Essay 32 – Characteristics we are born with have much more influence

GT Writing Task 2 (Essay Writing) Sample # 32

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any experiences we may have in our life.

Which do you consider to be the major influence?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer 1: [View: Our life experience has more influence on our personality and development.]

Not sure, when and where I heard these wise words which basically suggest that “we are the products of our environment”, but I happened to wholeheartedly agree with them back then, just as I agree with them today. Therefore, it would only make sense for me to go along with an idea which suggests that the experiences, we may have in our life, have more influence on our personality and advancement than the characteristics we are born with for a couple of reasons.

First, personal growth and development is a combination of many visible and invisible transformational processes that are often triggered by important life events that inspire us to improve and empower ourselves by discovering where our full potential lie. And, that’s exactly why we see some rather “mediocre” students, who always like to skip classes, become some of the top performers in their classes after being “coached” by some specialist teachers or through the dedication they put to achieve something.

Secondly, even though, we human may carry the same kind of characteristic in principle, with the same kind of hunger, thirst, compassion, fear and greed, which we are born with, we don’t necessarily react in the same manner to the same event or stimuli. And, that’s why, a person, who was used to swimming as a child, wouldn’t get as much scared of falling water as the person who never had a chance to swim before. Besides, human change and so is their characteristic with time and age, and therefore, we shouldn’t give them any more credit than what it really deserves, as far as the issue of influencing our personality and development is concerned.

To conclude, our experiences influence our character and development more than anything else in this world and that is why we are capable of achieving great things through our hard work and dedication.


Model Answer 2: [View: Characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality.]

Every human being is born with certain traits that make him the person he is. While our experience and knowledge influence our decisions, we are largely the outcome of our genetic blueprints and many research works denote that our personality and development are most likely to depend on the dispositions that we are born with. In my view, human beings are the embodiment of their genes.

Heredity is believed to be what shapes our personality traits, like extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness and neuroticism; because these all qualities are passed down from a parent to a child before the child is born. Thereby, it seems reasonable to assume that a newborn baby does not have a blank sheet of personalities, rather does have a set of intrinsic attributes. To justify the same, there are numerous empirical pieces of evidence. For example, biological siblings are quite likely similar in attitude than adopted siblings. Likewise, twin studies indicate that identical twins share almost 50 per cent of the same characteristics, whereas fraternal twins share merely about 15 per cent.

By the same token, genetics has been proven to be a key reason in the development of some mental health states, like bipolar, schizophrenia, and other depressions for example. A case in point is bipolar. The disease is five times more likely to develop if there is a family history of the illness. Likewise, research reveals that if one twin succumbs to schizophrenia, then another twin is most likely to develop the disease. Thus, congenital traits are the prominent contributing factor in the development of certain mental illness. Child prodigies in music, art, mathematics and so on are living examples of how they are born with certain talents and not gain talents from mere observations.

In conclusion, human beings are born with certain personality traits that are the major contributing factor in developing their behavioural pattern and personality.

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