Temperament across cultures

Temperament Across Cultures Word Count: 500 (2 pages) Based on your reading of the text, discuss cross-cultural studies on temperament. Do you believe that temperament is determined by biology (genetic), influenced by culture, or both? Evaluate the evidence and give examples of your own to support your position.
Evidence shows that temperament—across cultures—is developed by biology, influenced by culture, and also is a combination of both elements.
Biology definitely influences people’s attitudes and moods. Some babies that are born simply do not want to go to sleep almost at all. This can leave parents staying up late into the wee hours of the morning because their child will not go to sleep. It has been shown that these sorts of patterns which are evident early in life may lend to the explanation why, for example, that child might grow up to become a “ night owl,” feeling better when he or she is awake during the nighttime.
Culture and socialization definitely play large roles in the way we are raised and how we react to various situations. “[T]he process of socialization starts early, probably from the very first day of life…[the] biological temperament and predispositions we bring with us into the world at birth are actually part of the socialization process…[C]haracteristics we are born with determine, to some extent, how our caregivers react and interact with us…” 1 Socialization of children really depends a lot upon how the parents raise their child. Are the parents always angry? Then it is possible that the child will grow up to have similar anger issues. Is the parent calm, cool, and collected? Then, the child will most likely grow up to have a peaceful temperament. It really depends upon how the parents raise the child to react to certain situations. If children are trained the way they should be, they should be able to—for example, have socially appropriate responses to various situations. Every child should, for example, refuse rides, candy, or gifts from strangers. If a child is aware that these tactics might be used in order to otherwise hurt them, they will be much more savvy about the ways of the world.
Of course, temperament can be a combination of both genetics and upbringing combined. For example, if someone is raised in a very loud family, and the family members encourage the child or children to be very vocal—it is most likely that the child(ren) will naturally become very noisy adults. If, for example, a child is raised in a family where quietness is valued, and the child’s family are inherently quieter due to their cultural upbringing—the traits that cause a person to be more reserved (the biology element) can definitely cause the child to, therefore, trend towards being quieter and more peaceful.
A combination of biology, upbringing, and both elements together develop peoples’ development across cultures. No matter what kind of environment someone is raised in, inevitably their genetic makeup will definitely lead them into the kind of environment which most closely associates a biological predisposition for the type of personality that he or she is going to have. Environment is a primer for how the genetic makeup of an individual will develop—flourishing into the person that he or she is today, accommodating both factors.
Matsumoto, David Ricky, et al. Culture and Psychology, 4th Ed. US: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning,
2008. Pp. 86.