Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Disorders of Personality

What personality traits are genetic?

Cloninger’s distinction between temperament and character suggests that some personality traits are learned while others are inborn. This leads to the question of which personality traits fall into which category. Genetic studies suggest that many genes code for either behavioral activation or inhibition. In other words, many of the genes that influence personality seem to code for either sensation seeking, impulsive, and extraverted traits, or anxious, harm avoidant, and introverted traits. Psychiatric disorders such as alcohol abuse, borderline and antisocial personality disorder, and attention deficit disorder are associated with behavioral activation genes, while other disorders or traits such as depression, anxiety, and introversion are associated with behavioral inhibition genes.


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