Heredity and Environment

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Human behavior, Genetics Pages: 4 (1130 words) Published: December 4, 2012
The nature versus nurture controversy— that is, how much of our behavior is due to inherited factors and how much to environmental factors Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring (from its parent or ancestors). Biology affects behavior also through mechanisms of heredity regulated by genetic principles. 

Researchers in the field called behavioral genetics study, through both family and twin studies, the way in which genetic factors affect behavioral traits. In family studies, the focus is on the investigation of blood relatives to see how similar they are with respect to some trait (for example, the occurrence of a mental disorder such as schizophrenia). Twin studiescompare identical twins and fraternal twins for various similarities in appearance and behavior to see which traits/behaviors are affected by genetic makeup. In some cases when twins have been adopted into separate families, it is possible to expand the information and determine which traits are affected by environment rather than heredity. Studies of genetic defects (for example, certain types of developmental disabilities) also provide pertinent information on the effects of heredity/environment upon behavior.

Comparison of heredity and hormones
When one talks about heredity they are fundamentally talking about genes or genetics because genes are the basic biological instruments responsible for transferring human characteristics from parents to their offspring. Consequently, all the major questions and controversies associated with genetics apply to heredity; one such example is the nature versus nurture controversy. Some individuals argue that nature is itself the most important determinant of an individuals' characteristics. These researchers argue that our ability to learn, control our temper or be guided is largely determined by a genetic program that has nothing to with our surrounding. Therefore, heredity is the background behind the ‘natural' part of...
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