Nature vs. Nurture

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Chauncie Fisher
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In the studies of human behavior, nature vs. nurture plays a large role in how and why people behave the way they do. It can be argued that how a human behaves can be based on social factors and their environment. That our behavioral aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing can be supported by studies from psychologists such as John Watson and Ivan Pavlov, who explained classical conditioning. This type of conditioning matches an environmental stimulus with a naturally occurring stimulus, like the experiment with Pavlov and his dogs. Then there’s the fact that if our environment didn’t play a part in human traits and behaviors, theoretically the behavior of twins should be the same, which has been proven to be false since many sets of twins have shown to act completely opposite from one another. On a more biological standpoint, our genes are said to also give us our physical traits but our more abstract traits like intelligence, personality, and sexual orientation are also encoded in our DNA.

The nature of social order and its role in human behavior is linked back to sociological theorists such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Talcott Parsons, who all propose different explanations for what a social order consists of. Marx explains the basis of social structure to be the relations of production or economic structure. Durkheim describes it as a set of social norms, while Parsons says it’s a set of social institutions with a pattern of action-oriented cultural values. The principle of extensiveness, one of the key factors of social order, states that the more norms and the more important those norms are to society, the better these norms hold a group together as a whole. For example, it’s easier for the Amish to succeed in upholding their religion and views because their way of life is the norm for their close-knit community. Along the lines of social order, social change refers to the alteration in...
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