Nature Versus Nurture Debate

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The nature versus nurture debate is one of the oldest and most controversial issues in Psychology. The nature versus nurture debate revolves around the contributions of genetic factors and environmental factors to human development. The primary method of attempting to determine which of these effects human development the most has been cross-cultural studies. Cross-cultural studies are studies conducted across more than one culture, based on the assumption that the differences between cultures genetically are less that the differences within a culture. Through cross-cultural studies, Psychologists are able to determine whether nature or nurture has the paramount effect upon the three major segregations of human development, Cognitive, Moral and Physical development. Development can be defined as the growth or advancement of a specific area, in this case, the growth or advancement of the body and its mental capabilities. Physical development refers to the changes that occur in the size, shape, proportion, appearance, motor skills and co-ordination of humans. Moral development refers to the changes in reasoning about moral issues such as the value of human life/property, honesty and social rules. Cognitive development refers to the changes in cognitive abilities such as memory, language and imagination. Cross-cultural studies allow researchers to study the influences of environment (nurture) and genetic factors (Nature) like they would be able to do in a twin study, but without the added inconvenience twin studies cause. Numerous inconveniences come with twin studies such as low availability of twins willing to participate and also finding twins that have been reared apart so that their development cannot be due to the same environmental factors. Although cross-cultural studies do have their limitations, their contribution to the nature versus nurture debate within society is undeniable as they strongly emphasise how imperative environment is in human development....
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