- Slides: 41
NATURE VS. NATURE
Social Context Domain
Nature, Nurture, Culture and Gender
Nature and Nurture in Psychology
Overview • Genetics in Brief • Nature and Individual Differences • Environmental Matters
Genetics in Brief
Behavior Genetics • The school of thought that focuses on how much our genes and our environmental influences our individual differences.
Genes • The biochemical units of heredity that make up chromosomes. • Many genes together make up chromosomes
Environment • Every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us. • Any influence, other than genetic, on an individual’s behavior • Include: – The culture someone is raised in – One’s family – Socioeconomic group
Nature and Nurture Issue • Nature side entails the genetic code passed from parent to child. • Nurture side involves all environmental influences from prenatal development on.
Nature and Nurture Issue • Which parts of human behavior can we attribute to nature and which can be attributed to nurture?
Chromosomes • Threadlike structures made up of DNA that contain genes. • 46 chromosomes in each cell • 23 received from each parent
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) • A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up chromosomes.
Nucleotides • The four letter code to distinguish genes • Letters A, T, C, or G are used
Mutation • Random errors in gene replication that lead to a change in the individual’s genetic code and are • the source of all genetic diversity. • Can be desirable or undesirable changes
Predisposition • The possibility of something happening through the genetic code • Genetics creates the potential for something • The environment may or may not trigger the predisposition
Nature and Individual Differences
Nature and Individual Differences: Twin Studies
Identical Twins • Twins who developed from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms. • Called monozygotic twins • Must be of the same sex
Fraternal Twins • Twins who developed from two different fertilized eggs; they are genetically no more similar than any other two siblings, but they share a fetal environment. • Called dizygotic twins. • Can be different sexes
Heritability • The degree to which traits are inherited. • The proportion of an individual’s characteristics that can be attributed to genetics (heredity)
Twin Studies • Used to determine the heritability of a given trait • Data is collected from both identical and fraternal twins on the trait • Compare the data between the two groups • Important not to conclude that a specific behavior is inherited
Nature and Individual Differences: Adoption Studies
Adoption Studies • Compare adopted children’s traits with those of their biological parents and their adopted parents • Trait similarities with biological parents: attribute the trait to heredity • Trait similarities with the adopted parents: attribute the trait to the environment
Environmental Matters: Early Learning and Brain Development
Early Brain Development • Early experience is critical in brain development. • In later life continued use is necessary to maintain neural connections in the brain.
Environmental Matters: Peer and Parent Influence
Peer Influences • Peer influence in adolescence is very powerful. • Many studies suggest a peer group is correlated with school performance, smoking, and other behaviors.
Parent Influences • Parental influence is important in areas of: – Education – Discipline – Responsibility – Orderliness – Charitableness – Ways of interacting with authority figures.
Environmental Matters: Cultural Influences
Culture • The shared attitudes, beliefs, norms and behaviors of a group communicated from one generation to the next.
Norms • Understood rules for accepted and expected behavior. • Consist of the “proper behavior” within a group