Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Another psychological approach studied the physical basis for emotion. LeDoux (1995, p. 209+) noted, "Scientists concerned with human nature have not been able to reach a consensus about what emotion is and what place emotion should have in a theory of mind and behavior." He proposed, however, that "findings about the neural basis of emotion might also suggest new insights into the functional organization of emotion that were not apparent from psychological findings alone. The brain, in other words, can constrain and inform our ideas about the nature of emotion." This would seem to play into any discussion of genetics vs. culture as emotion is viewed, accurately or not, as a construct of societal norms in large part. Because fear is a common part of human life, LeDoux uses it to investigate his theories. "The expression of fear is conserved to a large extent across human cultures and at least to some extent across human and nonhuman mammalian species, and possibly across other vertebrates as well" he notes, which would indicate that fear is not cultural, in fact, but physical, gene-based rather than a product of society. On the other hand, he also encompasses the familiar Pavlovian model in his thinking.
Fear conditioning is a form of Pavlovian (classical) conditioning. Pavlov is best remembered for his studies of alimentary conditioning, in which he elicited salivation in dogs by presenting stimuli that had been associated with the delivery of food (Pavlov 1927). He also determined that animals will exhibit conditioned reflexes that allow them to protect themselves against harmful stimuli by responding to warning signals. Pavlov referred to the latter as defense conditioning (LeDoux, 1995, p. 209+).
Again, this seems to argue for genotype as being less important than phenotype; on the other hand, while there is obviously a physical basis for fear to occur, the experience of fear -- when, where, why and how -- would seem to depend upon environmental -- that is, conditioning -- factors.
Writing in the same journal, Annual Review of Psychology, Suh (2002) seems to arrive at a different conclusion. Suh noted that "Ecologies shape cultures; cultures influence the development of personalities" (2002). In short, he accepts a priori that culture shaped personality; it would be a short leap from there to conclude that personality determined behavior. Thus, in that equation, phenotype does indeed determine behavior. However, does nature, then determine the characteristics of an individual separate from personality/behavior? Suh seems to regard the entire question of nature vs. nurture as somewhat absurd, or at least, given to explanation in more mechanistic terms than otherwise. He refers to a book that vigorously defends "the utility of culture and personality studies, summarized the history of this topic, and provided chapters about Mexican, Chinese, African, German, Indian, and Japanese personality, as well as studies for the improvement of interaction across cultures" (2002). In a conclusion that arguably might parallel one that might be drawn thus far from the evidence in the nature/nurture debate, Suh wrote, "it is worth noting that even if the taxonomies of personality are universal, it does not guarantee their identical usage" a finding he further attributed to Atran 1993, and Choi et al. 1997 (Suh, 2002).
To come full circle, and return to anthropological considerations of the question, an article in Theological Studies by Bonsor examined homosexual orientation and anthropology. While Bonsor expresses an investigatory approach, he also accepts a prior that "One's sexual orientation is discovered, not chosen," a concept that seems to uphold the narrative approach of Hausman. In the end, Bonsor does not support any specific theory of physical or cultural evolution. He concludes that:
Genetic variations, and the physical evolution to which they give rise, are a necessary but not sufficient condition for human evolution. Aquinas and contemporary anthropologists agree that physical reproduction (conception and birth) cannot cause human self-consciousness and intellect. Another mechanism is required. Anthropologists and philosophers frequently theorize that the human intellect and self-consciousness emerged with the development of language.... Speech in turn is the inheritance mechanism whereby conscious life reproduces itself (Bonsor, 1998).
Due to the difficulty of finding genetic markers in a population readily available for a study of this sort, the only determinant of genetic differences that will be used in this study is gender: men and women. In a population of college students, equal numbers of men and women who volunteer to take a survey regarding their reactions to the recent presidential election will be studied. A questionnaire will be provided asking them to indicate which candidate they voted for as well as the three main reasons they voted for that candidate. Then they will be asked to identify their parents', best friend's, most influential 'other's preference between George Bush and John Kerry. (to streamline data gathering, those who voted for Ralph Nader or any other minor or write-in candidate will be eliminated from the study.)
They will be asked to characterize their birth family's:
Interest in humanitarian ideals
Interest in military service
Concept of justice
Concept of international relations
Strength of religious convictions
Character of religious convictions (conservative, liberal, moderate)
Additional questions designed to elicit the probably sort of family background that influenced their own beliefs and behavior.
They will be asked to characterize the same factors for their chosen opinion leader and best friend in an attempt to determine whether they continue to behave in the manner their birth family values would suggest.
The answers will be evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively, a process which will be enhanced by the survey being designed as a series of responses with which the respondent may agree or disagree on a five-point Likert scale. However, verbal 'extra' responses will also be solicited and may be used in the findings/discussion sections of the study report.
This supports my desire to conduct a study of the nature vs. nurture dilemma by selecting the genetic makeup of an individual and determining how they react to the environment. This will allow comparison of the behaviors of those sharing genetics (gender) with those not sharing the same genetics. The result will be information concerning how phenotype correlates with the genotype of individuals.
The research will attempt to acknowledge the ways in which genetics affects human behavior while maintaining that environment and culture are important in determining behavior to a degree less than genetics influences behavior.
Astuti, R. (2001). Are we all natural dualists? A cognitive developmental approach. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 7(3), 429. Retrieved November 19, 2004, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.
Bonsor, Jack a. 1998. Homosexual orientation and anthropology: Reflections on the category "objective disorder." Theological Studies. Retrieved November 19, 2004 from Highbeam database, http://www.highbeam.com.
Hausman, B.L. (2000). Do boys have to be boys? Gender, narrativity, and the John/Joan case. NWSA Journal, 12(3), 114-138.
Ledoux, J.E. 1995. Emotion: Clues from the brain. Annual Review of Psychology. 46. 209+. Retrieved November 19, 2004, from Questia database, http://www.questia.com.
"Human Biological Variation Is Human" (2004, November 19) Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/human-biological-variation-is-58619
"Human Biological Variation Is Human" 19 November 2004. Web.28 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/human-biological-variation-is-58619>
"Human Biological Variation Is Human", 19 November 2004, Accessed.28 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/human-biological-variation-is-58619
It is not startling that some remarkable variation exists between the great apes as well as humans with regard to mental capabilities. Humans possess a lot higher intricate types of verbal communications compared to any other primates. Humans are the sole animal to make and apply symbols as a way to communicate with each other. Humans also have diverse as well as complex forms of social organizations compared to
This postmodern view of culture is applicable in the 20th century analyses and discussions introduced by Boyd and Richerson. In effect, the first assumption explicates how culture brings forth history, and in history, "qualitative different trajectories" occur: "...the dynamics of the system must be path dependent; isolated populations or societies must tend to diverge even when they start from the same initial condition and evolve in similar environments" (186). After
The roles that males and females may also vary -- although a woman biologically gives birth to a child, a man may assume more or less care for the child, depending upon the situation of a couple. A man who loses his job and has a wife who must support the family temporarily may care for his child, even though a biological explanation for human behavior might theorize that
It seems natural in a world where social influence and cultural traditions influence so many aspects of ones behavior that they would also influence one's sexuality. However, there is still a strong case for classical and traditional theories of human sexuality, and one can't simply discount years of research that also links biological and genetic factors with human sexuality. Suffice to say that the best approach to human sexuality and explaining
Human Intelligence Twin Studies and the Acquisition of Human Intelligence The question of nature vs. nurture has been a topic of conversation, a hotly debated issue and reason for researchers to gather copious amounts of material for thousands of years. Philosophers discussed whether a child was mainly constructed of inborn (nature) or learned/observed traits (nurture) before Alexander the Great had conquered anything. Nature refers what is commonly called genetics today; nurture, conversely,
While there are some commonalities among people of certain races that are seen as differences from people of other races, there is nothing at all to suggest that there are anthropological differences. This type of anthropology was popular for a time, and it mostly involved individuals who were trying to prove that one race was superior to another back in the nineteenth century. The data that helped them make their
The most arrangement of these hominids is as shown in the table above (Rantala, 2007, p.17). Conclusion Humans have undergone a series of evolution from the most primitive hominids to the modern man. The development in the structure of the hominids was gradual; with almost half being upright and the rest being bent creatures. Evolution is expected to continue and man is expected to evolve into a different creature depending on