Psychologists disagree over the extent of genetic vs environmental influences e.g they may agree that IQ is down to both genes and environment but they disagree on how much of it genes and how much is environment.
ESSAY TIP 1 – Controversial Question
How much of behaviour is determined by genes and how much by environment?
Why is this a big question?
A belief that intelligence is genetic could lead to practice of eugenics – selective breeding of humans.
Likewise a belief that behaviour is purely down to environment may lead to harsh regimes based on conditioning people.
See textbook for examples!
The Application of Psychological knowledge
If we think a behaviour is mostly genetic, we would treat it differently than if we thought it was environmental (or learned)
For example think about….
Complete gap fill and questions 1-3 on your handout.
e.g mental disorder of parent may cause environment which triggers disorder in child.
Active influence Genes may influence actively selected parts of unshared environments in siblings – niche picking e.g Child with high IQ seeks challenging books, sporty child prefers outdoor activities – this has the effect of increasing the genetic characteristic.
Many examples demonstrate the interaction between genes and environment.
Another good example is Phenylketonuria- this prevents the amino acid phenylalanine being metabolised causing brain damage.
However if this is detected at birth it can be prevented through diet. So is it due to nature or nurture?
Complete the gap fill on your handout and then start work on your essay plan.