, in this personality trait, the influence of the environmental factors is more than the genetic factors.
Human values are the most important part of the personality trait as it affects the behavior, decisions as well as the choices of a person. The twin studies on the human values indicate that the influence of the genetic factors is more on the personality of the monozygotic twins whereas the influence of the environment is higher on the personality of the dizygotic twins (Twito & Knafo-Noam, 2020). Heritability has a major impact on the personality of the twins and their human values which range from 24.5%-85.7%. This indicates that the impact of the environmental factors is less on the values but the family environment influences the personality of an individual (Picardi et al., 2015). However, the impact of environmental and genetic factors both has influences on the personality development and differences. It is observed that the environment of an individual influence or reinforce the personality traits of an individual and this is the reason people have a variety of range of opportunities (Kandler & Zapko-Willmes, 2017). The influence of the genes and environment on the personality of the individuals is different depending on their genetic sensitivity to environmental influences.
This essay concludes that both environmental and genetic factors have a major influence on personality. Several twin studies have been analyzed for investigating the links between the genetic and environmental factors on the personality of a person.
Abramson, L., Uzefovsky, F., Toccaceli, V., & Knafo-Noam, A. (2020). The genetic and environmental origins of emotional and cognitive empathy: review and meta-analyses of twin studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 114, 113-133.
Ayoub, M., Briley, D. A., Grotzinger, A., Patterson, M. W., Engelhardt, L. E., Tackett, J. L., ... & Tucker-Drob, E. M. (2019). Genetic and environmental associations between child personality and parenting. Social psychological and personality science, 10(6), 711-721.
Brambilla, P., Fagnani, C., Cecchetto, F., Medda, E., Bellani, M., Salemi, M., ... & Stazi, M. A. (2014). Genetic and environmental bases of the interplay between magical ideation and personality. Psychiatry Research, 215(2), 453-459.
Kandler, C., & Zapko-Willmes, A. (2017). Theoretical perspectives on the interplay of nature and nurture in personality development. In Personality development across the lifespan (pp. 101-115). Academic Press.
King, M. J., Katz, D. P., Thompson, L. A., & Macnamara, B. N. (2019). Genetic and environmental influences on spatial reasoning: A meta-analysis of twin studies. Intelligence, 73, 65-77.
Luo, J., Derringer, J., Briley, D. A., Roberts, B. W., & Mõttus, R. (2017). Genetic and environmental pathways underlying personality traits and recognizedstress: Concurrent and longitudinal twin studies. European Journal of Personality, 31(6), 614-629.
Perlstein, S., & Waller, R. (2020). Integrating the study of personality and psychopathology in the context of gene?environment correlations across development. Journal of Personality.
Picardi, A., Fagnani, C., Medda, E., Toccaceli, V., Brambilla, P., & Stazi, M. A. (2015). Genetic and environmental influences underlying the relationship between autistic traits and temperament and character dimensions in adulthood. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 58, 178-188.
Røysamb, E., & Nes, R. B. (2018). The genetics of wellbeing. Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF Publishers.
Twito, L., & Knafo-Noam, A. (2020). Beyond culture and the family: Evidence from twin studies on the genetic and environmental contribution to values. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 112, 135-143.
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