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Are personallity traits genetic?

I was just watching something that really made me think. The son of a rapest and his victim became a rapest. Another had become a cop but did have temper and anger issues, although she had learned to control them. Now, I am in no way saying that you are not responcable for your own actions. But could violent personallity traits - or non-violent ones- be genetic? We know that there is a gene for hair color, eye color and even some mental disorders... So, what about personallities?

IMO, it's very probible. I NEVER met my father, yet people that knew him and me say that we have the same sense of humor. Which is far from my mother's, who raised me alone... Now, he was a violent man, I have been known to be. Is that part of me genetic? I admit that if he killed someone it's not an excuse for me to, but could I (or any of us) be predisposed to certain traits beyond looks?
IF so could certain people be "fixed" w/ treatments?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 5:06 PM on Mar. 18, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (26)
  • It didn't really give me all the room I needed...

    Addiction, violence, anger and even submisive personality traits are being linked to certain genes. So could some of these things be "cured" if the genes were caught early enough?

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:07 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • Yes, personality is genetic. I have a PhD in Psychology and specialize in gender research.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • i dont think it is. i think it has to do with how you are raised....

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:09 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • Okay, anon... Then why do I have a similar personality to my dad... Who I never met? From what family and friends of his have said we have the same sense of humor and even the same temper... My mother and I have VERY little in common... she raised me.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:13 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I think it is/can be genetic- BUT that's negative a persons responsibility to control their actions.
    and our upbringing also helps to shape our personalities.

    Answer by Kiter at 5:13 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • Yes it is genetic.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 5:15 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I believe it is a litte of both, genetics and environment. You can have negative pre-determined traits, but the environment you grow up in can either exasperate them or help you to control them. I inherited my father's temper, but having a loving, patient mother and surrounding myself with calm, self-controlled people has helped me learn to control it.
    Some people also believe it's spiritual, that you're personality is affected by past lives...but that's another matter altogether.

    Answer by moniquinha at 5:29 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I definitely think it's genetic. I think it can be "curbed" based on your upbringing but yes, there is a lot that we can "blame" on genetics.

    Answer by jenettyshome at 5:41 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • Yes, it's genetic. To what you said about traits being linked to genes and will it be possible some day to "fix" these things? Yes, they're genetic, but they should not be "fixed". I can't understand the attitude that having a different personality trait than everyone else is "bad". Being submissive isn't bad. In every litter of puppies there is a submissive and an alpha. Humans don't have litters, but the same thing happens. This is natural, it evolved because there was a reason for it, therefore it is not "bad". Everything needs balance. It scares me to think that changing a baby's genetic makeup in the womb to make them more "normal" is acceptable and even seen as good to some people! This is horrible to me!

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 5:47 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I think some personality traits are, for the same reason as the OP: my sons have never seen their father, yet they have some of his personality traits (thankfully not the ones I divorced him over! lol). But, I think some of it also comes from how you are raised, and the people you are around on a regular basis.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:03 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

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