5 environmental influences on behavior


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5 environmental influences on behavior

  1. 1. EnvironmentalInfluences onBehavior 1
  2. 2. Parents and Peers Parents and Early Experiences We have looked at how genes influence our developmental differences. What about theenvironment, how do our early experiences, ourfamily, our community and culture affects these differences? We begin with prenatal environment. 2
  3. 3. Prenatal EnvironmentIdentical twins who share the same placenta (b) are more alike than those who don’t (a),suggesting prenatal influences on psychological traits. 3
  4. 4. Experience and Brain Development Early postnatal experience affects braindevelopment. Rosenzweig et al. (1984) showed that rats raised in enriched environments developed thicker cortices than those in impoverished environment. 4
  5. 5. Brain Development and Adulthood Brain development does not stop with adulthood. Throughout our life brain tissue continues to grow and change. Ungerleider, National Institue of Mental Health Both hotos courtesy of Avi Kani and Leslie A well-learned finger tapping task leads to more motor cortical neurons (right) than baseline. 5
  6. 6. Parental InfluenceParental influence is largely genetic. Indeed this support is essential in nurturing children, however, other socializing factors also play an important role. © The New Yorker Collection, 2001. Barbara Smaller from cartoonbank.com. All Rights Reserved Miquel L. Fairbanks Although raised in the same family some children are more risk takers. 6
  7. 7. Peer InfluenceChildren like adults attempt to fit into a group by conforming. Peers are influential in suchareas as learning to cooperate with others, gain popularity, and develop interactions. 7
  8. 8. Cultural Influences Humans have the ability to evolve culture. Culture is composed of behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values and traditions shared by a group. 8
  9. 9. Variation Across CultureCultures differ. Each culture develops norms –rules for accepted and expected behavior. Men holding hands in Arabia is normal (closer personal space) not in American culture. 9
  10. 10. Gender DevelopmentBased on genetic makeup males and females are alike, especially since the majority of our inherited genes (45 chromosomes are unisex) are similar. Males and females differ biologically in body fat, muscle, height, onset of puberty, and life expectancy. 10
  11. 11. Gender Differences in AggressionMen more than women express and behave in aggressive ways. This aggression gender gapappears in many cultures, and at various ages. In males the nature of this aggression is physical. 11
  12. 12. Biology of Sex Biological sex is determined by the twenty-third pair of chromosomes. If XX then a female isproduced, or if XY, then a male child is produced. 12
  13. 13. Sexual DifferentiationIn the mother’s womb the male fetus is exposed to testosterones (because of Y chromosome) which leads to the development of male genitalia. If low levels of testosterones are released in the uterus the result is a female. 13
  14. 14. Sexual Differentiation Sexual differentiation is not only biological but also psychological and social. However, genes and hormones play a very important role in defining gender, especiallyaltering the brain influencing gender differences. 14
  15. 15. Gender Roles Our culture shapes our gender roles — expectations of how men and women are supposed to behave.Gender Identity — means a how a person views himself or herself in terms of gender. 15