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    Genetics, Behavior and Human Development PDF Print E-mail
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    Genetics, Behavior and Human Development

    Introduction

                From sufficient researches that have been done, it has been able to conclude that the gene make-up in an individual will play a big role on human behaviour and human development. This is something that has been rightfully identified through biological psychology. Biological Psychology is a number of studies analysing the effects and impacts of internal and external simulations on the human nervous systems. The major areas studied under this kind of psychology include the auditory and visual systems on how they affect human behaviors. Some of the other areas studied under biological psychology include cognition, learning, emotion, mental disorders and memory (Carey, 2003). In short, biological psychology is the study of the interrelationships between the human psychological system and resulting behaviors. Thus, it is the study of the emotional and mental states other than the physical composition of the individual. Any biological psychology form of experiment will more often than not alter the functioning of the body’s neural systems through destruction or disabling of the neural functions. Some brain parts may as well be destroyed through a number of methods like use of electric shock, cooling methods, neurotoxins, or even anesthetics (Crandell & Vander, 2000).

    Genetics, Behavior and Human Development

    It is very true that genes will influence the behavior of an individual, as well as human development. Through genetic studies, researchers have been able to understand human behaviours. Human behavior and genetics has been applied in helping us understand how genetic make-up of an individual and in relatively new field, seeks to understand both the genetic and environmental influences and contributions on an individual’s behavior (Crandell & Vander, 2000). It has also been noted that a single gene will not on itself affect a given behavior on an individual. Behaviors of a human being will be influenced by a number of complex traits or multiple genes (Carey, 2003). From most of the genetic researches, it has been recorded that this interplay of genes will result in specific behavior in given individuals. The heritability of the genes it what is important here. The heritability statistics has as well been associated with human behaviors.

                When we dub a given gene to be ‘a smart gene’, this will give the society a negative impression as to how scientists might know about genetics and intelligence. This is because the smart gene may be repressed by another gene so that it does not express itself accordingly (Carey, 2003). This brings us to the argument that a number of genes will influence the expression of a given human behavior. Genes in the human body will be turned off and on, while some other factors will as well keep a gene active in its expression. Since genetic make-up will influence the behavior, the environmental factors will as well have impact on the genetic expression. The genes will also influence the roles of some environmental factors for a given trait to develop. In order to carry out these researches and studies, genetic psychological studies are done on laboratory animals like monkeys, rats and mice (Cole, 2004).Through the use of the laboratory animals, the researchers can be able to come up with simulations that show similar trends as with human beings. Similar studies have been able to help people understand some of the facts on how both the environment and genes will affect human behaviors.

    On the other hand, human development will as well be influenced by a number of factors. Some of these factors will include things like malnutrition, abuse, and genes. In overall, genes will have the greatest impact in influencing the development in human beings (Santrock, 2006). Although most of the researches have been done on laboratory animals, they have been able to conclude that the genes will affect the development patterns depending on how they are inherited. During conception, the sex of the individual will immediately be determined by the genes that come together as enclosed in the chromosomes. This continues until the offspring has been born, and even beyond that point (Santrock, 2006). Without the genes in our bodies, we would not be what we are today. This shows how genes can play a big role in human development.

    Conclusion

    In order effectively to study this issue of genetic roles in behavior and human development, it would be better to understand some of the major ways through which heredity influences genetics. The major ways through which we can study this is through molecular genetics, selective breeding, and behavioral genetics. Molecular genetics has been a field of biology that has been applied in studying the functions and structures of all genes at their molecular levels. In addition, researchers have also tried selective breeding as a way of understanding how genes will affect behaviors and development (Spuhler, 2009). Selective breeding has been a commonly used experimental process in the breeding of animals and plants in order to nurture and study a given gene or trait. Behavioural genetics, on the other hand, has been studied as a field in which the roles of genes in animals are studied to determine their influences on behavior.

    References

    Carey, G. (2003). Human genetics for the social sciences. London: Harvard University Press.

    Cole, M. (2004). The development of children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Crandell, L. & Vander, V. (2000). Human development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Santrock, M. (2006). Psychology Essentials 2. New York: McGraw Hill.

    Spuhler, N. (2009). Genetic Diversity and Human Behavior. Cengage: Cengage Learning.

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