Thursday, June 23, 2011

My final Nature vs. Nurture Essay

DNA vs. Environment
When posed with the question, “Which do you think affects you more, Nature, one's DNA, or Nurture, the environment?”, I quickly made a firm headstrong opinion. I made a case wrote the 2 page essay that was due, and No, I didn't expect to have my mind changed, nor did I want my mind to change—at the time. That decision however, was closed minded, and I was lacking skills of a critical thinker. Now, after 6 weeks of quizzes, a midterm, and countless hilarious, yet informational lectures, I have a new approach to the Nature vs. Nurture debate widely discussed in Psychology. A new approach that is backed by research. Let us begin.
Researchers in the field of Behavioral Psychology, use heritability to trace characteristics and determine if the characteristics are caused by heredity. In a twin study relating to IQ scores, the results showed that,“the more closely related two individuals are, the more similar their IQ scores tend to be.”(230) Identical Twins raised apart from each other scored approximately.75 on the test, and Identical Twins raised together scored .90. “Clearly, the high degree of similarity in the intelligence scores of identical twins who have been reared apart makes a strong case for the powerful influence of genes.”(230) Twin studies prove a lot regarding genes and behavior, if you are an identical twin, you have the exact same DNA set-up. Therefore, whether or not you are raised together with your twin, this study shows that nature mostly influences a person.
In my first opinion paper, I suggested that even though one's parents may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, that doesn't mean the child will be addicted. In one way, that is true, but mostly because the child will see what his/her parents are doing and how it affects their lives and choose not to participate in those life threatening activities. In some cases, it may be rebellion to do the opposite of what their parents are doing, yet a lot of the time the child will realize that heredity plays a huge role in this. My Mom chooses not to drink alcohol because she has family members, who have, in the past abused alcohol, and she does not want any part of that. A factor influencing a person's decision regarding alcohol is usually because they have seen what addiction does, and they don't want part in it because the are prone to addiction.
Another point I tried to make in my previous paper, was that a proper home environment would aid, and influence an individual, causing them to not get into a lot of trouble. “Even altruism and aggressiveness, traits we might expect to be strongly influenced by parental upbringing, are actually more heavily influenced by heredity.”(368) This seems to prove especially true in the cases of adoption at an older age. An individual is brought into an unfamiliar home and has to conform to the new laws of the land. Anger and aggression may come out of the situation appearing to be rebellion to this new way of life, or this person is naturally angry. Naturally being the key word here, nature is naturally, DNA. We all have genetic 'make-up' coded in us, that tells us what are likes and dislikes are. It also tells us whether we are prone to different situations because of one's physical appearance. Wait—What? How so, you may be wondering? “If a person is sensitive to light, doesn't that influence where they go, and who they hang out with”(B.Shore), and what they do with who they hang out with? Who would have thought that light sensitivity would lead to all that hairy stuff?
With a more knowledgeable understanding of what influences people, I do firmly believe that Nature, our DNA does influence us most as people. First of all I believe that we are born into sin and therefore have a sin nature. What we do is a result of sin, because of two people who rebelled against God. So now, we have our genetic code plus sin equals a crazy equation, unless of course you get psychological help, or Jesus. We have proof from Twin studies that show, whether separate or raised together, the twins have similar IQ test scores. We also have proof that even ugly traits, such as anger are not merely made manifest in home life, but are directly caused by heredity. I have been convinced that Nature is primarily the influencing factor in a person, digest this information and think for yourself.

*source : Mastering the World of Psychology by Wood, Wood, and Boyd*

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