Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nature versus Nurture

I believe that genetics has little to do with behavior and mental processes.  Out of 100, I believe genetics has about 10% effect.  This is because almost all of genetics can be worked around through conscious acts.  Those with learning disabilities can study and work harder.  People can change their personality to reach certain goals.  Michael Jackson even changed his skin color.  Genetics may provide the basis for which mental processes come from, but in no way control it.  The biggest proof of this is that people change. Environment can cause one person to become something completely different.  For example, a relatively nice person could undergo trauma that causes them to behave cruelly.   Genetics may code for physical traits like eye color.  They may even have an effect on mental processes through the creation of the brain.  However, they have no where near the impact that environment has.  I believe that the basis of personality comes from the early years of development.  This personality creates behavior.  From a cognitive view, I believe that people can consciously choose how to behave based on their goals and feelings.  From a behavioral view, people may be embedded with uncontrollable mental processes but these could have been created through behavioral conditioning and not innate.  Also, from a social-cultural point of view, behavior may be based the current environment of a person.  And if people chase behavior for different parts of their life, then there is not a strong genetic connection.


  1. Goebel,
    I disagree with your opinion on genetics. When something happens in your environment, your reaction all depends on genetics. What is encoded within you decides how you will react to your environment.

  2. Alex,
    I agree that environment has a greater influence than genotype. Through cognitive reasoning, peer pressure in media and society influence changes in phenotype. Given today's technology, doctors can change people's whole appearance.

  3. By saying you can work around your genetics through conscious acts just proves how much of a factor they have on our behavior and mental processes. What you are saying is that we can conform to fit in with our environment. So it isn't the environment changing us, it is our ownsleves acting in an insincere way

  4. Alex,

    The concepts of self-determination and choice relate heavily to your argument. I, too, would like to believe that I have a choice over my future and can pick my own behavior. I think that while genetics can alter distinct, specific details of a person's personality, one has the power to alter one's behavior.