Behavioral Designs in Nature vs Nurture

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Human behavior in psychology is often multiply determined. As a result, it is difficult to distinguish between the causes of psychological behavior. More specifically, it is often difficult to differentiate between genetic and environmental causes. However, being able to tell them apart is essential to gaining insight to how the mind works and influences behavior.
Important ideas to psychology are behavioral designs. Adoption studies are of extreme significance because of its ability to differentiate between shared genes and that of the environment. In adoption studies, researchers examine families that are not intact. This makes it easier to distinguish between characteristics that are genetic in nature or qualities acquired by imitating the parents of the homes in which the children are placed. The idea is simple in that if the behavioral attribute resembles the biological parents, the characteristic is genetic. However, if the trait better resembles the adopting parents, the characteristic is environmental. This is especially important because few concepts that help us determine these differences are available. Exploring the factors that influence our behavioral patterns is essential to understanding the human psyche.
My family, for example, consists of six; a mother, a father and four daughters. Although we are each unique in our own ways, we are also very much alike. However, because our family is intact, it is extremely difficult to determine the source of our behavior. Could we all be similar due to the genes we share or could it be that we are all exposed to the same environment? In intact families, it is especially hard to tell the cause of certain behaviors.
Although adoption studies provide much insight to the cause of behavior, it appears that other factors have failed to be taken into account. If the behavior closely resembles that of the biological parents, the origin must be genetic however, what if the environment of the biological parents and the adopting parents are very much alike? Additionally, could it be possible that both families could share similar genes as well? How is this taken into account in adoption studies?

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Good questions that you bring up. Could genetics also influence the way that people raise children? For example, a mellow baby may elicit tender nurturing while a fussy baby may elicit more anger and punishment.

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This page contains a single entry by hangx045 published on October 2, 2011 9:55 PM.

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