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Posted: 29 June 2011 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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George - 29 June 2011 07:14 AM
dougsmith - 29 June 2011 07:05 AM
George - 29 June 2011 06:59 AM

Well, behaviour is an action based on one’s personality. Dogs with violent personalities will behave violently.

Sure, but although behavior is influenced by personality, personality alone doesn’t determine behavior. Environment also plays a part, and parents are part of that environment.

Parents may be a part of the environment, but their long-term influence on their kids’ behaviour in practically nonexistent. Violent computer games, for example, are also a part of the environment of the children, but according to the research it seems the games have no influence on the behaviour of the kids.

Again, they have no influence on the personality of the kids, but that’s demonstrably a different (and weaker) claim.

Take an example: Joe has a quiet and introspective personality, irrespective of his parents’s outspokenness. (Perhaps he got this introspective personality from some regressive genes in his parents). But it’s his father’s contacts with the baseball association that gets Joe a job in the front office. Joe’s father has influenced Joe’s behavior, since Joe is behaving as a front-office employee of a baseball association rather than being (e.g.) a librarian. But he hasn’t influenced Joe’s personality.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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dougsmith - 29 June 2011 07:18 AM

Joe’s father has influenced Joe’s behavior, since Joe is behaving as a front-office employee of a baseball association rather than being (e.g.) a librarian.

Sure, sounds great as a thought experiment. The question here is, however, if that’s what happens in reality. We can do a small “study” right here: Which one of you (whoever wants to play) got a job and kept it (!) as a direct result of your parents’ influence?

It’s interesting that you would actually pick this type of example, since the rebellion of children against their parents’ career choice is well known. (One possibility I read about explaining this phenomenon is that the village can only have one doctor at a time.)

If anything, the economical status and career success of a person correlates with IQ, and intelligence is highly heritable.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Mriana - 29 June 2011 07:14 AM
George - 29 June 2011 06:59 AM

Well, behaviour is an action based on one’s personality. Dogs with violent personalities will behave violently.

Tell that to a pitbull who’s had a lot of love since he was born.  Pitbulls are not naturally violent.  What makes them that way is how humans treat them.

Tell that to the K-9. They would save a lot of food money on training Chihuahuas as police dogs instead of German Shepherds. It’s all in the nurture, right?

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Posted: 29 June 2011 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Personality .v. behavior is an interesting distinction. Here is a pretty relevant summary of a large longitudinal study on mood… TWIN PEAKS tongue wink

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Posted: 29 June 2011 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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George - 29 June 2011 08:31 AM
Mriana - 29 June 2011 07:14 AM
George - 29 June 2011 06:59 AM

Well, behaviour is an action based on one’s personality. Dogs with violent personalities will behave violently.

Tell that to a pitbull who’s had a lot of love since he was born.  Pitbulls are not naturally violent.  What makes them that way is how humans treat them.

Tell that to the K-9. They would save a lot of food money on training Chihuahuas as police dogs instead of German Shepherds. It’s all in the nurture, right?

You really are afraid of all pitbulls and aren’t even going to consider them being raised right having something to do with them not being violent.  That too will get you into trouble with dogs.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 29 June 2011 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Well, if I had a choice of accidentally stepping on either a Pit bull’s paw or a Poodle’s paw (both from a loving home) I would go for the Poodle.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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George - 29 June 2011 08:25 AM

It’s interesting that you would actually pick this type of example, since the rebellion of children against their parents’ career choice is well known.

I wouldn’t think this would be an example you’d choose, since if true, it would demonstrate that children’s behavior is influenced by their parents. (E.g., if their parents choose career X, that would influence the children not to pick career X).

That said, I’ve never seen any data supporting such an assumption, and it sounds unlikely to me. For one thing, having parents in a line of work presents children with unproblematic introductions when the time comes for interviews. I’d expect nepotism to be more the rule than rebellion, though strictly speaking either one shows influence.

George - 29 June 2011 08:25 AM

If anything, the economical status and career success of a person correlates with IQ, and intelligence is highly heritable.

Perhaps so, but this is consistent with my claim. Joe’s parents might not be able to influence the kid’s IQ, except genetically, but they can sure help Joe with introductions.

For a more pungent example: does anyone really believe that GW Bush became president on his own merits? That he’d have become president even if his father had died when ‘W’ was an infant? Of course parents effect what their children end up becoming.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I step on my pit bull’s paw all the time. Doesn’t faze him at all. He just jumps back and apologizes for getting in my way, then wags his tail at me.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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DarronS - 29 June 2011 09:30 AM

I step on my pit bull’s paw all the time. Doesn’t faze him at all. He just jumps back and apologizes for getting in my way, then wags his tail at me.

And you probably raised him with love and without abuse.  It has nothing to do with the breed, but all to do with how they are treated.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Mriana - 29 June 2011 10:52 AM
DarronS - 29 June 2011 09:30 AM

I step on my pit bull’s paw all the time. Doesn’t faze him at all. He just jumps back and apologizes for getting in my way, then wags his tail at me.

And you probably raised him with love and without abuse.  It has nothing to do with the breed, but all to do with how they are treated.

Sounds like parenting smirk

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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Sure, Doug, you can choose to cherry-pick—and Bush would be the obvious choice here—or you can look at the emerging consensus in psychology and see that what I have been arguing for are not my ideas, but consistent conclusions that come up each time anybody looks into the influence of parents on their kids’ personality and behaviour.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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DarronS - 29 June 2011 09:30 AM

I step on my pit bull’s paw all the time. Doesn’t faze him at all. He just jumps back and apologizes for getting in my way, then wags his tail at me.

Yes, and I have never gotten divorced even though 50% of couples do.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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George, I am very much enjoying Blank Slate. Is parenting a topic covered in the book?

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Posted: 29 June 2011 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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traveler - 29 June 2011 11:18 AM

George, I am very much enjoying Blank Slate. Is parenting a topic covered in the book?

Yes, it’s a great book, and supports the notion that parents don’t have any effect on their children’s personality. The twin studies were studies of personality.

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Posted: 29 June 2011 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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George - 29 June 2011 10:55 AM

Sure, Doug, you can choose to cherry-pick—and Bush would be the obvious choice here—or you can look at the emerging consensus in psychology and see that what I have been arguing for are not my ideas, but consistent conclusions that come up each time anybody looks into the influence of parents on their kids’ personality and behaviour.

I would agree that there is a trend toward toward more “unconventional” behavior in children. Perhaps parents are so busy trying to keep the family afloat financially, that they have less time to spend with their children.

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