Human Behavior: Inherited Traits Or Genetic Makeup?

Today, many psychologists believe that both learned behaviors and inherited traits are factors that affect our health and personality. It’s no secret that some traits such as eye color are determined by the genes our parents pass on to us. Other physical traits are also believed to be influenced by genetics. But, when it comes to behavioral traits, which is the bigger influence?

Genetic Characteristics

Genetics play a part in determining many physical traits, such as height, weight and vulnerability to certain illnesses. This has led many people to consider the role our genes play in determining behavior. The earlier in life a trait expresses itself, the more likely it is that genetics played a role in its development.

Some people, known as nativists, believe that all of our traits and characteristics are determined by our genetic makeup. They believe that the characteristics that emerge as we grow older are governed by pre-programmed changes in the human body. Nativists believe these characteristics to include language development, attachment during infancy and even cognitive development.