Nature and Nurture in Psychology

Topics: Intelligence quotient, Nature versus nurture, Black people Pages: 7 (2070 words) Published: March 20, 2011
Name : Mavin Ochola Waganda

Topic : Nature and nurture of Psychology

Table of Contents
Nature and Nurture3
The three distinctive schools of thoughts3
Nature and our Biology4
Nurture and our Behavior4
Black and Whites in 17th centaury5
Nurture and the Inborn6
Children perspective7


Nature and nurture issue has its root far back in the seventeenth century when psychologist wanted to know more about psychology. Before we even start discussing this big issue that has brought a lot of argument amongst scholars, it is important first of all to understand psychology itself and how it is related to nature and nurture. According to (G.Myers, 2001), he defined psychology as the science of mental process and observable behavior. He derives this refined definition from psychologists in the 1960s after debate of how psychology should be defined in which they came to a conclusion that it should encompass the behavior aspect of it and the mental processes that infer our behavior. To explain further, behavior is any activities that can be observed and recorded and the mental process is the internal subjective experience we can infer from behavior.

Nature and Nurture

The three distinctive schools of thoughts

After getting a little glimpse about psychology, we should now get to know what nature and nurture is. (Ateel, 2006) Explain three possible ways of how different category of people may analyze the personality in us. These include those who believe personality is natural, personality is nurtured, and personality is spiritual. With the nature aspect group, they believe that your personality is as a result of evolutionary process. You inherit behaviors due to complex interaction of genes. They control your behaviors. So you don’t have a free will to act otherwise. The nurture group argues that you don’t get your personality inherited. Your mind is a blank slate at your birth. It is your environment, education and culture that make up your behaviors. The spiritual group claims that your personality is result of neither nature nor nurture. It is gift of some deity. They are split on the issue of ‘free will’.

Nature and our Biology

According to our psychology lecturer A.Nzangi (2010), she explained that nature is what makes our biology. In her lecture, she argues that our biology is composed of genes - present in the human chromosome - from our parents where they contribute twenty three chromosomes each. All these chromosomes bring about a particular kind of body development. For example, one gene may have to do with the shape of the face, another length of limbs, and another, the color of the skin. With my further reading on the same topic, I came to learn that this chromosome lie in pair and each pair is made up of a dominant gene and a recessive gene. It should be noted that there is an advantage of having the genes in pair, this is according to (Sorenson, Malm, & Forehand, 1971) , because if the effect of one gene in a pair is harmful, the other gene is often a good one and the body develop normally in that respect. By understanding the composition of chromosomes, it will enable us increase our knowledge of how the trait of a parent are carried to their children thus explaining the nature aspect of the big question. The gene that patterned the parents’ structures also pattern the child’s structure, this explain why children resemble their parents; however, each new individual has a different assortment of chromosome from those of their parents, since the pair are made up of one from the father and one from mother; furthermore, each chromosome is a random combination of the genes in each parental pair. The result is that the individual will have a unique chromosome unlike anyone else.

Nurture and our Behavior

Other than the physical traits that we inherit from our parents, do we also inherit behavior...

Bibliography: Ateel, S. A. (2006, 10 27). About us: Personality and Aptitude Career test. Retrieved 1 28, 2011, from Personality and Aptitude Career test web site:
Cohen, D. B. (1999). Stranger in the nest. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Cramer, R. L. (2001). Creative Power. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Inc.
Myers, D. (2001). Psychology. New York: Worth Publisher.
Lawson, R. B., Goldstein, S. G., & Musty, R. E. (1975). Principle and Methods of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
McClearn, G. E. (1993). Nature, Nurture and Psychology. Journal of Psychology , 9.
Sorenson, H., Malm, M., & Forehand, G. A. (1971). Psychology for living. New York: McGraw - Hill, Inc.
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