leady wrote:Neither of those links show its incorrect, they merely pose a good hypothesis for why long term bad behaviours are learned. "No shit its the parents" - is my response to said hypothesis.
"It's the parents" is the obvious common-sense response to this, and many related questions. Everybody knows that how your parents raise you is super important and has enormous effects on your personality and attitudes, this is so obvious that it requires no justification. But as far as our research can tell, it's a very minor factor, totally swamped by the effects of nonshared environment (peer group, etc), genetics, and choices/accidents/opportunities/random chance. This is one of the weirdest, most counterintuitive results I've ever seen, but it seems to be fairly robust.
Twin studies consistently find that the effect of "shared environment" (meaning the home) is near-zero for many personality traits, including - relevant to this conversation specifically - the Big Five trait Conscientiousness. Sample reference here
, emphasis not mine:
page 74, referring to table 3.2 wrote:The contribution of the rearing environment was statistically significant for all traits except extraversion, but accounted for only 2% to 9% of the total variation. The least important component was parent-child environmental influence: the parameter p [representing parental influence] could be set to zero in all trait models.
More importantly, the article in the OP states
Walter Mischel’s famous marshmallow experiment demonstrated that delayed gratification skills learned by age 4 produce important benefits into adulthood.
This is a defensible interpretation of the experiment, but not the only one
. As a headline, "self-control is the key to success" may sound sexier than "growing up surrounded by deadbeats makes your life suck (and, as a mostly-separate effect, makes you less trusting)", but the results don't particularly distinguish the former from the latter. The marshmallow test supports the argument only to the extent that it isn't confounded by something totally unrelated to self-control.
Does this mean some kind of "character-based" public education can or cannot cost-effectively address poverty? Hell if I know. I'm just pointing out that the marshmallow test is a much weaker argument than how it's usually presented.
To the degree self-control is a useful skill, we would hope it's not typically determined by age 4. That would be a very bad sign for the prospect of public education.
No, even in theory, you cannot build a rocket more massive than the visible universe.