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Behavioral Genetics and Human Personality

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People do possess certain behaviors that make us unique from one another. People do vary in their behavior or the way we think, feel and act. The complexity of human behavior and understanding its nature has been the main interests of those studying behavioral genetics.

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We all know that if we inherit our physical attributes with our parents we also inherit their behavior which we call genotypes.

We are also aware of the role of the society, culture or the environment in shaping one’s behavior. Which of the two then exerts the greatest influence in our life? In order to identify which really molds human behavior a family studies, adoption studies and twin studies where conducted. In these three settings the siblings are compared with their shared and non-shared experiences. The environment provides the child with care, education and other experiences.

People differ in many ways in terms of intelligence, mental states, social ability, self-concept or self-esteem, attitudes, beliefs and preferences. Genetics versus environment can also be called nature versus nurture in shaping behavior. The debate between the two tries to challenge the fact that genotypes or the nature of a person’s behavior can be altered by the environment or the inherited traits will remain the same and control the person no matter how strong the influence of the environment.

Suicidal tendencies and anti-social behavior for example are studied if it is inherited or purely environmental. In my own opinion the behavior could depend upon the individual’s personal adjustment or resistance to the environment that can create a difference in our behavior. Work Cited Haimowitz, Avi. Heredity versus Environment: Twin, Adoption and Family Studies. November 2005. Rochester Institute of Technology: Great Ideas in Personality 4 June 2009 <http://www

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