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Our Behavior is Shaped Mostly By Our Environment

| March 27, 2014 | 1 Comment
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"Genetics play a part, but your character is shaped by experiences and nurture." Photo tweeted by Juliana Lin

“Genetics play a part, but your character is shaped by experiences and nurture.”
Photo tweeted by Juliana Lin

It’s natural to wonder why we are the way we are. Is a person more prone to be aggressive because of their genetics or the environment they were raised in as a child? Within the past two weeks, students across the nation discussed what shapes people the most: nature or nurture. In our #DoNowNurture post, we asked students To what extent should we take into account genetic pre-dispositions when evaluating and responding to other people’s actions?

Scientists have confirmed that your innate qualities and genetics (nature) and environment and unique experiences (nurture) impact who you will become in life. However, how much does each contribute to a person’s behavior? Many remain split about how much we should consider a person’s genetics into understanding their actions. For example, some courtrooms have agreed to take defenses citing biomedical explanations about aggression genes. Studies have also shown that some children produce less dopamine, meaning that they do not do as well in negative conditions, indicating that considering genetics into people’s behavior can help others understand them more.

Students debated back and forth about how much nature or nurture influences a person’s behavior, pointing to personal experiences with siblings or studies of twins. While many students argued that a variety of factors contribute to a person’s behavior, they agreed that the environment and personal experiences shapes people the most.

We Are Born This Way

Some students discussed how our genes shape us the most.

Nurture Impacts Us More

Many students argued that the environment influences us more than genetics.

Is It a Combination?

Other students pointed to how both nature and nurture play a role in a person’s behavior.

We Make Our Own Decisions

Students also commented on how we should be held accountable for our decisions, no matter how we are raised or our unique genes.

What about Twins and Siblings?

Other students explored their own families and the study of separated twins to understand the nature versus nurture debate.

Also check out these great blog posts written by AP Bio Rockstar students that dive deeper into the nature versus nurture argument by creating memes and linking to articles to support their claims. One of them created a quiz you can take.

Here are two example blog posts. Click on the images to view.

From Nicole Rossi's blog Under the Microscope

From Nicole Rossi’s blog Under the Microscope

from Madisson Schmidt's blog

from Madisson Schmidt’s blog

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Category: Community Voices, Do Now Round-Ups, Science, Science in the Community

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About the Author ()

Laura Robledo studied English at UC Berkeley. When she is not reading, looking up new music, or running half marathons, she loves to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco.