longx566: January 2012 Archives

Blog 2: Nature Vs. Nurture

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In which of the following categories would you consider yourself: a lifelong criminal, someone with bad behavior but grew out of it, or a non-criminal? Because According to Dr. Terrie Moffitt's Theory, people fall into one of these three different types. I read two articles both discussing J.C. Barne's research on the effect of genes on criminal behavior. The paper's conclusion was that lifelong criminals are influenced by genes more than the environment. For non-criminals, the environment was the greatest influence and for people who grew out of their bad behavior it was equal between environment and genetics. I have a few reactions to these articles. It was written that a strong link between genes and criminality was found from a study of 4,000 people. However, it does not include anything about how the study was conducted. I am curious to know how they found this "strong link". How do I know that the 4,000 people were the best sample for the world's population? Written in the dailyRx article, "Barnes explains that there is no gene that actually causes someone to commit a crime, and that crime is a learned behavior. However, he cautions '...there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands, of genes that will incrementally increase your likelihood of being involved in a crime even if it only ratchets that probability by 1 percent...It still is a genetic effect. And it's still important.'" This paragraph raises question marks every time I read it. Could it be that the genes present in the wrong environment create criminals? I think it is important to make clear that they are saying there are no "crime" genes but genes that can influence actions that are criminal. I feel that this could easily be misconstrued.

http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/genetics-influence-criminal-behavior-well-environmental-factors-17223.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/genes-criminal-behavior-linked_n_1234423.html

Psychological Disorders

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I found chapter 15, Psychological Disorders, to seem the most interesting. This is because psychological disorders include phobias, disorders such as OCD and ADD, alcohol or drug abuse, and many more. Most likely, everyone knows somebody who suffers from a psychological disorder so everyone can relate somehow to the chapter.
For example, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) once he returned from the war. PTSD happens when people experience or witness a traumatic event and can result in flashbacks, efforts to avoid places and thoughts, night terrors, and panic attacks. Reading about the disorder helps myself be more informed about his disorder.
There is also a section that covers depression which is helpful for college students to read since so many suicides and attempted suicides happen in college. I didn't know that the average person with major depression experiences five or six episodes over their lifetime. Also, that most episodes last six months to a year. The chapter provides helpful myths vs realities about suicide.
The last section I will talk about is Autistic and Attention-Deficit Disorders. This section is good to read because its recent and has been very controversial. There are many debates on if a child with A.D.D should be drugged or remain unmedicated. And why has there been such an increase in diagnoses for Autism and ADD?
Well, I could keep going on because there are a lot of other great sections in chapter 15 but I will let everyone figure that out for themselves.

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