Genetic and environmental influences on behavior

Human behavior is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Genetic factors can influence somebody to look for a specific environment which then influence hisher personality. Environment can also affect the expression of specific genes in turn influencing the part genetics play in the personality of an individual. There is no complete segregation of how each of them influences behavior but both work in tandem in molding the behavior of a human being. Most scientist agree our genetic makeup influence our traits like personality, intelligence, aggression and even our sexual behavior. However, the social and psychological environment modifies and shapes these genetic predispositions as one interacts and matures. These influences are well explained by the nature and nurture theory of human conduct. This theory explains that nature (genetics) bestows in us innate traits and abilities which are then modified by nurture (environment) as one matures.

The nature theory explains that heredity influence our personality since genes for these traits is encoded by DNA. The theory is controversial since it can be used to justify antisocial or criminal behavior but it has been proven by studies on identical twins who showed striking similarities even when reared apart. The nurture theory explains that our personality and other behavioral aspects are largely influenced by our social and psychological environment. The theory has been proved by several studies on child temper which revealed that a child could be molded into any specialist by environment notwithstanding his genotype. The two theories points towards collective contribution of both environment and heredity on our personality but supporters of these theories also point that presence of certain gene or environment can predispose as having a certain behavior, it is not necessarily a case of cause and outcome and does not necessarily have particular personality. Therefore, it means personality is largely a mater of choice and one should not use genetics or environment to justify his actions.


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