The Blank Slate Chapter 3 Analysis

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In Chapter 19 of The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker discusses children which is one of his hot button topics. Pinker opens with a discussion on the nature-nurture debate - a debate pinning biology and environment against each other. Pinker states that Eric Turkheimer declares the debate to be over because he did a study that was completed over and over again, refined, and yielded the same results time and time again. Thus, creating the three laws of behavioral genetics. The first of the three laws is simply, “all human behavioral traits are heritable.” Pinker discusses how behavioral traits are measured, typically through tests like the IQ test, and then the variance is calculated. The variance is the difference from one person compared to the average of the group as a whole. The variance tells how much people are different or similar to each other. Pinker then goes on to explain that heritability is the proportion of …show more content…

Pinker believes socialization plays a role into behavior. He believes that it is peer groups who affected children more so than their families in regards to values and skills. However, he does not think that peers are why a certain child develops their personality. All this to say, children are not blank slates. Children are a product of behavioral genetics and a product of their unique environments. If we use the ideas that Pinker has laid out for us about children and how people become who they are, we can use it as a basis to compare and contrast those ideas with that of Social Exchange Theory. Social Exchange theory is most commonly related to individuals such as Thibuat, Kelly, and Smith. Exchange theory is a theory based upon individuals interactions as a cost/benefit analysis. It is the assumption that individuals will act in ways that result in rewards instead of punishments. Meaning, individuals will modify their behaviors to receive those

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