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Flashcards in nature-nuture debate Deck (14)
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What were the early foundations of nature?

Descartes - human characteristics are innate, result of heredity
Locke, empiricists - mind is a blank slate


What is heredity?

Genetic transmission of characteristics from generation to another


What is the heritability coefficient?

Used to assess heredity
0 to 1 indicating extent of genetic basis
1 = entirely genetic
IQ = 0.5


What are Lerner’s levels of the environment?

Different ways we are affected by environment
Pre-natal = mother’s state in pregnancy
Post-natal = social conditions of childhood, historical and cultural context


How is the nature-nurture question difficult to answer?

Environmental influence begins at birth
Nature and nurture can’t be separated
Twin study concordance rates = result of genes or upbringing?


What is the interactionist approach?

Nature creates nurture - heredity and environment interact
Child’s temperament influences parent’s responses, which affect child’s behaviour


What is the diathesis-stress model?

Psychopathology caused by genetic vulnerability
Vulnerability triggered by environment
Tienari - Finnish adoptees, those most likely to have schizophrenia had biological relatives with history and dysfunctional relationships with adoptive families


What are epigenetics?

Change in genetic activity without changing genetic code
Caused by interaction with environment
Lifestyle leaves epigenetic marks on DNA
Marks tell us which genes to ignore or use, may influence genes of children
Third element into nature debate - life experience of previous generations


Describe Dias and Ressler’s study

Male lab mice given electric shocks when exposed to smell of acetophenone (perfume chemical)
Fear reaction with scent
Rats’ children also feared smell, as well as grandchildren


Evaluation - implications

Nativists - anatomy is destiny
Controversy, links race and genetics with intelligence, application of eugenics
Nurture - behaviour shaping wherein desirable behaviours are selectively reinforced
Extreme terms, may lead to manipulation of society


Evaluation - shared and unshared environments

Siblings may not have same upbringing
Plomin - age, temperament affect reaction to divorce
Explains why MZ twins don’t show perfect concordance rates - nature nurture can’t be separated


Evaluation - constructivism

People create nurture by selecting environments appropriate for their nature
Aggressive child chooses similar friends
Plomin - this is nice-building
Impossible to separate nature nurture


Evaluation - genotype environment interaction

Scarr and McCartney - three types
Passive interaction - parents genes influence how they treat children
Evocative interaction - child’s genes influence environment in which they grow up
Active interaction - child creates environment through selection


Evaluation - relationship to other debates

Strong commitment to either side indicates hard determinism
Biological determinism - nature
Environmental - nurture