Innate and Learned Behaviors

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Nature is described as innate behavior that we are born with, it involves involuntary responses , such as, jumping when startled, this is a body’s reaction to help protect us from harm. These are behaviors that cannot be changed. Nurture is learned behaviors, we learn these through life experiences from our environment. Learned behaviors can be changed.

Sometimes it is hard to say whether a behavior is innate or learned, such as, thumb sucking, which seems to be innate but may in fact be learned behavior. I feel that behavior is a result of both nature, behaviors we are born with, and nurture, learned behavior. I strongly believe nurture, opportunity and environment,account for way more influence on our life than nature does. I feel that nature is only “beginning behavior” inborn for survival purposes.

Let us look at the different environments people grow up in. It is my strong opinion that family values and resourses are a major influence on peoples behavior. Take for example, a familys income, if a person grows up in poverty, no matter what the familys values or lifestyle, that person has less opportunity to explore his surroundings or be involved in extra curricular activities as a child. Therefore he/she may grow up to be a less well rounded person. That person may grow up with poor self esteem, making them less likely to explore their options as adults.

If a child grows up in an environment where getting a good education is a high family value that child is more likely to pursue higher education than the child that grows up in a family that doesn’t believe that higher education is a necessity for success.

If a child grows up in an environment where the adults are cigarette smokers and don’t put a high value on their health, that child is more likely to copy these behaviors as adults.
If a child grows within a family that puts a high priority on their spiritual well being, that child is more likely to pursue spiritual growth in adulthood.
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