Genetic vs Environmental Influences

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  • Genetic vs Environmental Influences
    • Addiction
      • Genetic influence
        • Noble et al's research found A1 variant of DRD2 gene in more than 1/3 deceased alcoholic and only 1/5 of non-alcoholics (theories of addiction
          • However
            • If it was entirely genetic it would be within 100% of alcoholics
            • Fowler found 44% concordance rate in MZ twins - should be 100%
              • Environmental factors must also be involved
                • If it was entirely genetic it would be within 100% of alcoholics
      • Environmental influence
        • Conditioning
          • Griffiths: Gamblers use rewards as reinforcement
            • Supported by Robins et al
              • However
                • Robinson and Berridge: lots of people take addictive drugs - relatively few become addicted
                  • must be genetic predisposition
            • However
              • Robinson and Berridge: lots of people take addictive drugs - relatively few become addicted
                • must be genetic predisposition
    • Crime
      • Genetic explanation: Jacobs et al found XYY chromosome
        • Supported by Osborn and West: 13% non-criminal fathers had criminal records, 20% criminal fathers had records
          • However ext. from Farrington et al: bad neighbourhood and young mother
            • Evidence of environmental influence
      • Environmental influence: Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis
        • 14 out of 44 had affectionless psychopathy; 12 suffered pro-longed seperation
          • However: Rutter stated that attachment is shown for fathers, siblings and even inanimate objects
            • not just mother seperation
              • Conclusion
                • Evidence of environmental influence
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    • Aggression
      • Environmental influence
        • Bandura's demonstration that children learn aggressive behaviour by social learning theory - they mimic what they see
          • However this only explains children - what about adult's aggression?
      • Genetic influence
        • The gene MAOA is responsible for the regulation of serotonin in the brain. Low levels of serotonin are thought to lead to aggressive behaviour, so a problem with MAOA could lead to aggressive behaviour.
          • Brunner (1993) found that in a Dutch family with a history of serious aggressive crime the men had abnormally low levels of MAOA, supporting this explanation
            • However: this is deterministic
              • Akers' social learning theory: crime learnt from who you associate with
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    • CONCLUSION
      • Overall greater environmental influence due to the role of free will
        • still genetic pre-dispositions
  • Conclusion
    • Combination of genetic and environmental factors
    • Conditioning
      • Griffiths: Gamblers use rewards as reinforcement
        • Supported by Robins et al
      • Genetic influence
        • Noble et al's research found A1 variant of DRD2 gene in more than 1/3 deceased alcoholic and only 1/5 of non-alcoholics (theories of addiction
          • However
            • Fowler found 44% concordance rate in MZ twins - should be 100%
              • Environmental factors must also be involved
      • Conclusion
        • Both environmental and genetic influences but environmental greater as you can choose to control behaviour
        • Genetic influence
          • The gene MAOA is responsible for the regulation of serotonin in the brain. Low levels of serotonin are thought to lead to aggressive behaviour, so a problem with MAOA could lead to aggressive behaviour.
            • Brunner (1993) found that in a Dutch family with a history of serious aggressive crime the men had abnormally low levels of MAOA, supporting this explanation
              • However: this is deterministic
                • Akers' social learning theory: crime learnt from who you associate with
        • Environmental influence
          • Bandura's demonstration that children learn aggressive behaviour by social learning theory - they mimic what they see
            • However this only explains children - what about adult's aggression?

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