View Full Version : Nature or nurture?
Perhaps this has already been kicked around, but I'm curious as to what the other INTJs think.
Are we born or made?
Speaking for myself, I'm pretty certain that I was made. After thinking on it for years, I think certain personal, perhaps tramatic, life experiences, coupled with my own strengths and weaknesses, have created my personality.
The perennial feeling of being Frankenstein's monster brings me back to those thoughts, occasionally.
I'm sure that my own inborn traits play a part, but the dominant aspects of "me" have been conditioned - through adaptation - rather than being natural. My nature has been the clay. The experiences have been the hands that shaped it, although at times the clay and hands have traded roles.
What about the rest of you? Made or born?
02-13-2008, 10:08 AM
I thought this debate was settled long ago. It is neither nature nor nurture that determines things, it is a combination of both.
02-13-2008, 10:10 AM
I agree that it is a combination, but for the purposes of discussion I would say that I lean heavily toward nature as having a much greater influence. I would site the myriad twin studies done with identical twins who were raised apart to back it up.
02-13-2008, 12:15 PM
I've had this debate with my INFJ friend. He leans more to being born than made. He also believes in fate, and I don't. I lean more to being made. Just to give an example:
case 1. I am born. They discover that I have an illness at the age of 10 and they have to cut off my legs. I turn into an introvert and become a computer programmer or a scientist.
case 2 I am born. I have a healthy life with no illnesses except a flu or two. I become a step dancer and have a career in show biz. I meet totally different people in my life than the first me, and those people influence my life in totally different ways.
My INFJ friend also claims that he would be an artist and a good person no matter where or how he was raised because that is what he was born for. I can't make him understand that he would be an evil sadistic bastard who hates art if he was raised by an evil father who thought him nothing but to steal and kill people.
I think its 30% nature and 70% nurture.
02-13-2008, 12:23 PM
I think environment and exposure has more of an impact on one's personality and abilities. You accept things that you've seen since birth. You excel at things that you've had most practice and most experience in. You don't question your own customs and tendencies until you step out of your area.
As you move and experience different cultures, the center of your world changes.
In Strict Confidence
02-13-2008, 02:14 PM
Oh, oh, this is soo interesting ^^ I was planning on starting this thread myself when I got around with enough time. Well well, lets see what we can do with this....
I have put some thought into this whole what-made-me-business. Not enough though.. Anyway, we all know that both nature and nurture is behind human development. And you all have valid points.. Ace1337 should kick his friends ass, though, and tell him to shut up about fate and all that bullshit.
I have some psychological education, and thats why I recently thought about what made me an introvert. First of all - of course there are biological differences; for up to 50% I guess. But that is not interesting, since that is something that we cant, and couldnt, affect in any way. But for the note; children are born with a "temperament" that is relatively stable all throughout life. some are more active and outgoing than others, and this is biological. Not the "relatively" - its not decisive, rather a general direction.
What is interesting is how our environment shaped us. It is, as always, tons of factors. But what I most recently got my thoughts on is the way our parents meet us - or not. All children go though some basic emotional development during the first years, and even more the first weeks, of life. This depends totally on how our parents relate to us. Are they there, or not? are they warm and loving, or cold and rejecting? stressed or calm? do they hold us? And further, when we grow older, how do they treat us?
In general we (psychologists) do know how this affects children. It shapes us a lot. Children of warm, close parents become more emotional, and trusting of other people. They are not afraid or rejecting of strangers and generally enjoy company. Children of distant, rejecting, depressed, stressed - or whatever reason the parent isnít engaged in cuddly activates - do become more socially inhibited. They may lack of trust, or may simply not enjoy the company of others in such a positive way as other children.
Even though other environmental factors sure play a role in it all, I believe that this is somewhat fundamental, together with our inborn temperament.
Oh, and the most recent thing I read about this was in an article about depressed mothers. that article, among others, state that something has to be done for the children to have a "healthy" childhood - even though cognitive functioning remains unaffected. Of course a depressed mother should be treated, but they deliberately make naive extroversion something more positive than cynical introversion. I dont know if I like that...
Uberlong post, sorry. I just like the subject and had to give my input to whoever cares.:rolleyes:
02-13-2008, 04:43 PM
The question of whether nature or nurture generally determines human personality is one thing... the question of whether you personally think your own personality came more from nature or nurture is another thing and maybe more interesting.
Some parts of my personality, I definitely think I was born with. My timidity and my moral compass I seem to have had since birth. Other parts developed later... competitiveness, extreme curiosity. Those could have been due to nurture. I don't know.
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