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Articles on Nature v nurture

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Don’t look down … do we develop a fear of heights because of past bad experiences or are some of us just born that way? from

Health Check: why are some people afraid of heights?

There are two schools of thought to explain people’s height phobias: evolutionary and behavioural.
Family resemblance isn’t only down to genes, but also to the influence of the environment on those genes. Mitchell Joyce/Flickr

Epigenetics: phenomenon or quackery?

Epigenetics is increasingly used as a buzzword to sell pseudoscientific products, but the truth of epigenetics is even more interesting – and complex – than the quacks claim.
What role do genes have to play? Student test by wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

How genes can influence children’s exam results

The idea that children can inherit the ability to get good results at school can spark heated debate. But, put simply, all this means is that children differ in how easy and enjoyable they find learning…
Many of the genes for maths and reading overlap. Businessman via alphaspirit/Shutterstock

Better at reading than maths? Don’t blame it all on your genes

I disliked and feared maths for most of my school career and dropped it as soon as I possibly could. My mother recalls me crying as a five-year-old because: “I can’t do the people-on-the-bus sums”. If…
Heritability: how much do your genes impact your traits? Jenn Durfey

Explainer: what is heritability?

Schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and autism have all had recent attention for being “genetically caused”. In scientific research being genetically caused usually corresponds to having a high…
Psychologists have debated whether our interests are a result of nature or nurture for more than 100 years. pbkwee/Flickr

Nature v nurture: score one all

So, you’ve got your father’s blonde hair and you were raised in a cricket-mad household and you like cricket. But is it your genes or your childhood that’s responsible for your love of cricket or your…

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