It is crucial to define personality to understand whether heredity is or isn't the only factor influencing character. Personality can be said to be an individual's characteristics and patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. In other words, how different people perceive their environments determines the kind of personality that these people have. Heredity, on the other hand, refers to the inheritance of characteristics from parents to offspring. That said, is personality determined by genetic makeup only? The answer is no. Other factors play a significant role in determining personalities.
While genetics play n important role in shaping an individual's personality, the environment plays an equally crucial role in influencing personality. The environment can be subdivided into social, cultural and economic factors. Humans are social creatures which therefore mean that society influences different characters in different people. Parents play an essential role in shaping children's personalities as they usually provide the first social environment for kids. How parents relate to their children influences the characteristics of the kids. Strict parents who discipline their children tend to influence their children to become shy and submissive while parents who do everything for their children without punishing them develop a character of exploitative and demanding children (Zarra-Nezhad et al., 2015). Other social factors that influence personality include social class, which determines school and neighbourhood.
People from lower social class have different personalities from those that come from affluent families. Indeed, economic status is a powerful predictor of a kid's personality. Deckers et al. (2015) found out that children from families with high social status were more patient and more willing to take risks compared to children from impoverished backgrounds. This shows that the economic situation influences how people perceive themselves and the environment, ultimately determining personality type.
Everybody belongs to a society that follows a culture. As such, culture inevitably impacts personality. For instance, different cultures have different ways of greeting visitors. While Americans often hug and kiss, the Japanese bows before greeting someone. This practice is determined by the different cultures of Americans and the Japanese. Cultures also fifer concerning how children are brought up, and this tends to influence the children's personalities. Research has shown that children from cultures that emphasize on physical punishment of children display introversion, hostility and aggression. On the other hand, children from cultures where there is less physical punishment exhibit extroversion, curiosity and creativity.
In conclusion, heredity plays a vital role in determining personality but so does other factors as mentioned. The mentioned factors may affect personalities either positively or negatively. It is, therefore, imperative for societies to emphasize those practices that produce model citizens.
Deckers, T., Falk, A., Kosse, F., & Schildberg-Hörisch, H. (2015). How does socio-economic status shape a child's personality?
Zarra-Nezhad, M., Aunola, K., Kiuru, N., Mullola, S., & Moazami-Goodarzi, A. (2015). Parenting styles and children's emotional development during the first grade: The moderating role of child temperament. Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, 5.