Genetic and Environmental Influences and Their Effects on Development Essay

Genetic and Environmental Influences and Their Effects on Development Essay

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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, sha...


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...gen, A. (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Science, 250, 223-229
Caspi, A., Roberts, B. W., & Shiner, R. L. (2005). Personality development: Stability and change. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 453–484. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141913
Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (2008). Temperament: An organizing paradigm for trait psychology. In O. P.John, R. W.Robins, & L. A.Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 265–286). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Hopwood, C. J., Donnellan, M. B., Blonigen, D. M., Krueger, R. F., McGue, M., Iacono, W. G., & Burt, S. G. (2011). Genetic and environmental influences on personality trait stability and growth during the transition to adulthood: A three wave longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(3), 545–556.

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