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What makes us tick?

Peter Kinderman introduces us to the nature vs nurture course and discusses what makes us tick

This course has been designed to make you think, and hopefully think differently. So we have chosen some challenging and very contrasting scientific papers that we hope will provoke and stimulate thought. It’s through these papers and not through the short videos that we expect you to learn.

Having said that… it’s always good to set some context for complex writing. So, as well as offering some more straightforward introductory materials, we have also prepared some brief videos that will set the scene, introduce the ideas, and illustrate the ways in which you might begin to think about the ideas we’re discussing.

In this first brief video, I introduce one of the fundamental questions about our mental health; nature or nurture? That could simply mean something like; are mental health problems the result of biological processes (nature) or social in origin (nurture)? Are they the result of biological abnormalities or are they the result of life events or other environmental factors? Or, to be a little more specific, is the variance that we see in terms of mental health a result of variance in biological or social factors? That is, can we explain the differences between people’s mental health in terms of differences in biology (different people having different genetics, or different biochemistry) or differences in the experiences they’ve been exposed to?

What will you learn, and what should you do?

Watch the video, think about how much you already know about psychology, and think about what aspects of psychology you need to learn about (or revise).

Feel free to post comments below with what you think you already know, and what you’d like to know more about.

Peter Kinderman

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Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

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