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Do childhood experiences determine our adult personalities?
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Experiences don’t shape our personalities, our bodies do

There is a concept known as facultative personality calibration (FPC). This is the idea that our personalities develop in a way that best suits the other genetic cards we’ve been dealt, including our size, strength, and attractiveness.
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The Argument

Evidence supporting FPC is growing – not only in terms of how one’s looks influence our personality traits, but even our approaches to finding romantic partners and our political beliefs. For instance, take trait extroversion, which involves not only being more sociable, but also more adventurous and willing to take risks. In evolution, it would make strategic sense if stronger, more physically capable people exploited their bodily advantages by being more extroverted. That’s exactly what some research has found. One study from Germany’s University of Göttingen recently reported that of more than 200 men, those who were physically stronger tended to be more extroverted, especially in the sense of being more assertive and physically active. The same strength-extroversion association was not found among the women in the study.[1] While experiences, especially in childhood, can affect our personality, what determines it is our body shape when growing into adulthood.

Counter arguments

On the other hand, our body shape (or genetic make up) can shape our personality. Human’s experiences of how they are treated, based on their body type, can produce positive and negative traits in personality.


[P1] Body shape can boost confidence and a self-possessed personality. [P2] Body shape determines humans’ personalities rather than experiences.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 12:12 UTC

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