nuture vs nature - Naturevs.Nurture March23,2009...

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1 1 Introduction to Psychology Nature vs. Nurture March 23, 2009 Professor Weiser 34 slides 2 What we will discuss… Behavior Genetics ± Heritability ± Genes: Our Code for Life Methods of Study in Behavior Genetics ± Family Studies ± Twin Studies ± Adoptee Studies 3 What we will discuss… Temperament: Nature or Nurture? ± Temperament Profiles ± Temperament Studies Nature and Nurture ± Gene Environment Interaction The New Frontier: Molecular Genetics
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2 4 Nature vs. Nurture ± Refers to the debate concerning the relative importance of an individual’s biological inborn qualities (nature) vs. an individual’s unique environment and experiences (nurture) in causing individual differences in physical, behavioral, or psychological characteristics. ± In other words, are we more influenced by genes (heredity) or by the environment ? 5 Why is this important? ± If a trait (e.g., intelligence) is influenced primarily by nurture (experience or the environment), then it means that it can perhaps be changed or modified via some change in environment or experience. ± But if the trait is influenced mainly by nature (e.g., genes), the implication is that it is fixed and little can be done to change it. 6 Behavior Genetics: The Study of Individual Differences ± Behavior Genetics is the study of our differences and the relative importance of heredity and environment. ± Genotype ± The total and unobservable genetic makeup of a person. ± Phenotype ± The observable behavioral characteristics of a person. The genotype is fixed at birth, but the phenotype is influenced by both genotype and the environment.
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3 7 Behavior Genetics ± Any characteristic that is determined mainly by genes is something you inherit genetically from your parents. ± We call this a heritable characteristic. ± When talking about the genetic transmission of a trait, we are talking about the heritability of that trait. 8 Heritability ± We are not a world of clones. Rather, we are all different: ± Personality ± Intelligence ± Moodiness, etc ± Heritability refers to the extent to which the differences among people are attributable to genes. ± Heritability is a population statistic, ranging from .00 to 1.00, with higher numbers indicating greater heritability ± Thus, if we say the heritability of intelligence is 50%, it does not mean that your intelligence is 50% genetic. Rather, it means that 50% of the observed variation in intelligence among people is due to genetic influences. 9
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2011 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Community College of Philadelphia.

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nuture vs nature - Naturevs.Nurture March23,2009...

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