Monday, 26 March 2012

Cultural Traits or Genetic Coevolution?


For many years we have often assumed that the cultural stereotypes of collectivism in Asian cultures and Individualism in Western cultures were exactly that: simple stereotypes. New research however, suggests that these traits may have a genetic causal link. Due to differences in the prevalence of a particular gene across races, individuals may be more likely to exhibit particular social behaviours based not only upon their cultural upbringing but also their genetic makeup.

Whilst a number of personality traits, such as aggression, have been linked to genetic inheritance, it has been thought that social attitudes were a result of the discourses and values of the society in which a person develops. That is, a person does not have a predisposition to be of a particular world view; rather they are influenced by the community and culture around them.