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Genetic Vs Environmental Influence
What is genetic Influence? (3m) - is referred to as "nature". This does not simply refer to abilities
present at birth but to any ability determined by genes, including those that appear though
What is Environmental Influence? (3m) Environmental influences are referred to as nurture and
are learned through interactions with the environment, which includes both the physical and the
social world, and may be more widely referred to as experience.
One argument that states behaviour is determined by genetic influence suggests that there are
genetic explanations for many psychological conditions. For example, there is evidence that
schizophrenics have a fault in the gene PPP3CC, the closer person is genetically to someone with
schizophrenia the more likely they are to develop the disorder, in fact those with a relative are 18
times more likely to develop it. Therefore this also suggest strong evidence for genetic influence
especially as this evidence tends to be very well replicated and supported by twin, adoption and
family studies time and time again. One weakness is that disorders interestingly also has behavioural
and social explanations. For example Freud suggested having the experience of uncaring parents can
lead to regression of the ego as an ego defence causing schizophrenia.
One argument that states behaviour is determined by environmental influence suggests there are
environmental explanations of various psychological conditions. For example there is evidence that
aggressive behaviour is mainly learned through observation and reinforcement. Bandura suggested
that this enables us to learn specifically how to perform aggressive acts, how often to be aggressive
and when to act aggressive. Therefore suggesting strong evidence for the role of environment in the
development of behaviours. However one weakness is that it excludes the role of genetics, which
Coccaro et al found explained nearly 50% of thee variation in aggressive behaviour in twins' pairs.
One argument that states behaviour is determined by genetic influence suggests that a number of
approaches and theories support the genetic view. For example Lombroso and Sheldon both believe
that a person's genetic makeup determined whether they would engage in criminal behaviour or not.
Lombroso believed criminals had a prehistoric man, whereas Sheldon believed a person's body
shape was responsible for their criminal behaviour. Therefore there is a strong support from the
approaches for the argument that genetic influences are the cause for all behaviour. However one
weakness is that the best explanations come from multi-dimensional approaches and theories,
suggesting any explanation that takes into account just one element is likely to be flawed.
One argument that states behaviour is determined by environmental influence there is more
approaches support environmental influence than genetic influence. For example, the behaviourist
theory suggest schizophrenia is due to a lack of stimulation and interaction in early childhood, causing
odd behaviour, leading to attention which reinforced the odd behaviour leading them to be labelled
schizophrenic. Therefore it appears that there is more acknowledgement of the role of the
environment or nurture, than of genetic or nature. However one weakness is that some approaches,
like the cognitive approach acknowledge the contribution of both aspects of environment and
genetics, suggesting it may be that an interaction between the two factors that is more realistic.
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In conclusion, it is more likely that behaviour can be explained as a mix of the two factors instead of
just one factor. Alternatively behaviour can be explained by diathesis stress model is more likely
biologically predisposed however a stress fully event is required to trigger the behaviour.…read more