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Nurture Vs. Nature...a civil debate/discussion

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by nobleheart, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. nobleheart

    nobleheart in process
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    IMHO, we (the scientific community) are truly on the verge of discovering the truth behind this age old debate. With the discovery of the "good mother gene" and the copious amounts of compelling evidence that helps us to better understand genetic predispositon to behaviour, one can't help but wonder whether or not choice/free will is a convenient illusion. This is truly the age of discovery. We are digging deeper and deeper into the genome and we will undoubtedly unravel the mystery that is us within the next generation. So many questions.......Do we really want to know?????????Is it really mind over matter??????????How much good are we doing......Gene therapy versus psychotherapy????????? Opinions, facts, and good old gut feelings are welcome.....Watcha think?:oops:
     
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  3. spyspy

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    I think...you really like question marks. :)

    Anyone else here a fan of diathesis-stress?
     
  4. RMF

    RMF New Member

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    IMHO: Behavior in a broad sense can be seen as an emerging property of multiple subphenotypes which are determined by the interaction of heritance and enviroment. Such as the area of a rectangle its not intelligible without considering the base and the height. The enviroment (i mean everything not coded in our genome) can control the expression of a gene product. One way is body stress response. Many of the neurochemical and hormonal factors that mediate this response are also transcriptional factors. So as long as psychotherapy (or pharmacology) manages stress individuals response, it is also managing these factors and ultimately gene expression. What do you think? I´m an student also so I have some questions: where is the frontier -if exists- between brain and mind? between psychological vs. biological vs. social? which one prevails?
     
  5. KillerDiller

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    I agree with RMF's assessment of the interaction between environment and genes. In a sense, calling it the nature-nurture debate is a misnomer. Our phenotype and behavior cannot be due to one and not the other. As stated above, the enviroment affects the expression of a gene. Similarly genes can impact our environment. For example, an infant's disposition will influence the way the mother responds to it.

    As far as this goes, addressing specifically the questions of how the brain relates to the mind and how psychology relates to biology, I think of the mind as being the brain. It's a little hard to explain, but I don't think the chemicals in our bodies cause our thoughts and behavior (nor are they caused by these). I think they are our thoughts and behavior. If I have to conceive of these occurring in a time order, then I guess I see them as being parallel events. Thus, I think that changing a body's chemistry will impact the way one feels and thinks, and similarly changing one's thoughts reflects a change in chemistry.
     
  6. RMF

    RMF New Member

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    I agree with most but i tend to consider that the network or neural circuitry is the direct correlate of behavior. Although the molecular level is the basis of the histological and cell organization, the behavior and thoughts (covert behavior?) are currently the activity of those networks. Activity which is of course determined by what happens on lower levels. So enviromental factors can affect behavior via changes in our neurochemistry and gene expression, and that is reflected on those networks. An example could be the long term potentiation process in mice and their spatial learning ability.
     
  7. danzgymn86

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    I'm with you on tha diathesis-stress.
     
  8. GiantSteps

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    I could not resist posting the famous Watson quote, which, as he admits, was a bit of a boast but still a great quote.

    "Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years." - John B. Watson (1930)

    Also, I think it is wrong to say that the Nature vs. Nuture debate is on the verge of being solved. There are far to many levels to consider from the sub levels ( neurological/ microbiological levels) to the upper grand levels (symbiotic relations, whole environments, ethnological) to offer one all encompassing answer which cover all. Additionally, the question/ debate is part of a much larger range of thought from religion, to philosophy, to physics. Sure, new scientific discoveries will help clarify and answer parts of the discussion, but the discussion will go on as long as there are people to discuss it (and maybe even longer with artifical intelligence).
     
  9. RayneeDeigh

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    Sign me up as another fan of the diathesis-stress model. I'm pretty sure that my family is living proof of it. lol
     
  10. nobleheart

    nobleheart in process
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    I must confess my ignorance. I had no idea what diathesis-stress was all about. Honestly, after the question mark comment, I thought it might be some psych condition involving cynicism or something similar.:idea: So, I looked it up....pretty cool stuff.

    Excellent comments all.

    Are there any insights into the fair number of twin studies that have sought and certainly elaborated on the correlations between environment and genetic predisposition?

    this article is a little dated but....discuss.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x25rt40kt7842726/
     
  11. psychwanabe

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    In response to the twin study question, I am currently taking my last required psych class (personality) and we just talked about a bunch of twin studies. The model in one study attributed about 37% of the variance to heritability of personality factors in MZ twins, 14% to epistasis, and 0% to the shared environment. What was interesting in a couple of the studies we discussed (don't have the citations with me, sorry) was that there was a negative effect for the shared environment. In other words, the shared environment contributed to the difference in MZ twins' personality.

    The nature/nurture debate isn't anywhere close to being fleshed out in my never-to-be-humble opinion. How do you tease out these differences? There are certainly a lot of great studies going on with examinations of both additive and non-additive models, along with the never-ending twin studies. Even studying MZ twins separated at birth (what would seem to be the most perfect way of finding evidence for nature vs. nurture) has been troublesome as studies find that the environments are very similar to one another.
     
  12. GiantSteps

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  13. ny1020

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    <<<<In other words, the shared environment contributed to the difference in MZ twins' personality>>>>

    That actually makes sense to me. Does anyone remember in psych 1 reading about the twins who had been separated at birth and ended up having very identical lives? Like they dressed the same way, had similar wives and had the same profession? Maybe the desire to be different from your twin in your family is enough to suppress your actual personality and in a home where everyone is different, you will let your biological personality show?
     
  14. danzgymn86

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    I think if the nature-nurture debate were to ever be solved, that would be a sad day for Psychology and many other professions! Because so many people spend their lives doing research on this and well, they'd all be out of a job! *shuts up now*
     
  15. nobleheart

    nobleheart in process
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  16. KillerDiller

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    Haha. This may be true, but I guess I kinda think of it as being like Luke Skywalker being unemployed after killing Darth Vader :). Not that the Nature/Nurture debate is an evil empire, but at least finding answers to those questions would demostrate remarkable progress.
     
  17. boon

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    between Nature/nurture still haven't reach a conclusions as of today. And IMHO, it will never be a straight answer!

    nature/nurture= yin/yang? :laugh:
     

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