It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Judith Rich Harris calls "No Two Alike" a "scientific detective story." The mystery is why people — even identical twins who grow up in the same home with the same genes — end up with different personalities. ...If parents don't shape children, what does? Harris ...looks for studies that pit the influence of parents against the influence of the larger environment. Children raised in Canada by parents born in Hong Kong become Canadian. When parents have an accent but most of the neighborhood doesn't, their children lose the accent. The village, not the family, prevails. ...Why? Because that's what makes evolutionary sense. If your parents raise you poorly, Harris argues, you're better off diluting the damage. If they dote on you, you're better off adjusting to the tougher social world in which you'll have to find your way. Throughout most of human evolution, parents had little time for children old enough to run around. They learned from one another and from watching adults.
From this evolutionary logic, Harris builds a theory of personality based on three systems in our brains. The socialization system absorbs language, customs and skills, making us more alike. Mommy and Grandma wear dresses; you're a girl, so you want a dress too. The relationship system distinguishes people so we can deal with each one appropriately. Crying gets milk from Mommy but not Grandma; Billy is gentle, but Bobby hits people. Even random differences are important: Anne helped you with your homework, but her twin sister owes you a dollar. You find ways to tell people apart because you have to. ...Your socialization system figures out how to conform to your group. Your relationship system figures out how to get along with each person. Your status system figures out how to compete. It monitors people's reactions, gathering information about how smart, pretty, weak or talented they think you are. It looks for virtues, activities and occupations at which you're most likely to best your peers. It notices tiny differences between the way people regard you and the way they regard others in your peer group, or even your twin. By choosing pursuits based on these differences, it magnifies them. It drives you to be different.
The reason parental influence doesn't control children's behavior outside the home is that they adjust to context. "Children are capable of generalizing — of learning something in one context and applying it in another — but they do not do it blindly," Harris observes. At home, where you're the younger sibling, you yield. At school, where you're one of the bigger kids, you don't. And unlike other animals, you can shuffle your self-classifications. In seconds, you can go from acting like a girl to acting like a child to acting like a New Yorker. ...In short, the evolutionary logic that makes us different from one another will gradually make us different from ourselves, context by context. Personality — behavior that is "consistent across time and place," as one textbook puts it — will fade.
'No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality'
The facts are kids who have been abused, physically, mentally, and sexually will become anti-social and try drugs, AND often turn to drugs to medicate themselves because of their issues.
Originally posted by Excitable_Boy
It's a bit naive to think that the only reason kids turn to drugs and anti-social behavior is because of abuse. Plenty of well brought up individuals and intelligent individuals end up using drugs. Some abuse them and some don't. The abusers usually have addictive personalities
Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Good article, and good material for discussion.
The pollution/chemical saturation issue you raised after the article, Sofi, is a valid one. Industrial byproducts have a way of popping up in consumer goods produced by affiliates and umbrella-mates in the business world - not even counting the enormous impact (thousands upon thousands of tons year after year) on the environment we have to live in.
People will either realize and take steps to protect themselves, or they won't.
I don't know what's stopping people from taking control of their own destiny, the information is out and available. People could be making much better decisions, but the persist in seeking comfort and expediency over the more difficult alternatives.
Originally posted by DeusEx
Meth is possibly the worst thing you can put in your body. One hit, and you can very easily be addicted for life. In some area, meth users account for 70% of property crime and 60% of total crime.
Originally posted by mrwupy
I wonder about the gene factor. I share the same genes as my brother and we are as differant as night and day.
Originally posted by bsl4doc
You're in luck, you do NOT share the same genes as your brother.
Oh well. It's done. But ya gotta not take bsdoc so seriously. She is a good scientist and a fine person once you get to know her, but all that stuff is still only a small part of a very big picture. And every little piece is important - even that pesky anecdotal evidence so oft dismissed in the hallowed halls.
Also I think the addictive personality is just a label that has become an excuse, of heard so many people after a drug binge just blame it over and over again on their so called addictive personality. To me that is just a lame excuse for someone who needs help.