Controversial Paper

Essay by daniellerusspCollege, Undergraduate November 2014

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Environment and Genes Influencing Behavior

Environment and Genes Influencing Behavior

Robert Plomin

Pennsylvania State University

Author Note

Robert Plomin, Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University

Robert Plomin is now at Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry, Kings College

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Robert Plomin, Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry, Kings College, London, United Kingdom, SE5 8AF.


What defines our personality and behavior? Is it our genetic makeup or is it the cultural environment we live in? Arguments about these questions fuel the debated nature versus nurture dispute of lifespan development. Nature is described as something created as a result of the inherited predetermined genetic information: it is highly influential on our traits, abilities, and capabilities (Feldman, R., 2011). For instance, the characteristics that are predisposed by nature are eye color and inherited disorders. Nurture is defined as by the way the environment defines and shapes our behavior (Feldman, R.,

2011). These impacts may be biological, social, and cultural, religion, availability of food, or bullying. As indicated earlier, the impact these two factors have on lifespan development is a controversial debate: the goals of this paper are to examine both of these factors using research, opinion, and empirical studies, and to draw a conclusion on the topic at hand.

Stanford University professors of biology Paul Ehrlich and Marcus Feldman argue that our environment mostly has an influence on behavior and they believe that there are some parts of genetics that cannot explain human behavior. (Feldman, M. and Erhlich, 2011). They use three main objectives to explain their reasoning:

First, Erhlich and Feldman argue that since gender differences are constantly known as having a genetic foundation, we see that there has been a significant difference in what is considered "normal" behavior for each gender. These "genetic"-based traits often...