Discuss the idea that to understand human behaviour we have first and foremost to take account of genetic inheritance
In order for us to understand Human behaviour, we first need to acknowledge the fact that human behaviour is influenced by genetic inheritance and it is also influenced by the environment. A very well known debate concerning the influence of genes on human behaviour is the Nature vs. Nurture. This debate dates back to the 17th Century In this debate we can identify that it is either nature (genetic inheritance, or nurture (the environmental influences upon an individual, that influences a human's behaviour. if we look back into this debate we can see that some philosophical thinkers had different views on this matter than others. A good example to show this is when John Locke belived that when a chold is born they have a "blank slate and gradually they are filled with experiences. Whereas the French philosopher Rene Descartes belived that the nature (heredity) determined certain abiltys of an individual.
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on the other side in modern psychology it has been agreed that human behiovuoir is not just based on one factor but it is the combination of the two factors. A method to analyse this topic is done by measuring intelligence of th individual. Due to this research many researchers belive that both factors conturbuite to intelligence. However even though environment can affect human behaviour Genetic inheritance does play a very siganfinant role in understaning human behaviour. to support this claim of how the two factors contruibute in understang human behaviour the candaian psycolgist , D. O. Hebb in 1949 researched the question whether behavioural differeances occur due to genetic inheritance or is it based on the environment. He came to an conculsion that in order to understand human behaviour we can not just look at genetic inheritance or even the enviroement. To prove this statement he gives us a case of Phenylketonuria (PKU), this is an disorder where the indivuals body has certain genes which breaks down Phenylketonuria (protein) which is poisnus to the nervous system. Due to this this can lead to the indidual having mental redartion. As we can see from this illness this illness can affect human behaviour through genetic inheritance and will affect the induduals IQ. Howver if this illness is idnetyfied at an early stage of the childs life and they are kept on a protein free diet they can develop normally and have a normal IQ. From this case we can identify that although genetic inheritance can affect human behaviour first at times and plays a huge role in understanding human behaviour we also need to aknolwege the fact that genetics are dependant on the enviroemnt. and the 2 factors play a huge impact on human behaviour.
On the other hand in order to understand human behaviour if we first and foremost decide to take account of look at genetic inheritance and we belive that genetic inheritance plays more of an important factor than the environment we should expect then an individuals IQ test to be constant throughout their lives We would also expect their behaviour not to change due to experiences also we would also expect people with similar genotypes to have similar behaviour.
When we analyse whether individuals with similar genotypes have similar behaviour we first have to take many factors into consideration not just because of their similiartity. One of the main factor is the environment. It is lead to belive that people who have a better relationship within their families will have more of a similarity in their behaviour than others. A goo example to show this could be a brother and sister. By analying siblings we can come to a consulsion that they will usually resemble eachother more than other people such as their friends. Siblings will normally tend to have very similar intellienge. To prove this statement Jenson (1973) provided research that revealed a investigation the contribution of intelligence by genetic factors from this method it was revelved that indeed siblings had a similarity in their intelligence even though from this method it may suggest that genetic inheritance is the main link which affects human behaviour however further arguments suggest that envoriment plays a huge role on the results.
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However in favour of Jenson study another study was taken out in favour of the genetic perspective was by Shields (1962) who based his study on twins. Their are two types of twins known as the Monozygotic (MZ) twins and the Dizygotic (DZ) twins the difference between the two is that the MZ develop from the same fertilized egg, which splits to produce two individuals which are identical and the DZ twins deveop from 2 fertilized eggs. For these type of twins we need to take into consideration that they will have very similar environments due t their age also their genotypes will be like ordinary siblings. When Shields perfomed his study he discoverd that MZ twins who had been seprated and Mz twins who lived together had very similar inteliigence scores which suggested that their sepration did not have any affects in respct to their intelligence on the other side the DZ twins did not have very similar results like the MZ twins. however their was problems in the twins study to suggest that due to to the MZ twins having similar physical similaritys and also they are more likely to be trated the same way. Where as the DZ twins do not have this advantage and due to the MZ twins having similar environment and physical similiatries this could have affected the test. This claim was suggested by Eyesenck.(1996)
When we look at genetic inheritance and if we look at genetic inheritance first and see it as the most important factor which impacts human behaviour then an individuals iq should be constant throughout their life. However there has been some crucial evidence to suggest that gentiticinheritance is not the only factor which effects human behaviour. Pollitt and and Gorman (1994) did a case study to suggest that environment can play an factor in understanding human behaviour. this was done by giving children in developing countries high quality nutritional supplements during infancy and early childhood, it was later found that their IQ were considerably higher than those who did not receive the supplements.
Finally we need to take into consideration that genetic inheritance does influence to a certain extent a good example to show this could be a child with Downsydrome when that child his older the illness will affect the person they become. Another way to look at it could be a person with a mental disorder due to this inheritance they may be violent towars others aggressive or may to be able to function in society. However we need to take into consideration we can not always look at genetic inheritance first to analysle an individuals behaviour a good example could be someone who is a homosexual we can not base that on genetic inheritance apart from the environment that person has lived in. With taking everything into consideration all the research suggests that yes, genes do play a significant role in the development of behaviour, however is cannot be said that genes play a more significant role. Because several factors such as environment, experiences can impact human behaviour. Research and studies upon Monozygotic and Dizygotic twins has offered significant support to the genetic argument , On the other hand if genetic inheritance did have a impact on human behaviour and it was the main reason to explain human behaviour then firstly, an individuals IQ would always remain constant over time and neither increase and decrease however studies previously considered provide evidence to suggest that this is not the case and that the impact of a individuals personal experiences does increase an individuals IQ. A good example to show this is when an child goes to school they gain their education to work in different careers. Or a persons mother could have a very good proffesion but their children may be criminals. So this would mean that if genes are the sole determinant of behaviour then any attempts to change behaviour should fail, yet evidence of success rates such as counselling or anger management would not help an individual at all. Taking everything into concept It is generally now accepted by psychologists worldwide that behaviour cannot be determined by either genetic or environmental factors but instead a constant interaction between the two.
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