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Do Genes Influence Our Attitudes?
Transcript of Do Genes Influence Our Attitudes?
Mike Roles & Rules Social roles, attitudes, relationships and groups are influenced by key factors:
Norms- Rules that regulate social life and cultural behavior.
Roles-Social positions that are regulated by norms about how people in these positions should behave.
Norms regulate roles in society, and vice-versa. Social Influences On Beliefs and Behaviors Flaws of The Attribution Theory There are three cognitive biases, or, influences that contribute to the fundamental attribution error:
The bias to choose to forgive and flatter our own behavior
The bias that we are better, smarter and kinder than other people.
The bias to be pessimistic, or think the world is out to get us. Social Cognition is how people's perceptions of themselves and others affect their relationships.
The Attribution Theory states that people explain behavior attributing causes to the environment or the person's temperament.
However, the flaw of The Attribution theory is that it favors disposition over environment. Attitude Attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person's behavior.
Efforts to get people to change their attitude often rely on the familiarity effect and and validity effect. Individuals In Groups Conformity-The Asch Experiment shows that most people will conform to other's judgements even when others are wrong.
Group think- an extreme form of conformity leading to faulty decisions because:
An illusion of invulnerability.
Self censorship of the members.
Pressure to conform. Influences Of Groups When people are part of large groups, two processes may occur:
Discussion of responsibility
Groups may empower their influence with things such as rallies, propaganda, and exclusive memberships. Us Vs. Them: Group Identity Social identities are based on a person's identification with prominent affiliations, such as a religion or a political group.
Ethnic Identity: People often struggle with balancing their ethnic identity with their religious identity and other social roles.
Ethnocentrism" the idea that one's own ethnic group or tradition is superior to all others. Stereotypes Stereotypes can be efficient summaries of other ethnic groups, but they distort reality by:
Underestimating the culture of other groups. Part 1: The Role Of Society Prejudice Psychological: prejudice reduces anxiety by offering answers to complex problems and boosting self-esteem.
Social: Prejudice bonds people to their social groups.
Economic: Justifies a majority's economic interests and legitimates war.
Cultural: Prejudice fosters dehumanization of other groups. Prejudice consists of a negative stereotype and a persistent, unreasonable, negative feeling towards another category of individuals. Origins of Prejudice Part 2: Genetics The Big Picture So do genetics influence attitude?
Research says yes-but not entirely.
Studies suggest that while genetics influence "traits of traits", your personality is mostly environmental. What is a "trait of a trait?" Simply, a trait that directly affects another trait.
One example is how religious you are. While your religious preference is not genetic, your openness to try a new faith-and dedication your faith- is.
"Conscientiousness and "Openness to new experiences" are two examples genetic traits. Genetic Disorders Studies of genetic defects also provide information on the effects of heredity on behavior:
Downs Syndrome is a genetic defect where there is an extra 21st chromosome. People with Downs Syndrome have a distinct appearance and often developmental disabilities.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited metabolic disorder.The presence of a particular gene keeps the individual from being able to process the amino acid phenylalanine. Excess of phenylalanine interferes with the formation of myelin in the brain and can produce developmental disability. The Stanford Prison Experiment Office were converted into prison cells and students played either guards or prisoners.
It was supposed to last two weeks but the shocking results ended the experiment in six days.
Some guards were apathetic to prisoners; others were fair and obeyed the rules while others were very harsh. The study showed how roles can effect behavior despite genetic influence. Influences on Teenagers In an NIH supported study, Amy Abrahamson, Laura Baker, and Avshalom Caspi examined genetic influences on the attitudes of teenagers and reported their findings in a report titled "Rebellious Teens?"
The purpose of the study was to investigate sources of influence on teen social attitudes in an effort to understand how families exert an influence on the adolescent's development.
After the study, and affirmed by psychologists, the report confirmed that "good parenting" can't overcome "bad genes" and that it's impossible to separate genetic background from environmental influence.
"The truth of the matter is that inborn genetic influence can trump parental guidance, no matter how positive or negative."-Rebellious Teens? Part 3: Case Studies Adoption and Genetics Abrahamson and Caspi observed 654 adopted and non adopted children with their relatives.
Conservatism and religious attitudes were measured continually in the children ages 12-15 during the experiment.
The study found that both traits are strongly influenced by environmental, factors throughout adolescence but only where a familial and constistant environment was present. Homosexuality and genetics Researchers Bailey, Dunne, and Martin premised that same-sex behavior arises from both environmental and genetic factors.
They observed the genetic makeup of 456 men from 146 families with two or more gay brothers and found the same genetic patterns among the gay men on three chromosomes: 7,8, and 10.
60% of the gay men shared these patterns, where chromosome 10 was shared from their mother instead of their father. Twins In a study conducted about twins, research showed that non shared environmental factors were the most powerful contributing factors to variability in thirty attitude factors.
Strong evidence showed that differences between the twins were mostly environmental as well, but not entirely.
The investigators concluded that attitudes are learned but also depend on biological factors. Fin.