Innate and Learned Behaviour

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 347
  • Published : May 17, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Question- In your own words, detail the ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments with regard to innate and learned behaviour. Feel free to include your own opinion, but be sure to justify it. Try to include an equal amount of information for both sides. Use at least 500 words for your answer. (30)

Behaviour is a directed response to the environment. There are two types of behaviour: INNATE and LEARNED. Nativists believe that a child’s behaviour is innate. Innate behaviour is defined as natural and instinctive. It is the behaviour present at birth; the instinctive, fixed, unchanging behaviour that is inherited. Reflexes are innate behaviour, and infants are born with several. A reflex is an automatic, involuntary response to a specific stimulus some of this includes swallowing, coughing and blinking. Theses reflexes enable the baby to protect itself, and are simple and quick responses which our bodies do automatically. For example, when food is in the wind pipe, the response will be to cough, to prevent choking. Or when you get a puff of air to the eye, you will automatically blink to protect the lens; another example is the production of saliva when there is food in the mouth. These physiological reflexes will stay with a person for their lifetime. Instincts are more complex, inborn behavioural patterns that can be modified very little, if at all. For example, newly hatched Sea turtles on a beach will automatically move toward the ocean. They have no prior experience of this, therefore it is performed instinctively. Spiders building a web and captive birds knowing how to fly without being ‘taught’ are all examples of this. Learned behaviour is not inherited but is flexible and can be changed. The Empiricists believe that these behaviours must be learned and are influenced by the child’s experiences in their environment. It is a behaviour that was observed by an individual and found to be beneficial to them in some way. There's a motivating factor behind it. Also, it...
tracking img