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Prepared and Presented By Lisa L. Robin

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1 Prepared and Presented By Lisa L. Robin
An Introduction to the Concepts of Nature and Nurture (Heredity / Environment) Prepared and Presented By Lisa L. Robin

2 Activity- Plant #1 What do you see?
Describe the characteristics of this plant. What is the make up of this plant? What has made this plant what it is? Were these characteristics determined or influenced by heredity or the environment?

3 Activity – Plant # 2 How is this plant different from the first?
What factors may have lead to the poor condition of this plant? Assuming they are identical twin plants, with the same genetic make-up, what likely accounts for the difference in the plants?

4 Nature and Nurture (Heredity/Environment) Defined:
Nature (Heredity) Traits, abilities, and capacities inherited from ones parents through their genes. What we arrive with at birth. What we inherit biologically. Nurture (Environment) Environmental influences that the world provides Social Biological

5 Examples of Hereditary and Environmental Influences
Eye and hair color Body type Gender Influenced from both Intelligence Personality General heath Physical strength Weight Disease Environmental Family Peers School Culture

6 The Nature/Nurture Debate
The question over the extent to which human behavior is determined by genetics as opposed to the environment. A concept that runs through much of the study of psychology. Has dominated much of the work in the study of lifespan development.

7 The Opposing Views: The Strict Biological (Nature) Position:
The Strict Environmental (Nurture)Position: Our fate is shaped by life experiences the way clay is molded by a sculptor. We are heavily influenced by learning, culture, nutrition, peer groups, and critical life events. Infants are a blank slate The Strict Biological (Nature) Position: Just as we are programmed to grow to a certain height, so too do we have a genetic predisposition for personality, intelligence, and abilities.

8 Where does genetics come in?
What are Genes? Molecules in DNA that contain instructions for the building blocks of life. They contain a biochemical “recipe” written in code that make up and govern the development of an individual life.

9 The Human Genome Project:
In 1990 an international consortium of scientists set out to sequence the human genome – the genetic blueprint for making a complete human being. All the DNA in an organism

10 What’s all the excitement about?
The project was completed in 2001. It sequenced a blueprint or “parts list” for humans. It determined that the genetic blueprint is nearly identical for all people around the world. We are all 99.9% the same in our genetic makeup. It is now possible to test an individual to see if they have a “defective part” in their DNA.

11 Related Controversies and Questions:
HGP Psychological impact and stigmatization Reproductive issues Uncertainties with gene tests Conceptual and philosophical implications To what extent are the following characteristics determined/influenced by heredity and the environment? Intelligence Personality Sexual orientation Gender differences Language development

12 The Interplay of Nature and Nurture:
Genetic and environmental influences are not independent. Our genetic make up influences the way people treat us. This helps to create the kind of environment that we live in. At birth we have genetic predispositions but life experiences may either foster or inhibit their expression. Examples: intelligence, height

13 So which has more influence on development, nature or nurture?
Developmental scientists and psychologists agree that both are essential and can not be framed in either-or terms. The environment influences heredity and heredity influences the environment. Both sets of factors interact over the course of an individual life.

14 What Are the Real Questions?
How much does each factor contribute? In what ways do they interact? Can their influences be looked at separately?

15 To attempt to answer these questions researchers do various studies:
Family studies Twin studies Adoption studies

16 Conclusions on the Subject:
All people are basically the same genetically. People are likely predisposed in some ways by their genetic make up. People are also influenced by their environment. Environmental factors influence genetic expression. Both heredity and the environment play essential roles in human development. Debates exist over the degree to which each is influential.



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