The Nature-Nurture Question
[Instructor Name]
[Class and Section Number]
• Introduction to Nature-Nurture
• What Have We Learned?
Introduction to Nature-Nurture
Why is the naturenurture question so
 Controversial
 Fascinating
 Consequential
Michael Jordan provides a clear
example of the interplay between
natural and nurtured talent.
Animal vs. Human Studies
Other Reasons for Our
 Ease of animal study
o History of mating
o Fast replication
 Obstacles to human study
o Random assignment
o Unethical: eugenics
Could nonaggressive parents have taught
this dog to be less aggressive?
Nature-Nurture Research Methods
Behavioral Genetics –
Empirical science of how
genes and environments
work together
 Adoption Studies
Nature-Nurture Research Methods
Monozygotic Twins
Secret Twin Study
Dizygotic Twins
Quantifying Nature-Nurture
Heritability Coefficient – Measures how strongly
differences among individuals for a trait are related to
differences among their genes
Historical Context
Timeline of Scientific Discovery
 Late 1800’s - Francis Galton
influenced by cousin, Charles
Darwin; begins nature-nurture
 Early 1900’s - Gregor Mendel’s
genetic work with peas realized
as important
 1920’s – Quantitative genetics
 1950’s – DNA discovered by
Watson and Crick
 Early 2000’s – Human genome
Sir Francis Galton coined
“eugenics” and “nature versus
• Introduction to Nature-Nurture
• What Have We Learned?
What Have We Learned?
Genetic Relation  Similarity
Lesson: Much Is Left To Learn
Lesson: Avoid Making Assumptions
Lesson: Some Traits Are Malleable
Lesson: It’s Complicated
Photo Attribution
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Photo Credit: Shohei Hanazaki"
Photo Credit: Diegoestefano97
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo by Josh Plueger. Postwork by Dove
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Photo Credit: Ben Pollard
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Photo Credit: Catherine Scott
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Research Designs