Innate and Learned Behaviour in Children

Topics: Reflexes, Psychology, Human behavior Pages: 2 (517 words) Published: November 6, 2010
Innate and Learned Behaviour

The concerning debate of inborn biological factors and the contrasting aspect of environmental issues, has been applied to many areas of physcology and development. The debate concerning nature and nurture has indeed become a central and enduring feature within developmental physcology. It addresses whether it is someones innate biological nature that influences behavioural patterns, or if it is life experiences and nurture from their social surroundings.

The nativists believe that some areas of behaviour are innate and argue that we inherit some of the qualities which decide what kind of person we will be. They believe that our behaviour is mostly due to our genetics.

However, the people who believe that some behaviour is learnt [a group called Empircists], argue that the nativists believe that a childs development is influenced more with the care and the attention in which they receive during their chidhood. This is called "Socialisation". For example, a child does not have to be taught how to cry. If we look back to the war times, the people in hiding could not allow their babies to cry or else they would be found.

They may also say that sleep can also be taught. An example of this is a baby does not have to be picked up and cuddled as soon as they start to cry, the baby would soon learn to go back to sleep itself. Examples have shown babies instinctively know what to do. We know that if we put objects to a babies mouth they will try to suck. Secondly babies will automatically grab things that touch the palm of their hands and finally they will try to stiffen their legs when you hold them as if they are standing.

I feel many of the reflexes are inborn into babies. I noticed the moro reflex and rooting reflex in particular with my three children, that although these reflexes seem to get less and less over a short period of time, they seem to be re-learnt again in later life.

Babies of a very young age,...
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