The Nature-Nurture Debate
Psychologists argue about whether a human’s development is more related to the environment (nature) or the people that surround a developing person (nurture). An example of the nature aspect of this debate is attributing a person’s affliction with a mental illness to genetics because that person’s mother or father was also afflicted with the same mental illness. An example of the nurture aspect of this debate is a person’s decision to live on the streets and join a gang because his family members and other people that he or she is surrounded by do the same. This is called the nature-nurture issue. Psychologists apply this debate concept to a person’s likeliness to develop a mental illness, the person’s intelligence level, and their personality type. I believe that people are influenced by both nature and nurture because people take developmental inspiration from their surroundings and their heredity also plays a role in a person’s life choices. A person’s development of a mental illness cannot simply be related to genetics or heredity. A person who develops schizophrenia can do so without a parent who developed the disease as well. At the same time, a traumatic even can cause a person to develop a mental illness. This can be illustrated by a solider returning from war and developing post-traumatic stress disorder that can be life-changing and severe if not treated. The soldier developing post-traumatic stress disorder can do so without having a family history of the disorder. At the same time, a soldier can have a history of post-traumatic stress disorder and return from war without developing the disorder. Certain developmental traits are more influenced by nature. For example, a person’s skin color or features like freckled skin are genetic. On the other hand, some developmental traits are more influenced by nurture. If a person grows up in a bilingual household, the person is more likely to become fluent in both languages. Similarly,...
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