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Which factor is most influential?

  • Genetics/Nature

    Votes: 12 46.2%
  • Environment/Society

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Both equally as influential

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • It depends on the trait(s) under consideration

    Votes: 5 19.2%

  • Total voters
    26
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering why some types are rarer than others, and why people turn out to be the way they are. If we're looking solely at the MBTI framework, what do you think is more influential in "determining" one's type? Is it nature or nurture? Or does it depend on each individual factor (e.g. introversion/extraversion more environmental, thinking/feeling more genetic etc.)?
 

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I'm wondering why some types are rarer than others, and why people turn out to be the way they are. If we're looking solely at the MBTI framework, what do you think is more influential in "determining" one's type? Is it nature or nurture? Or does it depend on each individual factor (e.g. introversion/extraversion more environmental, thinking/feeling more genetic etc.)?
Well its a number of things but I think there also has to be a demand. I think the rarest types are often better leaders but not everyone can really lead.
 

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My opinion is.... your actual personality type (MBTI and Enneagram) is genetics. But the way that you express your personality (plus conditioning of certain traits) is based on many other things, such as culture, family, friends... everything environmental... plus other aspects of yourself such as intelligence, possible disability status, etc.

But environmental influences and conditioning is not going to actually change your true MB/ Enneagram type.... that's there inside of you already. It's the basis of your whole psyche. It has such deep influences in your very early development (especially enneagram) that it seems to me the only possible answer must be that you are born with it.

Now, if you go to another culture, it's possible that that culture conceives of human personality in a very different way... so different cultures might have different frameworks of individual personality... centered around the general-personality of the culture. However, ultimately the innate personality of individuals is the same across cultures. Its just going to be put into a different system.

Even though different countries/cultures have different "personalities" associated with them (i.e. the US is individual, India and China are collective etc), I don't think this has much affect on the actual personalities of individuals who make up these cultures. Certain personalities may be selected for, which might create a slight shift, but not a huge one. I think this is because there's a huge amount of shuffling in our genes. Even though it is genetic, it's not like your Enneatype is actually passed down directly. For example, I'm a 9, my parents are 4 and 6, so they're different, but nevertheless, my Enneatype comes from my genetics.
So even if certain personalities were selected for in certain cultures, the shuffling is going to create the same amount of diversity.

Sexual orientation is a good analogy. Although your sexual orientation is innate, somewhere in your genes, it's not like there's an observable correlation from parents to kids. Gay parents don't have gay kids. There's shuffling going on genetically, maybe a bunch of different genes all coming together from different places. Same with enneagram.
(To me, MBTI seems to be more directly inherited... well, in my case, my parents are INTJ and INFP and I'm INFJ, so that seems like a pretty obvious genetic influence. But other people apparently have parents with very different MB types).

If all Americans seem to act Three-ish and Chinese seem to act Nine-ish, etc, it reflects our ability to adapt our behavior to the expectations of our culture, not actual shifts.
 

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Notionally, the preferences are said to be innate, with our "natural preferences", and the consequent direction of energy towards those preferences, resulting in the development of different traits (so the traits of people with the same innate preference could differ considerably if the "development" flowing from the preference differs). Even accepting that this is true, however, I don't see what there is that would prevent a person's psychological preferences from changing over time; that a person could theoretically be conditioned into a different way of being certainly doesn't seem conceptually nonsensical, so I'm not sure what the case is for type being solely innate.

I don't think I've really any basis for making an argument either way as to the relative influence of "nature" and "nurture", or the extent to which this might vary between dimensions. As far as "traits" are concerned, an argument could be made that the clear gender skew on T/F might be at least partially down to a greater difference in the social pressures faced by each gender - but that explains the statistical skew, rather than necessarily something about the underlying preference (granting that preferences could be conditioned needn't mean all conditioning necessarily conditions preferences - arguably, most simply conditions how the preferences manifest, leads to erroneous self-perceptions, changes the traits that develop in relation to the retained preference, &c.). Type rarity could be down to any number of things - to the extent personality is heritable, some traits may be selected for over others; alternatively, the dimensions may be "unclean", and thus particular preference combinations are less likely to appear (S/N and J/P seem to be somewhat related, for instance - note the rarity of an NJ combination as compared to an SJ combination), or the dividing line between dimensions may be drawn in a less than ideal place when it comes to best capturing the distinction between individuals. Without any clear reason to favour one of the speculative possibilities over another, I'm not sure the poll can be accurately voted on...
 

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I don't think it's right to determine a persons type until they are reaching adulthood. We develop the most during our childhood.

I acted more like an ExFP when I was a small child. I'm totally different now, and don't see Ne in my anywhere.
 

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As far as the "theory" goes, both Jung and Myers believed that type was largely inborn.

And as for the facts...

Decades of twin studies strongly suggest that genes account for around half (or more) of the kinds of relatively stable personality dimensions measured by the MBTI and Big Five. But the genetics is complicated: an introvert's identical twin brother would probably be an introvert, but they might have two extraverted parents.

The most counterintuitive conclusion that's been drawn from the cumulative data is that how your parents raise you has almost no influence on your basic temperament — e.g., whether you'll end up an INTJ. Identical twins raised in the same household are not significantly more alike (in terms of temperament) than identical twins raised in separate households.

For more, see this post.
 

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Sexual orientation is a good analogy. Although your sexual orientation is innate, somewhere in your genes, it's not like there's an observable correlation from parents to kids. Gay parents don't have gay kids. There's shuffling going on genetically, maybe a bunch of different genes all coming together from different places. Same with enneagram.
(To me, MBTI seems to be more directly inherited... well, in my case, my parents are INTJ and INFP and I'm INFJ, so that seems like a pretty obvious genetic influence. But other people apparently have parents with very different MB types).
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Figuring that MBTI is passed on genetically because your parents are both intuitive is rather short sighted. I think you will find there are A LOT of intuitive's who have a sensing mother and father and maybe even brother and/or sister as well.

Who can argue the fact that the natural ratio that seems to happen with MBTI. If you had 100 people in proportion to the percentage of each type there is quoted to be I think you would find you would have the perfect balance of personality to have a functioning society.
 

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You didn't have a 'both but not necessarily equally' option. I'd say it's a complex question that requires delving into biology/genetics/social-developmental psychology/physiology/society/anthropology/culture.etc. I'd say, there are countless genetic and environmental factors which shape the brain, and there are constant factors influencing how we think and how we express our ideas or convert them into something more external or seemingly independent of ourselves (when they're really an extension of it). I've been thinking of various dimensions of personality, dichotomies, and think being highly sensitive probably plays a lot into E vs I, for instance. It could be related to how easily stimulated certain parts of the brain are.
 

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As far as the "theory" goes, both Jung and Myers believed that type was largely inborn.

And as for the facts...

Decades of twin studies strongly suggest that genes account for around half (or more) of the kinds of relatively stable personality dimensions measured by the MBTI and Big Five. But the genetics is complicated: an introvert's identical twin brother would probably be an introvert, but they might have two extraverted parents.

The most counterintuitive conclusion that's been drawn from the cumulative data is that how your parents raise you has almost no influence on your basic temperament — e.g., whether you'll end up an INTJ. Identical twins raised in the same household are not significantly more alike (in terms of temperament) than identical twins raised in separate households.

For more, see this post.
My personality type is definitely very different to my parents and siblings, though there have to be a few similarities.
 

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Both equally. You're hardwired one way, but your environment influences a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Question to those that think it's largely biological:

How come children with parents of type XXXX end up with child that is so different in personality than their parents' traits combined (e.g. YYYY)? Is this because the framework of MBTI is a vast over-simplification of personality which, when considering genetics/inheritance, does not accurately reflect the complexity of factors involved, or could it be that external/non-natural factors also play a significant role in determining one's MBTI Type? Remember, the question is referring exclusively to personality traits considered by MBTI, and not other frameworks.
 

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Question to those that think it's largely biological:

How come children with parents of type XXXX end up with child that is so different in personality than their parents' traits combined (e.g. YYYY)?
As I noted in my first post, genetics is complicated. Whether a person is extraverted or introverted could theoretically be 100% genetic, and two extraverted parents could still have an introverted child.
 
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