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  1. 1. Where do each of the ASapproaches sit on the nature vnurture debate?Identify elementsfrom each approachwhich show wherethey sit in thedebate.
  2. 2. Nature v Nurture Debate – essay planMonday 13 May 2013Nature v NurtureLesson Objectives:by the end of the lesson …All students will be able to define key terms includingnature, nurture, interactionist and diathesis stress modelMost students will be able to compose a plan for an essayquestionSome students will be able to analyse research methodsused in the debate
  3. 3. Nature: refers to inherited characteristics andabilities determined by our genes. Supporters ofthis view are known as ‘hereditarians’. The biologicalapproach has a nature focus on genderNurture: refers to the influences of experience; welearn through our interactions with both the physical andsocial environment. Supporters of this view are knownas ‘empiricists’. The learning approach has a nurturefocus on genderHighlight the key termswhich are most important
  4. 4. Bear in mind that you need to be able to explainwhere you see the nature v nurture debate inpsychology in a topic area – as an example ofwhere you might see it.You need to be able to explain the nature side ofthe debate and the nurture side of the debate.Suitable topic areas to know in detail are Crime,Gender and Mental Health.Remember that you must use key terms and refer toresearch in each argument.You then use one of the following points toexplain why it might be a bit of both and link it tothe points you have already made.
  5. 5. Nature:The fact that we are born as either male or femaledue to our genes and hormones from conceptionNurture:The way that our parents treat us and the genderbehaviours which are reinforced in us as childrenInfluences
  6. 6. The interactionist model shows how genes and the environment may worktogether to cause criminalityFor example the MAOA gene (also known as the warrior gene) has beenidentified as a gene commonly found in psychopaths, however not allpeople with this gene are criminals (BBC, 2011), these people have oftenhad a caring supportive childhood.Our genes and our environment constantly interact to determine ourpersonality. They work together to determine the end point.For example criminal personality may be determined by a geneticallyaggressive person who has been exposed to violent, criminal, role models.They may only become criminal because of both of these factors interacting.Therefore showing that both genes, nature and environment, nurturehave to interact to cause someone to be a criminal, without both it wouldnot happen.
  7. 7. Our genes and our environment constantly interact to determine ourpersonality. They work together to determine the end point.For example criminal personality may be determined by a geneticallyaggressive person who has been exposed to violent, criminal, role models.They may only become criminal because of both of these factorsinteracting, and without both it would not happen.
  8. 8. The Ontogenic Approach• Ontogeny is the process by which an individualchanges and develops throughout their life span.• This approach looks at how genetic factors mixwith environmental influences. For examplegender may be genetically inherited but theexpression of it will depend on environmentalexperiences, stimulation, reinforcement andfactors like toys and role models etc. Researchhas shown that at different ages and stages ofdevelopment the environment has a larger orsmaller effect on our genes.Good for explaining gender
  9. 9. NatureNurtureBirthConceptionDeathAdolescence
  10. 10. We change and develop throughout our lifespan, during our developmentfrom fertilisation of the egg to maturity nature and nurture have differentamounts of influence at different times, for example before birth nature hasmore of an influence on our gender development, whilst at between 18months to approximately adolescence we may be more inclined to beinfluenced by our environment in the form of role models, this will changeagain when hormones drive most changes in a teenager.
  11. 11. Mum DadOur parents provide geneswhich determine ourgenotype, which determinesa range of possibleoutcomes for ourintelligence.Then our environmentdetermines where in this rangewe fall for instance througheducation, curriculum, diet andparenting which determine ourend point intelligence score,our phenotype.Nature Nurture
  12. 12. We are born with the genetic information (our genotype) which willdetermine a range within which we could possibly develop, this is theninfluenced by the environment to develop to some point within this range.This can be best seen in intelligence, a person will be born with anintelligence potential determined by our genetics, our educationalexperiences will determine where we eventually fall within this range.
  13. 13. In the diathesis-stress model, a genetic vulnerability or predisposition(diathesis) interacts with the environment and life events (stressors) totrigger behaviours or psychological disorders. The greater the underlyingvulnerability, the less stress is needed to trigger the behaviour/disorder.Even so, someone with a diathesis towards a disorder such as schizophreniadoes not necessarily mean they will ever develop the disorder. Both thediathesis and the stress are required for this to happen.What specific topic content could you include here to make this into aparagraph?Write it out as a paragraph - PEELYou know mostabout schizophreniahere
  14. 14. The diathesis-stress model shows how genes and the environment bothcause the outcome of our mental health, such as schizophreniaGottesman and Shields found that the MZ twins concordanace rate forsevere schizophrenia was 75%, the DZ was 22%. Thus showing a stronggenetic link, so schizophrenics may carry the gene which has to betriggered by something in the environment.In the diathesis-stress model, a genetic vulnerability or predisposition (diathesis)interacts with the environment and life events (stressors) to trigger behaviours orpsychological disorders. The greater the underlying vulnerability, the less stress isneeded to trigger the behaviour/disorder. Even so, someone with a diathesis towards adisorder such as schizophrenia does not necessarily mean they will ever develop thedisorder. Both the diathesis and the stress are required for this to happen.Therefore showing that both genes, nature and environment, nurturehave to be present in the right combination to cause mental illnesses suchas schizophrenia
  15. 15. How do we study nature v nurture using twinstudies?What benefits does this method bring?What difficulties are there in using this method tostudy nature v nurture?So what will the questions be for Animal studies?
  16. 16. Gottesman and Shields (1966) wanted to investigate if mentalillnesses such as schizophrenia could be inherited.They used a classic twin study procedure whereby they gathered datafrom hospitals about people who were twins and had sufferedschizophrenia.They looked at the concordance rates (the same trait in both sets oftwins) of schizophrenia in both MZ (Monozygotic – identical twinsfrom one split egg) and DZ (Dizygotic – non-identical twins from twoeggs) twins. If a trait is inherited from genes then you would expectthat if one MZ twin has it then the other should too, just like eyecolour, the rates for DZ twins would be lower as they only share 50%of their genes.Gottesman and Shields found that the MZ twins concordanace ratefor severe schizophrenia was 75%, the DZ was 22%. Thus showing astrong genetic link, so schizophrenia is at least in part caused bynature, however as it is not 100% there are some nurture influencestoo.
  17. 17. What do twin studies do and how interms of nature v nurture?Think about the design and what variablesthey isolateThen what might be the problem here?
  18. 18. Why do we Investigate Nature-Nurture using twin studiesIdentical twins provide a perfect natural control, all genetic variables arecontrolled for due to the 100% match of DNA.We can make comparisons to DZ twins who may be reared together yetonly share 50% of DNA.
  19. 19. Problems Investigating Nature-Nurture using twin studiesEthical Restrictions -It would be ethically challenging to rear two identical twinsseparately in order to establish the relative influence of nature and nurture.Control - Controlled experiments are virtually impossible. For example, how canyou isolate all “nurture” influences? Twins may have microscopic variations intheir environments in the womb due to hormones or dominance of one twindevelopmentally.When establishing relationships between parents and children you still can notconclude that nature is having an influence because it could be that similaritiesare down to the way in which children are brought up.Nurture can affect Nature! - The environment can change the way our bodieswork. For example, drug and alcohol abuse can affect the way in which ourbrains function and therefore the outcome of the twins.
  20. 20. Click on this screen print for a reminder tutorial about twin and adoption studies.This is based on medical research but applies to psychological research too.
  21. 21. What do animal studies do and how interms of nature v nurture?Think about the design and what variablesthey isolateThen what might be the problem here
  22. 22. Lagerspetz et al (1979) provides empirical support for the natureargument of criminal behaviour in the form of aggressionThey found that by selecting the most aggressive mice from eachgeneration and breeding these together they were able to breed astrain of super-aggressive mice within only 25 generationsThey show that aggressive behaviour can be inherited from theprevious generation, whist controlling environmental variables
  23. 23. Benji and Jimmy are arguing about what their child will turn out likeand how much they can influence the child.She comes from a family of high achieving academically able andmentally stable individuals, she has discovered that Jimmy’s familyhave a history of criminality and mental health, the boys are all intofootball and the girls ballet, there are very distinct traditional genderroles in all of the households in the family.Explain using concepts and arguments from the nature v nurturedebate across psychology to what extent their baby will be influencedby the genetics in the family or by the environment they provide it with.Exam style 18 mark question.(see the last slide for alternative questions)
  24. 24. 3 golden rulesAt least 4 pieces of evidenceAnalysisJudgementAnd for 18 mark Q’s for the 6 QWC (top level - 3) marks you must stay focusedon the Q throughout, use a wide range of terminology correctly and have aclear structureSo how do you do it? – You use an essay burger and always PEEL!The key to a burger is that you layer it so it doesn’t get boring and it works welltogether – but it must be sandwiched between the bun!Achieving Level 4 in essays+
  25. 25. Nature v NurtureIs gender development due to our Nature orNurture?Nature – biologicalNurture – learningIntroductionConclusionPEELPoint There is evidence that genderbehaviour is inherited and fixed from birthExplain The biological approach argues thatas we inherit the X or Y chromosome fromour parents. Males inherit the Y chromosomewhich will release the SRY gene to turn thegonads into testes, promotes testosteroneproduction and create external genitalia, andpromote secondary sexual development atpubertyExample David Reimer was born with XYchromosomes but bought up as a female dueto an accident, he was never happy in thisrole and still developed male characteristicssuch as playing with boys toys and a broaderneck at puberty (Diamond, 1999).Link (how does this answer the question?)This shows that gender behaviour couldreliably be attributed to our biology andnatureThe conclusion should draw together all of the links – and discusswhether on the whole you could say it is one or the other orwhether the question is now how do we explain it using both?JudgementAnalysisEvidenceWill we ever know? – researchmethodsBoth - psychodynamicBoth – interactionistBoth - ontogenic
  26. 26. Nature v NurtureDiscuss the Nature or Nurture Debate in Psychology?Nature - crimeNurture – crimeIntroductionConclusionPEELPoint There is evidence that criminalbehaviour can be inheritedExplain The biological approach argues thatas we inherit genes from our parents thesegenes can send information that makespeople more aggressive and therefore proneto criminal actionsExample Lagerspetz was able to isolate themost docile and the most aggressive fromeach generation of lab mice, and showedwithin relatively few generations he had bredsuper-aggressive mice – showing that as hehad isolated all environmental factors themice must have inherited this trait.Link (how does this answer the question?)This shows that criminal behaviour couldreliably be attributed to natureThe conclusion should draw together all of the links – and discusswhether on the whole you could say it is one or the other orwhether the question is now how do we explain it using both?JudgementAnalysisEvidenceYou could also discussdevelopmental disorders andmental illnessesBoth - ontogenicBoth - interactionistWithin eachparagraph makesure you useevidence andcomment on howthis addressesthe nature vnurture debate –this is analysisResearch methods used in thedebate
  27. 27. It is important that you refer to at least4 studies in your essays – but don’tforce a study – sometimes an exampleor theory will suffice. So long as youhave your 4 don’t leave a good pointout because you don’t have a relevantstudyEvidencePoint There is evidence that criminalbehaviour can be inheritedExplain The biological approach argues thatas we inherit genes from our parents thesegenes can send information that makespeople more aggressive and therefore proneto criminal actionsExample Lagerspetz was able toisolate the most docile and the mostaggressive from each generation oflab mice, and showed within relativelyfew generations he had bred super-aggressive mice – showing that as hehad isolated all environmental factorsthe mice must have inherited this trait.Link (how does this answer the question?)This shows that criminal behaviour couldreliably be attributed to nature due to theinherited characteristics of aggression.
  28. 28. Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) provide empirical support for thenurture argument for gender developmentThey found that boys were more likely to imitate the behaviour ofthe male role models when behaving aggressively, which isconsidered a more masculine traitThey show that children will copy gender specific behaviours fromrole models, showing they are influenced by the environmentYou must change the way you use evidence to support youressay point clearlyWhat do you notice here that makes this an evaluation ofgender?But if it’s in an essay you need to put itin a …
  29. 29. JudgementIt is important that you really show understandingof what the question is asking of you. So just tobe sure when you are planning replace thePsychological words with everyday objects orevents and see if that makes sensee.g. Instead of is it nature or nurtureTry – Is Simon Cowell evil or good?The essay will therefore need to be a yes – no –yes – no – yes – no structure and the links andconclusion will need to say yes, no or to someextentConclusionPoint There is evidence that criminalbehaviour can be inheritedExplain The biological approach arguesthat as we inherit genes from our parentsthese genes can send information thatmakes people more aggressive andtherefore prone to criminal actionsExample Lagerspetz was able to isolate themost docile and the most aggressive fromeach generation of lab mice, and showedwithin relatively few generations he hadbred super-aggressive mice – showing thatas he had isolated all environmental factorsthe mice must have inherited this trait.Link (how does this answer thequestion?) This shows that criminalbehaviour could reliably be attributed tonature due to the inherited characteristics ofaggression.
  30. 30. Point There is evidence that criminal behaviour can be inheritedExplain The biological approach argues that as we inherit genes from our parents these genescan send information that makes people more aggressive and therefore prone to criminal actionsExample Lagerspetz was able to isolate the most docile and the most aggressive from eachgeneration of lab mice, and showed within relatively few generations he had bred super-aggressivemice – showing that as he had isolated all environmental factors, and kept them the same fromgeneration to generation the mice must have inherited this trait.Link (how does this answer the question?) This shows that criminal behaviour could reliably beattributed to nature due to the inherited characteristics of aggression.An easy way to make sure you are analysing your points is torefer to the research methods used in the studies you haveused as evidence. You could either criticise / support thisstraight after you make the example – before you link back tothe question, or if you get near the end and feel you haven’tdone this add a short paragraph just before your conclusionAnalysis
  31. 31. It is more important thatyou show the skills andanswer the question thanwriting as much as youknow on a topic.However you should aimfor roughly 6 shortparagraphs done well inthe main body – 4 atleastLength
  32. 32. Other potential nature v nurture questions:Describe how the approaches to Psychology address the nature v nurture debate(8)Describe what the ___________ approach says about nature v nurture (3)Describe how twin studies are used to investigate the nature v nurture debate (5)Evaluate the use of twin studies in determining whether our behaviour is due tonature or nurture (5)Describe and evaluate how the nature v nurture approach is researched inpsychology (18)Discuss the nature v nurture debate in psychology (18)How far is our gender determined by our nature? (18)To what extent can we consider that our behaviour is determined by nature? (18)Describe the arguments that our behaviour is determined by nurture and evaluatethese claims (18)

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