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A devil, a born devil, on whose nature


A devil, a born devil, on whose nature. Nurture can never stick: ... Prescientific Notions of Inheritance. Selective breeding (10,000 years) Greeks. Aristotle ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A devil, a born devil, on whose nature

Psychology 5-137
Topic 1 Introduction Historical Overview
  • A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
  • Nurture can never stick On who my pains
  • Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost,
  • And, as with age, his body uglier grows,
  • So his mind cankers.
  • Prosperos description of Caliban
  • Tempest (Act 4, Scene 1)

Collins 1999 Shattuck Lecture
1.0 0.3
1.0 1.0 1.0
Risks based on Smith, G.D. et al. (2006). Genetic
epidemiology and public health Hope, hype and
future prospects. The Lancet, 366 1484-1498
Collins, F.S. (1999). Shattuck Lecture Medical
and Societal Consequences of The Human Genome
Project. NEJM, 341 28-36
  • Behavioral genetics - that area of psychology
    that is concerned with the application of genetic
    methods and research designs to study the nature
    and origins of individual differences in human
    and animal behavior.

Prescientific Notions of Inheritance
  • Selective breeding (10,000 years)
  • Greeks
  • Aristotle
  • Platos ideal society
  • Jews
  • X-linked inheritance of hemophilia

Pre-Darwinian Foundations
  • Linneaus (1735)
  • Natural Theology
  • Erasmus Darwin (18th century)
  • Jean Lamarck (18th century)
  • Charles Lyell (19th century)
  • Thomas Malthus (18th century)

Charles Darwin
  • Natural selection
  • w/i species variation was not error
  • Variation is transmitted (inheritance)
  • Differential reproductive success
  • gt changes in the genetic composition of the
    species reflecting those who contributed most to
    the gene pool
  • In the distant future I see open fields for far
    more important researches. Psychology will be
    based on a new foundation.
  • C. Darwin (1859)

Sir Francis Galton
  • Founder of
  • Behavioral genetics
  • Differential Psychology
  • Biometry
  • Eugenics
  • Hereditary Genius (1869)
  • First human behavioral genetic investigation

Hereditary Genius
Rate of Eminence
Nature-Nurture Debate
  • There is no escape from the conclusion that
    nature prevails enormously over nurture when the
    differences in nurture do not exceed what is
    commonly to be found among persons of the same
    rank in society and in the same country.
    (Galton, 1876)
  • Of all the vulgar modes of escaping from the
    consideration of the social and moral influences
    on the human mind, the most vulgar is that
    attributing the diversities of human conduct and
    character to inherent original natural
    differences. (Mill, 1848)

Eugenics Movement
  • Eugenics - science that seeks to promote
    genetic/biological improvement of human society
    by influencing who does and does not reproduce.
  • Quote - if talented men were mated with
    talented women, of the same mental and physical
    characters as themselves, generation after
    generation, we might produce a highly-bred human
    race - Galton (1865)
  • Prominent Proponents Theodore Roosevelt,
    Winston Churchill, Margaret Sanger, John Maynard
    Keynes, George Bernard Shay, H.G. Wells,
    Charles Dight from Minnesota

Gregor Mendel
  • First Law -- Law of Segregation -- account for
    the transmission of single characters.
  • Second Law -- Law of Independent Assortment --
    account for the joint transmission of two (or
    more) characters.
  • Rediscovered in 1900 by deVries (Holland)
    Correns (Germany) and Tschermak (Austria)

Landmarks in Human Genetics
  • William Bateson (1905) - genetics
  • Wilhelm Johansen (1909) - gene, genotype and
  • Garrod (1902) - genes control metabolic processes
  • Fisher (1918) resolved mendelian vs galtonian
    controversy (biometrical genetics)
  • Watson Crick (1953) - DNA molecule (molecular
  • Tjio Levan (1956) - 46 chromosomes
  • Chromosome mapping, linkage 1950s (genetic
  • Human Genome Project 1990 2001 (2005)
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