Nature, Nurture, & Psychology

Nature, Nurture, & Psychology

Nature, Nurture, & Psychology

Nature, Nurture, & Psychology

Excerpt

The modern origins of genetic research in psychology began over 125 years ago with the work of Francis Galton, who coined the phrase "nature and nurture" to refer to the two major sources of individual differences—genetics and environment. Although progress in research was slow in the century following Galton, during the past decade, the pace of advances has accelerated dramatically as genetics has begun to flow into the mainstream of psychological research. This is a propitious time for a book that introduces psychologists to genetic research because researchers are witnessing the culmination of a century of slow progress toward gaining acceptance.

That acceptance has been hastened by several critical discoveries made recently by genetic researchers about the origins of individual differences, including differences in cognitive abilities and disabilities, differences in personality, and differences in psychopathology. But the reader need not take our word on this. The chapters in this book provide summaries of current findings written by some of the top researchers in these fields.

As researchers begin looking toward the new century, they can better set their course by taking stock of past efforts and considering future challenges. With that goal in mind, we have organized this book to provide an overview of the past, a summary of the present, and a glimpse of the future of genetic research in psychology. This information is offered in seven parts, with the first recounting the history of the field and the last examining future options. Of the five parts that lay in between we will say little because they are ably introduced by section editors who discuss both the conquests and the controversies that are presented therein.

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