Nature V. Nurture Debate

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Courtney Sullvian
September 16,2012
Introduction to Psychology
Essay #1

Nature Versus Nurture

The concept of Nature versus Nurture is a scientific argument that has been fought about for centuries. This concept is a debate on heredity (Nature), our genetic inheritance competing with our environmental factors (nurture) and which one influences our development. It is not only debated within the psychological community but even ancient philosophers have affected some of this argument’s underlying principles. An example can include John Locke’s “tabula rasa” theory, which connects directly in support of nurture. Even though this concept has been disputed for centuries, no one has been able to confidently say whether one side can influence development more then the other. Many have come to the unproven conclusion that a combination are needed in order to develop normally.

The nature side of this debate breaks down to the genes we were passed on through our parents. It is defined within the concept as the “foundation” of an individual, our physical and genetic pre-dispositions. This includes all our inherited traits, tendencies within one’s behavior and our inborn abilities/disabilities. People who believe in nature over nurture strongly believe that we don’t have control of the psychological traits we were born with. It is purely out of the individual’s control, just as one cannot decide their eye color or physical features.

The side of nurture is based on society and the environment we are surrounded by. It’s defined as the process by which an individual is raised or brought up, not depending on one’s nature. The big concept that many who support nurture over nature, believe in “tabula rasa” or “blank sheet.” As I mentioned earlier, it was philosopher John Locke who believed that we are born into the world with nothing developed within our minds. It’s through our experiences of life, that we are shaped and formed into the individuals we are...
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