“XI. Measuring Personality
[Hans] Eysenck believed that genetic factors were far more important than environmental ones in shaping personality and that personal traits could be measured by standardized personality inventories.”
Eysenck he’s right, but I would like to read more about where he drew the line between these two factors. If a person’s intrinsic personality traits (genetics) are at odds with accepted norms of a given culture (environmental), where do we consider the resiliency of those traits against the social tide? If said person also has the trait of persistence, rebelliousness or at least stubbornness, could these traits “come to the rescue” of other traits?
It would seem to me that we end up needing to consider so many environmental factors in the shaping of personality. However, if genes are the stronger force in ultimately determining an adult personality, then in any given culture will their be natives to that culture who feel ‘freer’ (the genetic personality is a better match to the cultural values) than ‘constrained’ (an ongoing disharmony between the genetic personality and cultural pressures to conform)?
Given that we accept Eysenck’s statement above, is it not a mystery that genetic personalities come and go, but culture remains? Culture changes, but that change is slow, and people are born and die without seeing considerable change in a culture. Is there not enough variety in possible personalities? I hope you’ll agree that is not the case. Thus the rough-and-dirty conclusion is that the average person does not seek change does not forcefully seek change in his/her culture. Why is that? Is it only to gain or maintain social acceptance?
I’m trying not to confuse ‘self-concept’ with ‘self-expression’, but I find that difficult to do, and I don’t even know if making that distinction leads to any better understanding. So for now, I’m leaving my statements as-is, but I welcome anyone to direct me to a source that could alter my views.