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Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

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Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

I got to thinking about my wicked loss of self control, and temper just recently in the road rage situation.

Now this is not a cop-out ok, but when I was thinking back, I come from a family with really bad tempers. it's mostly on my dad's side thoguh that have the really bad tempers. They can lose it really bad at times. Man, I have been in the car when my sister is driving, and she can lose it too real bad at other drivers, she is scarey! as am I in the car as already proven. (sigh)
Most of my dad's family have bad tempers.
So I am curious to know if a bad temper can be inherited, and how much control do we have over this if it is genetics.
Just curious.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Elisa on November 18, 2003 at 22:09:07:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

This begs the age old "Nature vs. Nuture" argument.
Since no one has identified the gene for anger yet,
there is no concrete answer to this. There are plenty of
opinions though from both sides of the fence.

The general rule of thumb for medical conditions that
could be inherited (or a tendency towards them anyway)
is that 20% is in your genes and 80% is learned or
conditioned. Perhaps the same is true for anger. I think
it is far more likely that any physical imbalance that
creates the tendency towards anger is the smaller part
of the puzzle, and that it is more likely that angry
behaviors and reactions were "learned" through
observation.

I am a bigger believer in the nuture side of things,
because I am leary of any thinking that leads people to
absolve themselves of responsibility for their own
actions or conditions. I mean if someone knew for a
fact that he had inherited a gene for say cancer,
wouldn't he, knowing this in advance, do everything in
his power to limit the possibility of that gene expressing
itself (eat right, exercise, not smoke etc.? Why should it
be any different for someone with a tendency (inherited
OR learned) towards anger? You still need to learn
ways to minimize and care for your condition, so that it
does not express itself as much or at all.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a book called ANGER: WISDOM
FOR COOLING THE FLAMES. You might want to check
it out. Why do I know of this book you might ask? Well,
anger is a part of my family heritage too. I have followed
the lessons from this book, and many of my siblings
have not. Guess what? They are still hot heads who fly
off the handle sometimes at the slightest provocation or
disagreement, but for some reason I don't (although I
used to).

Practicing daily SR has a major effect of anger. When
your mind is more settled, your moods will be also.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Tarzan on November 18, 2003 at 22:38:31:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

You have total control over it. Though it is possible that genetics could make one more susceptible to anger, you still have the ability to learn and overcome it. Buying into genetics as a possiblity for your faults can get you into trouble. Your anger is no doubt "inherited," but it's a learned inheritance. Out-of-control anger can be your inner child expressing an unresolved issue. Your dad's side of the family has some unresolved inner child issues, and when they are blowing their tops they are reverting to childhood.

Explore your anger to get to the real source of it; that way you can prevent it from getting the best of you in the future. If you buy into genetics as the blame, you'll have an excuse to lose your temper and avoid the work of learning the cause.

If you get up in arms about being treated poorly, it may be you learned that from your father. Perhaps he was abused, either physically or emotionally, and passed on that abuse to you in some way. Of course, if you are treated poorly you have a right to be angry, but there is a proper time and place for it depending on the circumstance.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Michele on November 19, 2003 at 07:42:45:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

It is more than likely learned behaviors and learned coping techniques than anything else.

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Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Walt Stoll on November 19, 2003 at 09:05:22:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Elisa on November 18, 2003 at 22:09:07:

Amen, Elisa!


Walt

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Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by maire on November 19, 2003 at 09:31:36:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

I believe it's part learned and part food intolerances.

Wheat and dairy are the most likely to affect temper. Try a month without them. If that doesn't work, get tested with a blood allergy test for foods that might prove to be specifically a problem for you.

I believe a lot of what gets put down to genetics is actually the fact that many people have a diet very similar to that of their parents.




Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by My Advice on November 19, 2003 at 12:46:03:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

I would suggest reading some books on human nature or evolutionary biology. The philosophers, the anthropologists, and the evolutionary biologists all say yes, this is overwhelmingly a function of genetics. There is nothing in your behavior or makeup for which you are not hard-wired. However, this is not to say that just because such a trait was at one time NECESSARY for survival in a given environment that is still necessary or necessarily favorable. You can overcome those traits to which you are predisposed.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by I Totally Disagree... on November 19, 2003 at 12:50:09:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Elisa on November 18, 2003 at 22:09:07:

People are hard-wired for every aspect of their personality and if they would like to alter it they must learn the methods of doing so through rigorous hard-work.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Whoa... on November 19, 2003 at 12:58:26:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Tarzan on November 18, 2003 at 22:38:31:

I think that this is a total oversimplification of the matter. No one said that people can or should say that these undesirable traits are out of their control. They can be controlled. When we get into trouble is when people like you have done in your message refer to them as faults. From a biological standpoint there are no faults. These are inherited traits that are necessary for the survival. The individual has no control over what traits they are hard-wired to develop. They can, however, learn to suppress the expression of such traits if the overwhelming societal majority makes a determination as to whether this behavior is acceptable at all. However, this is all RELATIVE. And psychology is, in fact, the most RELATIVE of all studies as its function is to change people to fit the hole in which all the pegs of society are supposed to fit whether they are round or square. No one is saying that some of these behaviors cannot or should not be changed. But, some behaviors don't need to be changed and shouldn't be changed regardless of their necessity or utility to the person or his or her society.

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A genetic predisposition to malabsorption

Posted by Straw on November 19, 2003 at 13:34:13:

In Reply to: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Annabelle on November 18, 2003 at 21:38:52:

You might try:

www.hriptc.org
www.crimetimes.com or org -- not sure.

Take fish oil (omega 3) -- also go to an experienced neurofeedback practictioner.

IMO & that of many others, it is an imbalance of nutrients or biochemical imbalance.

check out those sites.

Straw



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Elisa on November 19, 2003 at 13:43:33:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by I Totally Disagree... on November 19, 2003 at 12:50:09:

I don't think we disagree. As I mentioned there are
arguments on both the nuture and nature side of the
fence.

I agree with you. If you have an inherited tendency
towards a certain characteristic (proven or suspected)
you must learn ways to limit its expression. It can take
hard work as you said, but it is not impossible. That's
why I recommended the book.

No one can say for sure what is truly genetic or not,
except perhaps in the case of diseases like cystic
fibrosis or others where there is a clearly identified
malfunction of a gene, or a lethal combinaton of genes
that creates a relative certainty of the illness outcome.
And even in the case of a gene being identified, it is still
not necessarily a guarantee that the person will have
that trait or illness or whatever. One's upbringing,
experiences, lifestyle choices etc. have a huge impact
on how they "turn out." Especially where personality is
concerned.

The movie "Gattaca" is about this very subject. It's an
interesting take on what happens if we know we are
"hard-wired" for something. It is also a commentary on
how the human spirit can fly in the face of genetics, and
how dangerous society could be if we had the ability to
genetically "know" everything about everyone. I highly
recommend it if you are interested in the subject. That
is if you have not already seen it.



Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Tarzan on November 19, 2003 at 18:30:52:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Tarzan on November 18, 2003 at 22:38:31:

They may be inherited traits (which is basically what I said in my original post), but when they get out of control they are faults. If someone gets into a road rage incident and loses control to the point of pulling a gun and murdering the person they're enraged at, I'd call that a pretty big fault. If their control of that anger keeps them from pulling a gun and instead they just flip them the bird, taunt them with their car, and scream bloody murder but without comitting the murder, I'd still call that being out of control, not good for one's health, and yes, a fault that should be corrected before it gets them into serious trouble.

Do you think people should be able to start using their undesirable hard-wired traits as a defense in a jury trial?

Survival tactics can be brought out by, for example, an abusive father. The tactic (i.e. undesirable trait) wasn't necessary and probably would have stayed in hibernation forever had the abusive father not forced (thus taught) the reaction. Therefore, the inherited trait gets brought to the surface and becomes a fault, that can and should be corrected.

So what's your point? Road rage shouldn't be corrected? I don't understand our difference really, except that I believe, in this case, that the inherited trait has become a fault that needs correcting.

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Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics (I beg to differ. ) Archive.

Posted by Walt Stoll on November 20, 2003 at 09:56:11:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by My Advice on November 19, 2003 at 12:46:03:

Thanks, My.

The recent findings of the human genome project has not yet filtered down to the specialists you are mentioning--at least not to their writings which , by necessity, have to be at least 2 years behind what they know now. Even your last sentence belies what they have been saying. If everything is genes how can one change it by altering behavior?

The old argument about nature or nurture has now been laid to rest: 20% is nature and 80% is nurture. That is why practice can change things.

Walt

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Re: A genetic predisposition to malabsorption

Posted by Agree on November 20, 2003 at 16:00:49:

In Reply to: A genetic predisposition to malabsorption posted by Straw on November 19, 2003 at 13:34:13:

I agree, it could be something lacking in the family like B3 etc being passed down generation to generation.

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Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Agree on November 20, 2003 at 16:02:37:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by maire on November 19, 2003 at 09:31:36:

Agree with this too. I am so irritable with wheat, my children are angry with dairy & give me corn & i could kill!

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Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by Actually.... on November 28, 2003 at 23:06:43:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Elisa on November 19, 2003 at 13:43:33:

Physical anthropologists have been quite capable of determining exactly what is genetic.

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Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics

Posted by I just don't... on November 28, 2003 at 23:08:12:

In Reply to: Re: Is a Bad Temper a Case of Genetics posted by Elisa on November 18, 2003 at 22:09:07:

agree with the rule of thumb...everything is almost entirely genetic and can only be overcome through nature.

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