<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Another perspective on the interaction between genes and the environment is the concept of genetic environmental correlation    . Stated simply, our genes influence our environment, and our environment influences the expression of our genes ( [link] ). Not only do our genes and environment interact, as in range of reaction, but they also influence one another bidirectionally. For example, the child of an NBA player would probably be exposed to basketball from an early age. Such exposure might allow the child to realize his or her full genetic, athletic potential. Thus, the parents’ genes, which the child shares, influence the child’s environment, and that environment, in turn, is well suited to support the child’s genetic potential.

Two jigsaw puzzle pieces are shown; one depicts images of houses, and the other depicts a helical DNA strand.
Nature and nurture work together like complex pieces of a human puzzle. The interaction of our environment and genes makes us the individuals we are. (credit "puzzle": modification of work by Cory Zanker; credit "houses": modification of work by Ben Salter; credit "DNA": modification of work by NHGRI)

In another approach to gene-environment interactions, the field of epigenetics    looks beyond the genotype itself and studies how the same genotype can be expressed in different ways. In other words, researchers study how the same genotype can lead to very different phenotypes. As mentioned earlier, gene expression is often influenced by environmental context in ways that are not entirely obvious. For instance, identical twins share the same genetic information ( identical twins    develop from a single fertilized egg that split, so the genetic material is exactly the same in each; in contrast, fraternal twins    develop from two different eggs fertilized by different sperm, so the genetic material varies as with non-twin siblings). But even with identical genes, there remains an incredible amount of variability in how gene expression can unfold over the course of each twin’s life. Sometimes, one twin will develop a disease and the other will not. In one example, Tiffany, an identical twin, died from cancer at age 7, but her twin, now 19 years old, has never had cancer. Although these individuals share an identical genotype, their phenotypes differ as a result of how that genetic information is expressed over time. The epigenetic perspective is very different from range of reaction, because here the genotype is not fixed and limited.

Genes affect more than our physical characteristics. Indeed, scientists have found genetic linkages to a number of behavioral characteristics, ranging from basic personality traits to sexual orientation to spirituality (for examples, see Mustanski et al., 2005; Comings, Gonzales, Saucier, Johnson,&MacMurray, 2000). Genes are also associated with temperament and a number of psychological disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia. So while it is true that genes provide the biological blueprints for our cells, tissues, organs, and body, they also have significant impact on our experiences and our behaviors.

Let’s look at the following findings regarding schizophrenia in light of our three views of gene-environment interactions. Which view do you think best explains this evidence?

In a study of people who were given up for adoption, adoptees whose biological mothers had schizophrenia and who had been raised in a disturbed family environment were much more likely to develop schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder than were any of the other groups in the study:

  • Of adoptees whose biological mothers had schizophrenia (high genetic risk) and who were raised in disturbed family environments, 36.8% were likely to develop schizophrenia.
  • Of adoptees whose biological mothers had schizophrenia (high genetic risk) and who were raised in healthy family environments, 5.8% were likely to develop schizophrenia.
  • Of adoptees with a low genetic risk (whose mothers did not have schizophrenia) and who were raised in disturbed family environments, 5.3% were likely to develop schizophrenia.
  • Of adoptees with a low genetic risk (whose mothers did not have schizophrenia) and who were raised in healthy family environments, 4.8% were likely to develop schizophrenia (Tienari et al., 2004).

The study shows that adoptees with high genetic risk were especially likely to develop schizophrenia only if they were raised in disturbed home environments. This research lends credibility to the notion that both genetic vulnerability and environmental stress are necessary for schizophrenia to develop, and that genes alone do not tell the full tale.

Summary

Genes are sequences of DNA that code for a particular trait. Different versions of a gene are called alleles—sometimes alleles can be classified as dominant or recessive. A dominant allele always results in the dominant phenotype. In order to exhibit a recessive phenotype, an individual must be homozygous for the recessive allele. Genes affect both physical and psychological characteristics. Ultimately, how and when a gene is expressed, and what the outcome will be—in terms of both physical and psychological characteristics—is a function of the interaction between our genes and our environments.

Personal application questions

You share half of your genetic makeup with each of your parents, but you are no doubt very different from both of them. Spend a few minutes jotting down the similarities and differences between you and your parents. How do you think your unique environment and experiences have contributed to some of the differences you see?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

their is always a conflict in my mind when I want to make a choice or decision ,even in silly things in day to day life also ,what can I do to keep my mind stble
Rajesh Reply
actually one of my frnd is dwelling very depressed and guilty for the mistake he done...how to make him overcome of such depression and guilty feel...
Mythili Reply
what is the reason makes him so depressed
Lanery
what is his expedition and what is the depressed. and is that what actually your friend did and get some mastake with it?
Asali
there's an anime that I've watched.. the plot is similar to his.. and what the other person do is that he gave him punishments (compensation for what's done) and told him he'd be forgiven for what he did.. though I don't know if it would really work for real..
Princeed
Depression causes a tendency to be in that state. Ask him politely Go very slowly with the person In though process. Focus on the way he is thinking You will find how and why he living in that state. Now you may little bit know the problem. Don't react promptly and dominantly. Be careful with tone.
Vinit
agreed
Princeed
The last discussion abt same sex relationship reached maximum no. of conversation..... so I'm writing here.
Prasuta Reply
What are the consequences for someone of lgbt?
Tara
no... I haven't heard about any such things. @Tara Gutkin
Prasuta
consequences are.... society rejects.. family rejects... friendship & many other relations are lost
Prasuta
consequences are also between you and the other person.. it's either be proud or hide.. to stay or not.. base on the consequences that are on the line.. and how much these things put together.. it's their decision.. (you know, either be affected or not)
Princeed
oops sorry, I misread.. I thought it's "same sex relationship".. but hope you got the point
Princeed
yes.. u read right.. it's "same sex relationship" only.
Prasuta
what is the diferwnce between the to have a sex with someone else where you can get the sex about with is that effect with the relationship with your friend or other?
Asali
please guys i need help what is goning on i need to learn more aboutur conversation.
Asali
man..tbh, it took me minutes to understand your point.. I dun really know much about that topic but if ur gonna ask my opinion.. did u know the hook up culture?, I think that's similar to what ur talkin abt, well although to sex with FRIEND is like to have agreement w/ them.. but to other,.. casual?
Princeed
the conversation started in another conversation box.. and as that is overloaded so.. we are here to continue with it. @Adam.
Prasuta
In your country, your culture, how would you be penalized or possibly harmed for openly expressing your relationship/love for the same gender?
Tara
""consequences are.... society rejects.. family rejects... friendship & many other relations are lost""-- didnt see this. Is staying hidden for the rest of your life, something you would be okay with?
Tara
--the question itself is subjective--
Princeed
if I express my feelings for the same gender, most of the people will go against me, and I will become alone... and as it is illegal in my country.. so..the problem will be greater.. maximum problem will be mental pressure.
Prasuta
no... that I can't stay... at the present, I can't stay alone for a single day in my home... so, surely I can't stay alone for the rest of my life... I want someone
Prasuta
I recommend not to think about "it". but that'd be hard so I think making yourself positive and still doing your responsibilities eg. health,wealth,necessaries would help.. try not to focus so much on the problem.. and listen or read motivators and inspirations..
Princeed
ok... but most of the time I feel the need of someone. What should I do in that case?
Prasuta
well, I really feel that you're going on through something really hard right now (even though I don't know exactly).. I think youd be able to pass that, just like the lyric: "cause we all get lost sometimes you know, it's how we learn and how we grow"..just.. keep holdin' on.
Princeed
you said you need someone/a friend? I think you already got it.. count Tara for example..
Princeed
and wait! a friend suggested me to try "neargroup," an extension in the messenger app wherein you can talk to strangers near you.. and I got a new friend because of that.. just sharing
Princeed
Someone means.. not just frd... more than that...
Prasuta
ok...
Prasuta
If you need someone why don't you try dating apps? There are tons of apps for People who are homosexuals
Himshikha
why is this even a conversation
Luna
ok..
Prasuta
i have a highly functioning anxiety... i don't know how to overcome it now. it won't let me sleep and my heart is pounding hard.
janneth Reply
Hi...I used to have panic attacks a work I can tell you what has helped for me in reversing my anxiety
Asia
yeah sure. i loved that. :<
janneth
believe it or not...Breathing and Meditation helped me...no medication...When you breath deeply it sends messages to your brain that everything is okay therefore your thoughts will align ..I researched proper breathing that helped tremendously
Asia
I'll try that right now. 😭 Thank you very much. You are appreciated.
janneth
anxiety can occur from overthinking and/ or sensory over stimulation..therefore meditation can allow you to free your thoughts without over thinking and judgement ...while providing peace of mind I still practice this daily when I wake up or before bed and really helps me
Asia
you can research breathing first....(the ted talk videos helped me) then meditation as they work hand and hand..hope this helps❤
Asia
physically smiling helps in the same way as breathing
juan
Hi...I am a junior in college for psychology..however in 100% honesty I lack basic knowledge in other areas ..are there any practical Specific recommendations for just General Knowledge
Asia Reply
what
Ylal
im asking for specific recommendations for general knowledge
Asia
i Am really really depressed. please help me!!
Lanery Reply
hlo
Tejinder
hey
janneth
Hi Lanery, I understand what you are going through and it is not an easy process
Asia
i feel u but u should go to therapist that would help better
imen
hey hey... just cheer up guys... what is the cause of your depression Lanery..
sunny
since depression is a psychologicial state..My suggestion would be very basic elements of self care as a first step.Proper rest preferably 8 hours, Eating healthy and exercise... little by little these elements contribute to a healthy mind
Asia
I can relate to depression and this is the major element in what got me through it...From a psychological standpoint the mind takes in elements of self care as self love ...this is when the thoughts process of self love will soon follow and create a cycle of positive thoughts into positive behaviors
Asia
and vice versa
Asia
Im fine with writing but have a severe difficulty in articulating throughts verbally...what can this be and what can I do about it?
Asia Reply
ya me too facing same problem ,I get great thoughts but while writing I can't express them as I thought
Rajesh
oh yeah? I wonder what that it is ?...for me its an issue with speaking...but maybe that have a psychological connection between the two
Asia
hi I havw no problems write but have a severe difficulty in articulating my thoughts through speech? what could this be and what can I do about it?
Asia Reply
i had this proplem too but i was trying to read lowdly and that helped me i hope it would help u too
imen
I see
Asia
I have a speech problem though
Asia
you mean you would read outloud ?
Asia
Meditation, journaling means write down ur thoughts n feelings in dairy, reading loudly as suggested.. N give a break before speaking so tht u can think before.. N speak comfortably not instantly like on slow note!!
Lakshika
yes that's it i read newspaper or books outlowd nd that gave the courage to pronounce very well beside i correct my mistakes
imen
when did psychology start?
Charlie Reply
2008
Joe
sorry to interupt. i'd like to ask, what do we call this app we're using? i don't have any idea it just pops up on may notification
janneth
psychology
Richard
to my knowledge
Richard
so is it the same app we're using to study some psychological terms? like it comes out with a sort of a messaging thing?
janneth
hello
shaima
how could i better my future in psychology?
shaima
it's an app with some psychology content along with chat facility to share and discuss ideas and doubts.
sunny
1859 wilhelim wundt
Tejinder
Shaima... you can do it just by learning only..
sunny
I see. How do we come to the chat facility of this app? Where can we find it?
janneth
you will find one block space..at the end of each topic.. 1st you should read one topic and then you can ask questions at end where they have given some space..then people will get pop-up of your question, they will share their answer or view.
sunny
i see. thank you so much! :) sorry for the inconvenience i might have caused.
janneth
Not at all... you made some of my time a bit productive... My pleasure
sunny
Aw. thanks again.
janneth
haha...:-) that's fine. Are you a psychology student ?
sunny
yes. i am a freshman psych student. :)
janneth
can i ask somth?
imen
yea sure
janneth
im English dtudent and i have pschology modulei have problem of realizing how to revize it even though i love psychology
imen
could u give some instructions that would help me to get a good mark
imen
just as much as i want to help you, i'm afraid to say that i don't know yet how am i suppose to respond here (my thoughts maybe wrong so yeah). Maybe some of fellas here could help you. I wish you goodluck!
janneth
thank you i apreciate that
imen
hello plz some one help me with note on need theory...
Abhay Reply
I have a friend whose so close to me we attend the same university but on knowing to me she meets my friends and talk bad about me. sometime she says she prefers others to me. with this kind of behaviour how should I relate with her
kalu Reply
Everyone you call Friend are not..it's something about you she's jealous of..to be clear "something" doesn't mean always mean things...could be the the way your 👪/ Friends love you..your Intelligence, the way you smile, etc.She is Not your friend, she's an" associate" so treat her as such..
Monroe
i have a big dream about my future . but ,my laziness is not permit me to realize them. iam a university under graduate 1st year student. but my hand writing is very bad. i train to improve it from more institution and my self. this my laziness and bad hand writing is a barrier in front of my dream.
shaima Reply
hi am also under gradute 1st year student i am too having lazyness but controlling slowly from 8months my answer to your question is write a note on your why u your getting lazyness and what thoughts u got when ur lazy and write your dream or goal in your room where u can see every time
hari
i follow this one
hari
but one thing when you have big dream or big goal and you have confidence then you will find a way not a excuse think about it, soultion will be in your mind
hari
Being lazy!! It is not this attribute which falling u back. For eg. It is not the alarm which wakes u up.. It is ur responsibilities!!! The day when u accept ur responsibility toward ur passions n dreams, you'll eventually see laziness as a setback n overcome it unknowingly !!!
Lakshika
but my hand writing?
shaima
how i built a better future with confidence etc.
shaima
im a writer and alot of my inspiration comes from soceity and its self can u give me some pointers because ive found my gift
Toni
and i study psychology to widen my views
Toni
thank you hari and lakshika
shaima
iam more train to improve my hand writing in many institutions and my self . but it is very bad always . hand writing is very important role in university examination . because of this i get less mark . so , it is barrier in front of my mark scoring. so could you please help me to improve my
shaima
hand writing
shaima
ok toni
shaima
first, ask yourself if you Really wanna change and.. WHY if so.. start with the mindset that you can do anything and everything..or at least you CAN do it.. then start by making things that makes you go out of your comfort zone (low intensity at first then gradually increase).. remember:your mind
Princeed
but iam more and more try
shaima
in many institutions and myself many years
shaima
remember: your mind(is not always your best friend) is protecting you from possible harms and so it wants you to be comfortable.. and that also connects to why we don't want change especially drastic change in such a small amount of time. my point is..since you've already tried some methods and..
Princeed
and none of it seems to work.. then start with a different mindset, take your time, as they say,"life's not a sprint but a marathon".. do things with your genuine attention and focus, do one aspect of it one at a time and listen or read about different motivators and inspirations.. and lastly, it's
Princeed
and lastly, it's important to know that your surroundings or environment can affect you, REALLY. "if you want something,you gotta make effort for it" -me P.s. sorry for my comment's length.. and remember... YOU ARE AWESOME
Princeed
it is not problem
shaima
thank you for your more valuable advices
shaima
i hope you teach me more valuable points that help in my life
shaima
thank you princeed
shaima
yeah, you're welcome
Princeed
why people suddenly bust into tears in nights or middle of the night?
N. Reply
did they laugh uncontrollably to?
Richard
how long have they been doing this?
Richard
Well people are more sensitive after dark, if they burst that means that what they gather (sentiments, ideas, feelings, etc...) are way to much for them and they need a realise... crying products endorphine that make you feel better...
Dani
people are more sensitive after dark? Who told you that?
Richard
is the relaxation Of The body that gets redy for sleep, you are been more relaxed
Dani
yeah ok!
Richard
Can one truly stop loving the person whom they are emotionally attached to?
Jaleesa Reply
listen to td Jakes emotionally abandoned on YouTube
Alexsus
How can someone be the best version of themself?
Fatmata Reply
Best for themselves doesn't guarantee best for other people, so just try be who we are and what best we consider to ourselves to do regardless what other people will say about it.
Hindun
The Golden Rule plus The Commandments.. Wake up & just be without any limitations
Monroe
act like the person you want to be. small steps. don't be fake.
Alexsus
to thy own self be true
Richard
the projection of your truth requires the full throttle of pure and authentique bravery " fortune favors the bold"
Zackaria
be making youre self better all the time.
non
don't forget the couragous
Richard
be without limitations... my old sensi loved that frase lol
Richard
wishes he thought it first lol
Richard
First realise what you are, the real you. Start researching on 'who am I' and when you realize the real you u achieved the real knowledge and you become confident and fearless more over u won't get bored on yourself. You can make better decisions in ur career and life when you realize yourself.
Arjun
already in a career 😊
Richard
psychology
Richard
continuous learning and experiement things and gain more experience. life is all about experiments and experiences.
Arjun

Get the best Psychology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Psychology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask