Heredity and Hormones: How They Influence Behavior

Topics: Emotion, Psychology, Gene Pages: 2 (565 words) Published: April 12, 2011
Heredity and Hormones and How They influence Behavior
There are many things that are unknown about the reasons behind people’s thoughts and actions, but in recent years, concepts about how a person’s own genetic make-up and hormones can affect our own behavior. Although there have been no breakthroughs that can definitively say this hormone causes people to act one way all the time, there have been instances where a person’s genetics and hormones can contribute to certain behavioral ideas.

There are many different types of hormones that can alter a person’s mood or influence a person’s behavior, but I don’t personally believe that it changes a person’s behavior. One hormone that can drastically influence a person’s mood and may severely influence (but not control) a person’s behavior is called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has also been described by the term the “mood molecule.” Scientific study has determined that serotonin can set a person’s emotional tone. It doesn’t necessarily decide how a person is going to act, but it gives a basis for people to be either happy or depressed.

Endorphins are another powerful chemical compound found in our brain, that can be linked to different emotional responses and also control the level of pain a person may be feeling. Endorphins have been found to control the level of activity within a person’s nervous system. These neurotransmitters, that have been found to be chains of amino acids, inhibit the neuron’s ability to transmit the sensation of pain and thus reduce the body’s overall feeling of pain. In the example of athletes, endorphins can give people the feeling of a runner’s high.

There are a multitude of different chemicals found both in our body and in the world around us that can alter or effect our emotional responses, but these chemicals are not the only thing that can affect a person’s behavior. Scientists have come to believe that genetics play a role in the way a person acts in certain...

References: Psychology: An Introduction. 2004. Twelfth Edition. Chapter 2 The Biological Basis of Behavior. Retrieved July 15, 2008
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