The Effect of Heredity and Hormones on Human Behavior

Topics: Endocrine system, Psychology, Endocrine gland Pages: 3 (723 words) Published: June 22, 2013
The Effect of Heredity and Hormones on Human Behavior

Lindsey Mason

BEH 225

Dr. Christina Gonzalez

The Effect of Heredity and Hormones on Human Behavior

Heredity and hormones are interrelated when it comes to human behavior. When it comes to heredity, one must consider genetics, behavior genetics, and evolutionary psychology together. They come together to make a complete picture of the effects of heredity on human behavior. This picture is what leads to the development of the nervous system and endocrine systems of a particular individual, which then produce hormones. Those hormones then switch on behaviors. Genetics is the study how traits are passed from one generation to the next through genes, which are found on chromosomes. Genes are responsible for the development of the nervous and endocrine systems; therefore, genes can influence the chance of a certain behavior occurring in a certain set of circumstances (Morris & Maisto , 2005). They are indirect to behavior, where hormones are direct. Genes are most often considered in a physiological manner, as in whether one is predisposed to being tall or short, or being blonde haired or blue eyed. Behavior genetics are the other side of genetics, more specifically how genes can be considered to pass on psychological traits rather than physiological ones. Twin studies play a large role in establishing whether some behaviors are inherited. For example, they have given evidence to support the theory that verbal skills, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety are all hereditarily. However, this may be skewed data as twins most often develop within the same environment (Morris & Maisto , 2005). Environment must be a consideration because it often times reinforces heredity. However, one individual may experience the environment one way, while another will experience it differently (Morris & Maisto , 2005). It is always a factor, and it can sometimes be difficult to...

References: Farr, G. (2002, June 10). The Pituitary Gland - Basic Version. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from
Morris, C. G., & Maisto , A. A. (2005). Psychology: An Introduction, Twelfth Edition. Prentice-Hall.
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