To What Extent Does Genetic Inheritance Influence Behavior?

974 WordsNov 17, 20124 Pages
“To what extent does genetic inheritance influence behavior?” A debate of nature vs. nurture, as in whether it is our inherited genes or environmental factors that affect our behavior, has been going on for years. There are no true experiments on genetic inheritance influencing behavior due to ethical reasons. Only quasi-experiments and theories of pre-existing data are available that are on genetics or environmental factors affecting behavior. With the few studies existing one can still argue that genetic inheritance is a major aspect in what affects behavior but environmental factors can be more affective. There are two main theories of human behavior. Some scientists and psychologists believe in the “nature” theory, that one…show more content…
We have grown to think in more abstract forms and sort our world by conceptualizing it because of the major growth in technology and science. Although, Flynn’s study is outdated and there are other factors his study does not recognize. For example, interracial mixing has increased largely as well in the past half century. Therefore the conclusion could be bidirectional but then again the technology boom could be the cause of allowing interracial mixing. Similarly to Flynn, Turkheimer searched for data on twins in a wide range of families. He investigated the role of environment and whether heritability of intelligence is equally high in all socio-economic classes. He found that the heritability of IQ for MZ and DZ twins was very high in affluent families. Among twins who grew up in the poorest families, the MZ and DZ twins had scores that varied all the same; therefore heritability of IQ is close to zero. The effect of growing up impoverished overrules genetic influences on IQ but in affluent families, IQ differences can be explained by genetics. However, Turkheimer compared old data from back to the 1970s and used IQ scores of 7 year olds. Taking 7 year olds’ IQ scores and generalizing it for all ages is quite questionable. It is possible that it takes more than 7 years for environmental factors to make large impacts and that before then it is genetic inheritance impacting the most. Also, if one is born handicapped or abnormal it can impact one’s behavior
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