Fandango’s Provocative Question #43

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

I have two children (now fully grown adults). Their DNA comes from their mother and me. They were raised in the same household by their mother and me. And yet their personalities couldn’t be more different.

A while back, we got two dogs, Labrador retrievers, from the same litter when they were seven weeks old. And yet their personalities (or doggy natures) couldn’t have been more different.

So I often wonder about the “nature versus nurture” conundrum. The debate involves whether human (or canine?) behavior is determined by the environment, either prenatal or during a person’s life, or by a person’s genes.

“Nature” refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are — from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics.

”Nurture” refers to all the environmental variables that affect who we are, including our early childhood experiences, how we were raised, our social relationships, and our surrounding culture.

Now I’m interested in what you think. So my question is this:

What do you believe, when it comes to people’s traits and personalities? Are they primarily formed and shaped by nature or by nurture, as defined above? What about your personality? Nature or nurture? Please elaborate.

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35 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #43

  1. robertawrites235681907 October 2, 2019 / 3:47 am

    A most intriguing question. My two boys are also completely different and my three sisters are all different from each other and from me. Really different as in two of us are complete workaholic over achievers and the other two are laid back and happy to take life as its comes. I think it is a mixture but more the characteristics you inherit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango October 2, 2019 / 7:13 am

      So is (or was) one of your parents a complete over achiever while the other is laid back?

      Liked by 3 people

      • robertawrites235681907 October 2, 2019 / 10:59 am

        No, my parents are both overachievers and workaholics. My hubby’s parents are a bit different. I think they are both more laid back.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. crushedcaramel October 2, 2019 / 8:03 am

    I’m sorry I have not done any FPQ posts recently. I have been working on my Annabelle story and writing about what has been changing for me on a personal basis recently…you always ask interesting questions…and I am rubbish at proving a short succinct answer, I tend to go for long waffley diplomatic debates. I am sure I’ll get back to them eventually.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fandango October 2, 2019 / 2:42 pm

      No worries. I just hope I don’t run out of provocative questions to pose before you’re ready to jump back in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stroke Survivor UK October 2, 2019 / 10:40 am

    I’m gonna hold off this one because it might get more personal than I want to go, I might say things that I probably shouldn’t. But I shall keep tabs on the comments.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. pensitivity101 October 2, 2019 / 11:58 am

    Interesting question which automatically made me think of our UK Sitcom The Good Life with Douglas the Bean…….. Douglas (Barbara’s bean) was encouraged with words of love, Tom’s bean was shouted at and belittled, and the control was neither one thing or the other. Worth a look and a smile.
    However, more to the point on human beings………. my sister is years older than me. We were brought up together by both parents, both loved and encouraged by them in our own way and interests. You would never think we were related as our attitudes and concepts are so distinctly different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 2, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      It’s strange that things work out that way between siblings.


  5. rugby843 October 2, 2019 / 12:33 pm

    I don’t see how it is not both. Part of this is because I have three adopted grandchildren from very different backgrounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 2, 2019 / 5:37 pm

      “I found this subject really really fascinating!” I could tell by your post. Great response!


  6. Kat Myrman October 2, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    Two of my four daughters are twins. According to their dna they are 99.97% identical. And it is true they look alike, but they are also spooky weird when it comes to their thought processes, often saying the same thing at the same time out of the blue. When they were young, if they were sleeping, I could not tell them apart. But once they woke up, their personalities shown through and I had no problem. Their personalities are very different. But it’s not nurture that influenced their personalities. I can remember when they were young and the attributes that made them identifiable then, is still there. The older one being more independent, the younger being more sensitive. I don’t believe personality is a dna thing though. I tend to think it is more informed by our unique souls, set in motion when we breathe our first breath. The world may change us, break our soul, and in those sad cases we are at the mercy of nurture, or lack thereof. We can choose how we let it impact us. I believe we’re hardwired with the foundation of who we are from the start. All that to say I’m a “nature” girl at heart. Interesting question Fandango. It did mKe me think! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 2, 2019 / 7:02 pm

      Thanks for sharing this, Kat. It must be fascinating to raise twins and to watch them grow and evolve. I do think we are “hardwired” based upon our DNA, but there are so many variables as we are exposed to the world that shape, bend, and mold us into who we are. It is a fascinating discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bill October 3, 2019 / 2:48 am

    This first came up in a discussion when I was still a hopeful undergrad.
    While nurture influences me in many ways, the mold is nature. While I have overcome many problems, my basic nature is set in DNA
    “The Blank Slate” by Steven Pinker is an in-depth look at this, but might not be for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen October 3, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      I am sometimes bothered if I sound (with my literal voice but also with inflection) like my mother. I’ve asked myself, “How can I do this differently.” It might be good to take something like voice lessons or voice coaching. There’s nothing bad about it, I just want something different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango October 3, 2019 / 5:09 pm

        I don’t think I sound (or act) like either of my parents, but, then again, I’m not sure I see myself objectively.


        • Marleen October 3, 2019 / 5:40 pm

          People told me I was too quiet for years. I suppose that quiet voice that doesn’t carry far is genetic. (However, I could sing loud enough and well enough that people asked me to be in choirs — even smaller, more elite, choirs.) But my efforts to speak up more forcefully (again, in terms of decibals or the like) I personally am not thrilled with it.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 October 3, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    I don’t know what makes our personalities to begin with, but I know nurture can change them. From my experience of living with an alcoholic for 20 years I became hyper vigilant and began to not trust anyone. Take for example an abused child… they will invent ways to survive by altering their reactions to the abuse and the way they behave around the abuser. Good question.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 3, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      I can’t begin to image what the affects are of a child who suffered abuse from a parent or a loved one.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. aguycalledbloke October 4, 2019 / 5:53 am

    Excellent question Fandango, a real true depth inciting provoker of thoughts – nicely done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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