Why do we react the way we do? How much do we know why a person reacts the way she does? Every human decision or action is a function of the brain. The function is based on innate programs that use inputs from our internal state and external environment. The brain has evolved with time. However human beings have spent more than 4 million years as prehistoric beings and only 25000 years in organizations comparable to today’s societies. Since then, the brain has developed many cognitive programs, however most of them are still adapted for solving problems of survival.
An approach of psychology, the evolutionary psychology, explains behavior in terms of innate characteristics. It explains individual differences in terms of genes. Nevertheless, genes can neither regulate behavior directly nor determine specific traits. Genes play an indirect role in both behavior regulation and trait expression. As per evolutionary psychologists, the nature of the connection among the genes defines who we are, the nature of our personalities. Our genes are constantly active and react to the person’s external environment. In a nutshell, our genes provide our basic blueprint, and the external environment determines how the finished product of that blueprint develops.
Via the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), we can see how the brain reacts. For instance, the change in times of stress can clearly be seen. For instance, introverts, who are chronically more cortically aroused than extroverts, will react less dramatically to a stressful situation. In contrast, extraverts will be inclined toward verbal and physical aggression or deception. Introverts would be prone to depression and unfulfilled daydreaming.
Is our personality innate or nurtured? Both. Spoken language is genetically programmed and adaptive, whereas lexical skills, like written language, are developed by coaxing brain centers to adapt new functions through nurture.
Evolutionary psychologists explain the physiological, neurological and genetic foundation of personality traits. There are other theories in psychology which consider other origins and test various hypothesis via hypothetico-deductive or qualitative methods.
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