GRE Issue Essay - 10


The way students and scholars interpret the materials they work with in their academic fields is more a matter of personality than of training. Different interpretations come about when people with different personalities look at exactly the same objects, facts, data, or events and see different things.


It is true that the way two people interpret two situations is entirely different. The reasons behind this might be many. It might be their upbringing, the environment where they grew up or their personality. However, the role of training also cannot be under rated. Training might also affect their reaction to a situation to a little extent.

There are two aspects of this statement. People interpret the materials according to their temperament, their mood, and their outlook. For example, an optimistic person will keep on pushing the things unless he is close to his desired results. He will not be deterred by his failures. While a pessimist will be easily disturbed by failure. Similarly, music can be soothing for a music lover and can help him in relieving him from the stresses of life. However, some other person might not like music and might consider it just a noise. Different people give different meanings and emphasis to things that arise in their daily rituals according to their particular interests.

However, education and training change the way people interpret things. The background and training of a person can strongly influence how one interprets historical events involving human affairs, statistical data, and art. I do not agree with the authors' conclusion that different interpretations come about when people with different personalities look at exactly the same objects, facts, data, or events and see different things. In fact, education and trainings also have their effect on the personalities of people. People start thinking differently once they gain knowledge on certain subjects.

For example, a student of political science may see British imperialism as one nation's quest for power while a student of economics may see British imperialism as a strategy to gain control over distribution of goods and resources. A sociology or anthropology student may consider it as a way of imposing one nation's culture onto another. Hence, education and training influence the way students and scholars interpret data. Similarly, training and educational background has a profound role in the interpretation of art. The perception of art varies from person to person. Art has a different meaning for a business student. He will measure an art piece for its economic value while for a theology student, an art piece is an expression of grace in life. An artist will look at an art piece for its brushing strokes and other fundamental things.

Personality and education or training go hand-in-hand. They affect each other. Usually a student tries to get training in a subject, which is of his interest and matches his personality. At the same time, training in a specific subject or knowledge on a certain topic changes the way a person thinks and perceives the world. The point here is that people from different disciplines and cultures might react differently in the same situations. However, we cannot segregate personality traits and academic and practical training completely. We can conclude this statement by saying that personality and training work together to make a person interpret data in a specific manner.