Role of Genetics in Behavioural and Mental processes

Role of Genetics in Behavioural and Mental processes

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Role of Genetics in Mental and Behavioural Processes

The DNA forms the basic unit of heredity in all living things, especially humans. However, massive difference occurs due to the unexplainable genetic information that each person carries. On the other hand, it has been found that identical twins carry the same genetic coding and yet they may exhibit different critical thinking characteristics. This is to mean that one may be smarter than the other, at the same time, one may be prone to such diseases like cancer or disorders like autism and yet the other is okay. Science has not yet identified the cause for these differences but it has come up with myriads of theories. Psychology is a discipline that deals with learning of human behavioural changes and mental processes. However, biological explanations in genetic is used to strengthen the psychological theories and dimensions on behavioural differences and mental processes in people. I want to prove whether the hypothesis that “Genetics is responsible for human personality in terms of mental and behavioural changes” is true.

In the documentary video, Ghosts in our Genes, a scientific view on the role of genetics in the future life of humanity has been examined and argued. A dilemma is presented on how the discrete aspects of heredity, called genes, teds to work especially in a situation where the same set of genes in different human beings exhibit different genetic information, for example in identical twins (CosmoLearning, 2007). This begs the question whether genetics is a dependent or independent variable in behavioural and mental process differences. However, one this is certain, human identity is a dependent variable on gene composition.

On the other hand, just like the Ghosts in our Genes outline, there is a chemical switch that exists in our DNA and it is responsible for the on and off genetic flip flop responsible for moulding our personalities. Genetics suggest that there are traits in human genes that get inherited and are responsible for the IQ levels and behavioural changes in human offspring (CosmoLearning, 2007). Another counter argument in psychology suggest that human behavioural changes are independent variables to genetic inheritance but rather rely on one’s environmental experiences. This exhibits a biological and psychology conflicts in human personality development theories.

Mental processes such as intelligence, critical thinking, and reasoning are all cognitive and tend to be attributed more to genetics. According to the documentary, gene regulation is the modern science in distinguishing species, these regulations are known as epigenetic switches. Therefore, the differences in mental processes are attributed to the different epigenetic switches in the genes and their ability to be regulated. Another way to look at it is that a single abnormality in genetic composition may lead to different genetic diseases depending on the different settings that the epigenetic switches are presented.

Looking at the A Tale of Two Mice there is a genetic strain in the mice that eat eats without limit and it tends to lead to cancer, obesity, or diabetes. This is due to an abnormality in their genetic composition that leads to altered epigenetic switches. However, behavioural changes are oriented towards environmental stimuli rather than genetic inheritance (Jones & Jones, 2012). However, some behavioural traits are seen to be genetically inherited through such mental disorders as autism or even bipolar.

In conclusion, genetics has been found to be a dependent variable in mental process and independent in behavioural changes. A Tale of Two Mice and Ghosts in our Genes depict that genetics plays a crucial role in enhancing mental processes that depict human personality through manipulations of epigenetic switches in the gene. The hypothesis that genetics is responsible for human personality is thus true.


CosmoLearning. (2007). Ghost in our Genes (2007) | CosmoLearning Biology. Retrieved from

Jones, J., & Jones, O. (2012). Regeneration, a Tale of Two Mice. Annals of Paediatric Rheumatology, 1(4), 205. doi:10.5455/apr.121120121055

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