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Nature vs. Nurture. X. ( via ) or “Why we are who we are”. Dr. Swoap Intro to Psychology. Fundamental Question. How are we shaped by both our heredity and life history?. Behavior Genetics. Attempts to explain individual differences Twin studies (U of M) (see Fig. 6.3)

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nature vs nurture

Nature vs. Nurture

X

(via)

or

“Why we are who we are”

Dr. Swoap

Intro to Psychology

fundamental question

Fundamental Question

How are we shaped by both our heredity

and

life history?

behavior genetics

Behavior Genetics

Attempts to explain individual differences

Twin studies (U of M) (see Fig. 6.3)

Adoption studies

behavior genetics4

Behavior Genetics

Heritability: The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes

Temperament and Personality: Were you born that way?

Video Sci Amer #23 “Bringing up Monkey”

evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary Psychology

How does natural selection work with regards to behavior?

Survival-oriented behavior is passed on

evolutionary psychology and sexual behavior

Evolutionary Psychology and sexual behavior

Survey:

Question 1: A sunny afternoon on vacation… You are relaxing by the ocean. A person you don’t know, but whom you think is really good-looking, comes up to you and says: “I find you really attractive. I’d like to sleep with you tonight.” What would you do/say?

Question 2: How often do you think about sex?

slide8

Love in bloom

• Amidst the festivities of a grand party, a young guy notices a strikingly beautiful girl and is immediately obsessed….

• He approaches her and begins to flirt boldly…. She tries to deny him, but soon is flattered by his attention and finds him quite attractive…

slide9

Romantic feelings kindle rapidly….

• By the time he departs the scene, with just a few kisses, these two have exchanged fewer than a hundred words; yet, both are swooning with sensations of falling, desperately, in love.

• All their mental processes – thinking, planning, goals,

feelings, and motivations – have been suddenly

transformed….these brains have been completely

gripped by this brief encounter.

slide10

Longing, obsession, and desire…

• In the hours after this meeting, these two can not stop thinking about each other

• The intensity of desire is so strong that each would happily forego food, sleep, comfort, and all competing pleasures, simply to be in each other’s presence again

Shakespeare (1595) was dramatizing one of the normal tensions of adolescence and development of sexual motivations.

slide12

Sexual Motivation

  • Energizing and directing arousal
  • Interplay of internal and external stimuli
    • Internal: Hormones, brain structures, neurotransmitters, imagined stimuli
    • External: Environmental and sociocultural factors
environmental influence

Environmental Influence

Five ways we are shaped along with genes:

1. Prenatal environment

2. Early experience

3. Peer Influence

4. Culture

5. Gender influences

Keep in mind that our genes influence the nurture and experiences we seek. (My children and their temperaments influence my parenting.)

environmental influence14

Environmental Influence

Five ways we are shaped along with genes:

1. Prenatal environment influences?

2 early experience

2. Early experience

Multiple studies emphasize the importance of stimulating experience &/or touch: Both enhance brain development (as does physical activity)

Rosenzweig et al., 1972)

2 early experience continued

2. Early experience -- continued

Multiple studies emphasize the importance of stimulating experience &/or touch: Both enhance brain development (as does physical activity)

(massage therapy with preemies)

environmental influence17

Environmental Influence

Five ways we are shaped along with genes:

3. Peer influence factors? (e.g., man in elevator)

4 culture

4. Culture

Examples?

Food preferences, personal space, aggression/violent behavior

Obesity

Cultural influences combined with a genetic predisposition to store fat

obesity trends among u s adults
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. Adults

(*BMI 30, or ~ 30 lbs overweight for 5’4” woman)

*Go to CDC slide show on “Obesity trends”

nature via nurture in obesity
Nature via Nurture in Obesity

ENERGY IN

ENERGY OUT

Increase in

availability of

high density foods

(sugar/fat are cheap)

Increase in size

Decrease in cost

Decrease in work-

related activities

Decrease in activity

of daily living

BODY MASS

Genetic predisposition to store fat

nature via nurture in obesity21
Nature via Nurture in Obesity

“Our jeans no longer fit our waist because our genes no longer fit our environment”

5 gender influences

5. Gender Influences

Why are you a male/female? (Besides the obvious reasons…)

Gender is a social category of being male or female.

gender development starts early
Gender development starts early

Is it a boy or a girl???

interactive model of gender development

Child’s traits &

Biological factors

Parenting

style

Socio-cultural

factors

Interactive model of Gender Development
socialization and gender
Socialization and gender
  • Differential gender socialization
  • Gender and culture
    • (e.g., rites of passage, expected behaviors)