Op het eerste zicht lijkt dit niet zo vreemd, maar toch duidt het er op dat de persoonlijkheid een duidelijke biologische basis heeft. Al betekent dit niet dat omgevingsfactoren helemaal geen invloed hebben op onze persoonlijkheid.
Personality traits observed in childhood are a strong predictor of adult behavior, a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the Oregon Research Institute and University of Oregon suggests.
Dit waren de bevindingen van de studie:
- kinderen die verbaal vlot waren, bleken als volwassenen sociaal bedreven te zijn
- kinderen die zich makkelijk aanpasten, waren later blije en nieuwsgierige volwassen
- impulsieve kinderen bleken spraakzame volwassenen te worden die bovendien met een luide stem praten
- kinderen met de neiging om zichzelf weg te cijferen, vertoonden als volwassenen tekens van onveiligheid en nederigheid.
uit: Science Daily
... The researchers examined four personality attributes -- verbally fluent, adaptable, impulsive and self-minimizing. They found that:
• Youngsters identified as verbally fluent -- defined as unrestrained talkativeness -- tended, as middle-aged adults, to display interest in intellectual matters, speak fluently, try to control the situation, and exhibit a high degree of intelligence. Children rated low in verbal fluency by their teachers were observed as adults to seek advice, give up when faced with obstacles, and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.
• Children rated as highly adaptable -- defined as coping easily and successfully with new situations -- tended, as middle-aged adults, to behave cheerfully, speak fluently and show interest in intellectual matters. Those who rated low in adaptability as children were observed as adults to say negative things about themselves, seek advice and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.
• Students rated as impulsive as adults were inclined to speak loudly, display a wide range of interests and be talkative. Those who were rated low on impulsivity were observed, as adults, to be fearful or timid, keep others at a distance and express insecurity.
• Children whose teachers rated them as having a tendency to self-minimize -- defined as humble, minimizing their own importance or never showing off -- as adults were likely to express guilt, seek reassurance, say negative things about themselves and express insecurity. Those who were ranked low as self-minimizing were observed as adults to speak loudly, show interest in intellectual matters and exhibit condescending behavior.
"We think that personality resides within us," Nave said. "It's a part of us, a part of our biology. Life events still influence our behaviors, yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well."...
en uit de abstract van de studie: C. S. Nave, R. A. Sherman, D. C. Funder, S. E. Hampson, L. R. Goldberg. On the Contextual Independence of Personality: Teachers' Assessments Predict Directly Observed Behavior After Four Decades. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2010