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Behavior Genetics

Behavior genetics is a contemporary discipline that attempts to answer the centuries-old debate of whether nature or nurture is the essential influence on people’s behavior. In 1690, English philosopher John Locke contended that people’s minds were born like a blank slate (tabula rasa) and experience was the sole determiner of behavior. The blank slate notion continued through the early 20th century by the Behaviorist movement in psychology, as typified by psychology professor John Watson, who declared boldly in 1930,

Give me a dozen healthy infants … and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and yes, even beggar-man and thief, ...

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