Thegenetic composition of an individual has the capacity to influencethe type of environment that one experiences or seek. Different typesof influence can be grouped into three categories, including passivegene-environment association, evocative gene-environment association,and active gene-environment association (Scarr & McCartney,1983). In this paper, I will give a personal reflection of threetypes of gene-environment association.
Passivegene-environment association refers to the correlation that existsbetween the environment that one is raised in and the genotype thatone inherits from parents. In my case, my parents, father and mother,have always been social and able to make friendships, even withpeople they have known for a short time. Being a social and a lesstroublesome child, my parents reciprocated and gave me a sociableenvironment that encouraged me to engage in different activities, notjust with relatives, but also with other children who were notmembers of our family. In addition, being brought up by socialparents provided me with an environment and an opportunity to learnhow to interact with other people and establish sustainablerelationships. I have been able to harness this capability that Iinherited from my parents by making friends within a few days ofenrolling in a different school. A good example of this passivegene-environment correlation is demonstrated by my ability tosocialize and make long-term friends at my former high school and mypresent college within the first week of enrollment.
Thisis a type of association that exists between one’s behavior that isgenetically influenced and the reaction of other people to thatspecific behavior (Scarr & McCartney, 1983). My sunny dispositionhas made me attract and get favors from many people since I was alittle kid. This is because nearly all people that I interact withfind me a friendly and cheery person whom they prefer spending timewith. For example, I only hear of children who have an experience ofbeing mistreated by their caregivers, which probably occurs as areaction of the caregivers to the negative disposition of these kids.In my case, my caregiver, parents, and relatives have always beenfriends since my sunny disposition depicts me as someone who isinspiring and deserves affection.
Activegene-environment association refers to a correlation that occursbetween the types of environmental niche that one selects and thegenetic properties of that person (Scarr & McCartney, 1983). Thismeans that the genetic properties play a key role in determining thetype of environment that one likes. Personally, I am a sensationseeker who likes looking for intense, novel, complex, and variedfeelings and experiences. This implies that I am always ready to takefinancial and social risks for the sake of the aforementionedexperiences. Although I have not been expressing my sensation seekingpersonality through dangerous driving or drinking, my high preferencefor varied and less structured classes and tasks as opposed tostructured ones is a clear illustration of my tendency to look fordiverse and dynamic environment.
Inconclusion, my genetic composition has played a significant role indetermining the type of environment I experience, the environment Ireceive from other people, and the type of environment I look for. Mygenetic composition has helped me experience and look for positiveenvironments.
Scarr,S. & McCartney, K. (1983). How people make their own environment:Theory of genotype, environmental effects. ChildDevelopment,54, 424-435.