orgtheory.net

the challenge in teaching behavioral genetics

In some of my courses, I will include a lecture or two on behavioral genetics, as a way to let students know about the area of research where we use biological ideas to understand human behavior. I am usually frustrated because students always take away the wrong lesson. Examples:

  • Fabio: Shared parents explain more of the variance than shared family.
  • Students: It’s all genetically determined.

Or:

  • Fabio: Our DNA is a random mix of genes inherited from both parents.
  •  Students: It’s all genetically determined.

Or:

  • Fabio: Shared family doesn’t even explain 50% of the variance in most models, which means that there must be non-family environmental factors at work.
  • Students: It’s all genetically determined.

Or:

  • Fabio: The expression of certain traits can depend on numerous social and environmental variables.
  • Students: It’s all genetically determined.

Oddly, it doesn’t even matter whether it’s a random undergrad who wants to think “its’s all genetically determined” or a cynical soc grad student who thinks all is socially constructed. They both take away the same message! Weird!

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street / Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!

Advertisements

Written by fabiorojas

December 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm

%d bloggers like this: