3AB Developmental Psychology - Nature vs Nurture Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 3AB Developmental Psychology - Nature vs Nurture Deck (12):

Nature vs Nurture

- If intelligence is based on genetics, nothing we can do to improve
- Based on nurture, potential can be maximised through exposure and stimulating environment

-> Qualities, heaviours and ideas that define what it is to be human inborn
-> Acquired through life



- The global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully and deal effectively with the environment

- Questions and tests help measure intelligence
- Intelligence Quotent
- Compares a person's mental age w/ chronological age


Mental Retardation

- Condition of mental ability that is limited
- Difficulty in adapting to the demands of life


IQ Tests

- Number of tasks designed to measure how smart an individual
- In areas such as: logical thinking, working with numbers and memorisation

- Does not measure social or emotional intelligence

- Most people aware of moderate similarity in their intelligence of parents and their children, brothers and sisters

- Closer two people = more alike their IQ's likely to be

- Correlation decreases as genetic similarity lessons
- Shared environment increases correlation in all causes


Nature / Nurture Debate: Twin Studies

- Twins can be fraternal / Identical
-> Identical: 100% DNA
-> Fraternal: 50% DNA

- Psychologists have looked at whether identical twins are more alike in characteristics
- If identical twins found more alike, heredity considered to play a role in dev of that characteristic


Sandra Scar (1992)

- Twin Studies
- Heredity played a role in determining degree of extraversion / introversion

- Played a bigger role in determining level of intelligence


Thomas Bouchard (1990)

- Found sets of twins from around the world who had been separated and raised apart

- Brought to a lab where he compared them on:
ability, leisure time, social attitudes, personality and vocational interests

-> Identical twins raised apart shared similarities

-> IQ werent as similar as those idential twins raised together
-> Still similar than those of fraternal twins raised together

- Heredity makes a strong contribution to differences in IQ

- Issues with naturalistic studies
-> No way to ensure similarities in environment
-> possible that identical twins treated more alike than fraternal
-> Not ethical to split twins to raise diff.


Adoption Studies

- Look at whether adopted children are more alike w/
=> adoptive parents
=> biological parents


Denise Daniels and Robert Plomin (1985)

- Longitudinal Adoption Study
- Tested sociability vs shyness of children adopted at 12 & 24
-> See whether they were more alike biological or adoptive mothers

-> Heredity found to play a role in shyness
-> Extreme shyness in biological mother predicted that her biological child would be shy at age
-> Family environment important in the dev. of shyness

-> toddlers whos adoptive mothers were unusually shy also showed above average shyness at age 2


Another Study

- Investigators followed children of two groups of mothers
-> Low intelligence
-> High intelligence

- Adopted at birth by parents of above average income and education
- Tests of intelligence taken during their school years showed:
-> children from low IQ biological mothers scored above average in IQ
-> Therefore benefiting from having an advantaged home life

-> Children from high IQ biological mothers scored higher
-> Placed in similar homes

therefore heredity and environment play a role in dev.


Nature Versus Nurture Conc.

- Psychologists believe that both play a role in the dev of an individual

Nature: hereditary / genetic component is fixed at birth
Nurture: Schooling and improving the social and educational conditions for the child to achieve their potential


Cultural Differences in IQ

- Not seen in young children
- Become apparent after children begin school

Nurture: some cultures have high emphasis on education