Genetic And Environmental Influences And Their Effects On Development

1170 words - 5 pages

There have been several studies over the years that take a look at what is called the “Nature versus Nurture” question. These studies have looked into different characteristics of the person from intelligence, personality, interests, social issues, and biology. Though most agree that the answer to this question is not one over the other, but rather it is a combination of the two that make us who we are. Several studies have proved this, but there are some aspects of our persons that one has a bigger influence on compared to the other. Hopwood et al., (2011) suggests that our personality as we grow and mature is more effected by our environment opposed to our genes. This paper examines the effects Hopwood et al.’s research in comparison to Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, and Tellegen’s research on this issue.
Hopwood et al.’s (2011) research took a look at our personality and how it develops at the end of adolescence (age of 17) to young adulthood (age of 29). The participants of the research were either same sex MZ twins or DZ twins who took the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). This allowed the researcher to study four major personality traits: Negative Emotionality or Neuroticism (NEM), Agentic Positive Emotionality or Extraversion (PEM-A), Communal Positive Emotionality or Agreeableness (PEM-C), and Constraint (CON) (as sited in Hopwood, 2011, p. 546). Significant changes of NEM and CON were reported with the results. NEM declined drastically while CON increased as the participants got older, and little change was recorded in the PEM traits. This showed that there was a significant developmental change in NEM and CON opposed to PEM.
The results were broken down into three categories, genetic, shared environmental, and unshared environmental (Hopwood et al. 2011). The genetic correlations normally stayed the same during the different times while the unshared environmental gradually increased, which possibly showed that genetic influences become stable as people got older (Hopwood et al. 2011). Hopwood et al., (2011) was able to show that personality changed overtime due to environmental reasons because the unshared environmental factors attributed for much of the changes. This finding may be due to those that might have “stability promoting” environments (Hopwood et al. 2011).
Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, and Tellegen (1990) took a look at sets on MZ twins and DZ twins that were reared apart or together. The twins were tested in several aspects of their person to see if those reared apart showed different results compared to those reared together (Bouchard et al. 1990). Surprisingly, the results were almost the same, showing that a MZ twins reared apart are still similar which lead to the idea that genetics influence our development more than our environment (Bouchard et al. 1990). Bouchard et al., (1990) stated that there are several trait that we have that are greatly influenced by our genes; such as...

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