Khayam Arif

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Are we born with a certain personality type or our experiences shape our personality?

today my teacher was telling we all have a personality type,..some are leaders , some are thinkers ,some are politicians.He was also giving reference of some research on how to judge you personality.
Advice he gave was find your personality type and do what is coherent with your personality.
But my objection was there is no such thing as "personality type" your experiences shape tour personality. Knowing it will only limit your capabilities..need your opinion

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    Mar 22 2012: Your question should probably read as a statement....We are born with a certain personality type, and our experiences shape our personality.

    I think our personalities may evolve over time as we undergo self-examination and meditation, as well as the lessons we learn throughout life.
    For example, I know someone who was very very shy when young, with low self-esteem. But, in college, with the help of friends, he discovered that it is not so hard to be social. He started to act like those around him who conversed with ease, and found it empowering to initiate conversations and laugh out loud at funny things without fear of rejection or tease.

    Personalities evolve I feel, but we have to be willing participants.

    Some people are happy their entire life with how they are.....and never change.....others are always reinventing themselves.

    Hmm....nice question. All the previous contributions were very interesting to read.
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      Mar 23 2012: Definitely agree with you on this:)
  • Mar 24 2012: We born with certain personality types(thru genes) and our experiences(environment) changes that born personality which keeps as either the same person or different at the end =)
    Both genes and environment impacts the choices we make, which makes us =)
  • Mar 23 2012: same thing can happen to different individuals at the starting point of their life... EXACT circumstances and I'm sure they'll turn out different.

    perception is tricky. One could argue that the very perception of things is great part of a personality and I couldn't say it's not, cuz it is, but it seems that since the very start we have our very own perception quite different from others
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    Mar 22 2012: I thought scientist already answered this question by establishing that its both environment and genetics
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    Mar 22 2012: I agree with Christophe just like to add that even during the time in the womb we are influenced by circumstances that can have an impact on our personality. All animals (vertebrates) are the same in this respect.
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    Mar 22 2012: means we are bounded by our personality traits and we can never get out of this? If someone says me its in your personality that you feel uncomfortable in social gathering so you can never have a good social life?
    no matter what I do ,I cant break those boundaries?
    What if my passions goes against it?
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    Mar 22 2012: Maybe both. But to answer that question, we have to define "personality." What is it anyway? Does it reflect our characteristics? Will it define who we are as a friend, a son or daughter, or an ordinary person.

    We often hear people refer to Type A and Type B personalities. Type A refers to people involved in never-ending struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time while Type B refers to those who tend to be easygoing, relaxed, patient... But do we only possess 01, and only one, type of personality for every circumstance? I don't think so.

    So then do we have multiple personalities? Maybe. Probably yes.
    Did we have a personality when we were a kid? Probably so.
    Do we have possess a particular personality, among others, in a particular circumstance now as we have grown up? Yes.
    Is it the same as our childhood personality? Probably not.

    That is, we are born with some particular personalities but our experiences growing up shape them dramatically and this process continues until we die.
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    Mar 22 2012: It's both.
    We have genetic predispositions, and we have neural plasticity.
    Our environment shapes us, but as it cannot let us produce wings, it cannot change some of our personality traits either.

    Anyway, personality research is most often measured in underlying dimensions that do not really care about the nature/nurture part of personality. So the personality traits we measure have both components...
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    Mar 21 2012: If you do some research into your question, you will find that some aspects of personality are fixed and others can be changed over time. Openness to experience, a characteristic in many ways of describing personality, can be influenced in childhood. I believe trauma can also induce changes in some aspects of personality.
    This is the sort of question that is not rightly a matter for taste or opinion but one that can be measured empirically and has been by researchers in the field of psychology.
    • Mar 22 2012: This is correct. Your teacher's lesson is to spark you to think and reflect - and to do more research. Children who experience great pain actually show changes in their brain over time. So experience does play a real role in determining who we are. But, some aspects of personality are already in place. They are hard wired issues like drive and risk aversion. They can be altered by experience but not overwritten.