Nature and Nurture: Attachment and Personality
Humans have long been engaged in a riddle regarding what is innate about their behavior and what is learned. In spite of many endeavors, the issue about the roots of human traits and behavior – either learned experience or innate dispositions – could not be resolved sufficiently. Iris Reiner’s aim is to elucidate the complex interplay between nurture experiences and genetic dispositions on personality development in adulthood. The author investigates how memories about early attachment experiences on the one hand and how genetic influences on the other hand are related to personality. She also explores if the representation of childhood experiences is influenced by genetic make up. Iris Reiner shows that not only personality, but also the representation of early, in particular aversive attachment experience is influenced by genes. She describes a relationship between the Dopamin D4 Receptor Gene and the way how such aversive experiences are processed. This book is a valuable contribution to the complex and innovative research on genes and human behavior processes. Iris Reiner advises caution against deterministic interpretations and emphasizes that – especially in psychology – we can only find probabilistic rules to predict and analyze human behavior. Supposedly, nature and nurture overlap and are inextricably intertwined.