Discussion Essay

As you know, we are thinking this week about how factors such as genetics, environment(s), and brain maturation impact teen emotions and behaviors. I hope you have enjoyed reading the Epstein (2007) and Harris (1998) articles. Each of these authors writes with flair. In fact, I hope you had fun finding Harris’ snarky comments throughout her chapter.

I also hope that you were able to view the documentary Three Identical Strangers and that you found it informative to your thinking about both the nature/nurture debate as well as the topic of research ethics.

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In your discussion groups, I want you to draw from these resources as well as your personal experiences or observations to respond to this two-part prompt:

(1) Choose one of the readings or the documentary. Identify one assumption about human behavior that is challenged in that piece. How does this piece push us to think more critically about the factors that influence human development?

(2) Furthermore, how do you respond to the final line of Harris’ chapter: “It’s time to look for another alternative, None Of The Above” (p. 50)? What additional factors—besides genetics, parents, home environment, and brain development—do you think should be considered as we think about human development?

For full credit, your response should be well developed—approximately 300 words (going over is okay). Please write your response in Word or another program and run Spell Check, etc. before copy and pasting it into the space below. Return to the discussion board to respond to a peer’s post. Your original post is worth up to 4 points, and your response to a peer is worth up to 1 point. (See the full grading rubric by selecting “Show Rubric” from the pull-down menu to the upper right.)

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