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Genetics of Human Social Behavior Essay (Article)

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Updated: May 8th, 2022

Introduction

Human behavioral genetics is the study that aims to understand both genetics and environmental conditions influencing human social behavior’ (Epstein, 49).A single gene does not influence human behavior because behavior consists of complex traits involving several genes. Behavioral genetics also examines the role of genetics in animal and human behavior.

Twin study method is a research method for examining genetics and environment influences on the medical and behavioral characteristics’ (Nancy, 56). Twin study tries to establish whether genes play a major role in our ability to understand and manipulate social relationships. It tries to compare two most common genetic designs.These include Mono zygotic (MZ) and Di zygotic (DZ) twins which are from the same family. Mono zygotic twins share almost all genetic make ups while Di zygotic twins only share half of the composition of the genes. Twin study method addresses questions such as what effects do environmental factors have on the twin similarities and twin differences.

(GWA) study which stands for Genome –wide association is a method that seeks to establish the components of common human diseases and recent advances in the next generation technologies’ (Nancy, 203). The study has been used to identify genetic variations which are susceptible to diseases and other physiological traits such as an individual’s, age height and hair color contributing to it.

Social behaviors studied and reported in the article

There are various social behaviors which have been reported in this article.Mentions in the article include: empathy, social stress and aggression, popularity, parenting, leadership and politics and finally music.They have been looked at into details and how some of these social behaviors are influenced by the trends.

Empathy

By definition empathy is one’s ability to accommodate other people’s feelings. The study was conducted by Knafo and friends were contributors. Major contributions to empathy are genes and environmental factors. Between 14 and 20 months no genetic influences were found to impact empathy.While between 24 and 36 months strong environmental factors influenced changes. Overall both genetics and environmental factors contributed to the change in empathy and at the same time changes were noted during the child’s growth.

Latest studies designed to examine the role of specific genes contributing to empathy tested a single intronic previously associated with autism and maternal sensitivity which found lower behavioral and dispositional empathy’. (Craig, 356)

Social stress and aggression

Social stress is defined as the social contact and its influences on human and animal behavior. On the other hand aggression has been defined as individual independent reaction towards a particular thing. Aggression has a major contribution to an individual’s success in the future encounters. Twin studies have revealed that over 50% in aggressive traits is accounted for heredity’ (Craig, 449). A rise in the test hormone levels linked with dominance and competitiveness is as a result of aggression of an individual.

Music

Music is the universal language of mankind’ (Longfellow, 463). The twin study suggests that a way of looking at whether an individual has music genes in them is to look at whether the person uses music as a tool for communicating.

Parenting

This is the other human behavior looked at.parenting is usually as a result of forces behind one’s empathy. Twin studies have shown that parenting is a hereditary trait because there is a correlation between genes and environment in relation to the mother and father attitudes to parenting. Life history behaviors have influences on decisions such as how long to last the relationships, how many children to have and the trend for multiple mating.

Politics and leadership

Politics and leadership is another human behavior looked at in this article. It explains that leadership is influenced by genetic variables which associated with desire to achieve and lead. The study also finds that moderate leadership heredity is found in women. In twin studies it suggests that liberal and conservative ideologies are hereditary.

Popularity

This is the next human behavior explained in the article into details. Popularity has been defined as an individual’s urge to be recognized by a certain majority for what they do. Rogers has stated popularity as the easiest thing to achieve and at the same time to be the most difficult thing to achieve.Popularity is usually geared towards social and economic benefits. An individual’s economic social decision may be fairly or selfishly motivated. Selfish motives may be out to exploit other parties who are involved.

Two economic game plans have been used to explain how popularity works. First in the dictator game (DG) economic game plan ,the ‘dictator’ makes a decision to distribute money between himself and a second party ‘ the recipient ‘.since the recipient is completely powerless ,the allotment of money by the dictator can be seen as a measure of pure humanity’ (Longfellow ,501).In another experimental economic game plan known as ultimate game plan(UG) addresses a tradeoff between selfishness and fair play.In this situation involving two parties , first participant proposes a split sum of money while the second proposes whether to accept it. If the players do not accept it they receive no money. Proposals are usually on 60%-40% basis and if there is a selfish motive the other subject gets a minimum amount.

References

Craig, Albert. Human genetics and social behaviors. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. Print

Epstein, Forsyth. Leadership and politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007. Print.

Longfellow, Robert. Human behavior. New York: Rutledge, 2006.Print.

Nancy, Hullo. Cultural, Political, historical and Social Aspects. New York: Wordsworth Publisher, 2004.Print. Patricia. East

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Genetics of Human Social Behavior." May 8, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genetics-of-human-social-behavior/.

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