Nature of Human Behavior

Nancy, Jennifer P, Tyler W

Twin Studies

Twin studies provide evidence for the ever crucial debate of nature vs. nurture. Are we guided by our upbringing and activity?, or do we have a unique cognitive ability to mature on our own without the assistance of others? The twin studies provide evidence for both sides of the coin as well as giving scientists key information for further studies of cognitive development. Since twins share DNA, scientists will always be intrigued as to what guides these twins toward cognitive promise and efficiency.
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Social Influence on Development

The world kids grow up today is world completely different than the world kids grew up in 20 years ago, and even more different than the world kids grew up in 100 years ago. The media, technology, social media, and many other factors heavily influence the way kids today perceive the world. These can have both negative and positive affects on the childs cognitive ability. On one side, you have those who say technology causes kids to be less social. On the other end. many scientists and psychologists believe that technology strengthens kids cognitive ability, causing this generation to be 'smarter' according to studies. Also, the way parents raise their kids seems to have dialed back to me hands on and interactive than the laid back style of the mid 1900's
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Cultural Influences on Development

It's simple, different cultures raise their children in a multitude of different. For example, some tribes in Africa do not even "raise" their children at all, children are meant strictly for working and hunter purposes in they are male, and cooking, gathering, etc. if they are a girl. The culture one is brought into can and will heavily influence the behavior of that child down the road. We as a society must recognize that not all parents raise their kid/s in america the same, let alone the world. Studies about the instincts of children from different cultures support the claim that different parts of the brain are more/less developed based on the environment a child is raised.
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Natural Selection

The idea of natural selection (first developed by Charles Darwin in 1859) states that those are best suited for the environment they are born into will survive (survival of the fittest), for example, a wild animal having lots of fur will survive best in a cold, arctic environment. However, this theory does not apply only to animals, but to humans as well. For example, when the settlers first came over to the Americas, they were best suited for their environment because they had a developed immune system, unlike the inhabited Indians who died off from diseases that were new to them that were brought over by the settlers. The idea of natural selection is still today a very debated topic among-st both psychologists and scientists.
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Peer Influence

During the first years of development, peers do not have a huge impact besides ones parents, baby sitters, etc. However, this is heavily felt from the time one reaches preschool/kindergarten throughout their schooling. Peer influence is felt heavily during adolescence as teens are constantly bombarded with the peer pressure to perform high risk behaviors such as drinking, smoking, and drugs.
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Key Vocab

Chromosomes- threadlike structures made of DNA Molecules that contain the genes


Genes- biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes


Genome- The complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organisms chromosomes


Temperament- a persons characteristic emotional re-activity and intensity


Mutation- a random error in gene replication that leads to a change


Gender- In psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics that someone people male or female


Norm- An understood rule for accepted behavior. Norms describe "proper" behavior