Chapter 9 Personalities and Traits
I often wonder why I have the personality I do and where my traits come from. Questions like these are especially interesting to me because I am adopted. If I was raised by my birth parents, would I behave differently? Would I still be motivated to make the same actions I do now?
Many of the traits that I have don't seem to be shared with my parents. That makes it clear to me that i must have been born with my traits making them innate. However, my personality seems to have been influenced by my environment. I react to most things the same way my parents would and I associate it with the nurturing I received from them. I can tell that my motivation stems mostly from my innate traits, but some of it also comes from the personality I have that was formed by my enviornment. The parents of children with a lack of self- motivation probably also have or had a lack of self-motivation. If they gained self-motivation and were able to impose motivational incentives for their children, then the children will have a chance of being more motivated than their natural traits had previously allowed them to be. If there is a strong lack of motivation found innately in a child though, it could be unlikely that any environmental influences could override innate instincts the child naturally has. If the parents of a child have always had low self-motivation and continue to raise their children that way, then I expect the child would never obtain a high level of self-motivation unless socially influenced by another person such as a teacher or a mentor.
I would like to know whether or not my birth parents were self-motivated. If they were, then I would attribute my good self-motivation to my genetics. If they weren't then I would attribute my self-motivation to my adoptive parents' upbringing. My motivation could come from a mix of both innate and aquired traits and personality, but I think in my situation I would lean towards one side or the other.The study of the seperated and adopted twin sets leads me to believe that most motivation comes from innate traits. I believe that this is the same for me. So make sure if you ever decide to adopt kids that their biological parents have traits that you would like to see in your child, because changing those traits with experience could be very difficult. You probably wouldn't want to end up with a psychopath for a child, which is what this study finds:
"Analyses revealed that having a biological criminal father was related to psychopathic personality traits for male adoptees, but not for female adoptees. For males, having a criminal biological father increased the odds of scoring in the extreme of the psychopathic personality trait scale by a factor ranging between 4.3 and 8.5. However, there was no association between having a biological criminal mother and psychopathic personality traits for adoptees." (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235211000845)
Luckily my parents didn't adopt a psychopath, but a very smart and self-motivated child that will someday hopefully be a psychologist. If they weren't so lucky they would probably be returning to the adoption agency to look for a sign like this one: