A new study is suggesting where you live has a massive impact on whether nature or nurture's effect is most influential. It's been a long time debate already and hopefully this one solves it.
The research is published in Molecular Psychiatry, and it studied over 13,000 pairs of twins litered across the UK, and they analyzed 45 childhood characteristics from IQ and hyperactivity to height and weight. The researchers found that genetic and environmental contributions to these characteristics varied with geography.
Researchers from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry followed the twins—all of whom were born between 1994 and 1996 and carried out tests to assess a wide range of cognitive abilities, and behaviourl traits and academic achievement while noting the geography of their location.
They then crunched the data collected to calculate if genetic or environmental impacts had more effect before plotting the results onto maps. According to Oliver Davis, one of the researchers:
"Take a trait like classroom behavior problems. From our maps we can tell that in most of the UK around 60% of the difference between people is explained by genes. However, in the South East genes aren't as important: they explain less than half of the variation. For classroom behavior, London is an 'environmental hotspot'.
"The nature-nurture maps help us to spot patterns in the complex data, and to try to work out what's causing these patterns. For our classroom behavior example, we realized that one thing that varies more in London is household income. When we compare maps of income inequality to our nature-nurture map for classroom behavior, we find income inequality may account for some of the pattern.
"Of course, this is just one example. There are any number of environments that vary geographically in the UK, from social environments like health care or education provision to physical environments like altitude, the weather or pollution. Our approach is all about tracking down those environments that you wouldn't necessarily think of at first."