top-rated free essay

The Greate Debate: Nature vs. Nurture

By tchristie Mar 12, 2011 715 Words
The Great Debate: Nature vs. Nurture
Intro

The Debate

The great nature versus nurture debate is one of the oldest controversial issues. Some people would prefer to call this issue heredity versus environment. To this day, psychologists ask whether a child’s development is governed by a pattern built in at birth or if experience shapes a child’s behavior. On the nature side of the philosophical argument, theorists believe that learning depends largely on genetics. On the nurture side of the argument, theorists believe that the environment plays a huge part in the developmental learning process of a child. However, there are theorists who are stuck in the middle and feel that both nature and nurture play a role in the learning process of a child. “Development is shaped by both biology and experience-both are equally important” (Dickstein, 2007, p.1). Nature

Around the world, scientists have researched the connectivity and/or division of the ways in which nature and nurture affect human behavioral development. They have posed the question of which, nature or nurture, is more significant than the other. According to F. Fukayama, “The only problem with the idea that identities are socially constructed and that human behavior can be molded at will is that it does not appear to be true. Slowly but surely, evidence has been accumulating over the past generation to the effect that human behavior is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance. Biology and culture interact in complex ways, limiting the freedom with which human identities can be manipulated either by individuals or by societies.” Some researchers believe that most human behaviors are socially constructed while others believe that human behaviors are inherent. We as a society must determine which research will make sense in how we should perceive the natural process of human development. How will we as a society really know whose research is actually right? Nurture

For a child born into extreme poverty some theorists believe that nurture makes a bigger difference in intelligence than nature ("Revisiting Nature Vs. Nurture," 2004). An experiment was conducted about this issue by a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The experiment involved 319 pairs of twins. The study assessed IQ, weighed genes against environment and was published in the book, The Bell Curve. (Education Week, 23(2) 1,16). Seven years after the experiment was conducted, researchers administered the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. The differences were then examined between the twins who were raised in poor environments compared to those who were raised in adequate ones. The professor concluded that genetic makeup explains most of the differences in intelligence for children in wealthier families, but for minority children in low-income homes, environment makes a bigger difference. The study conducted by the researchers say that it explains early childhood programs such as Head Start and provides some explanations for the poorer performance of African American students on intelligence tests. Taking a New Direction

While the longstanding nature versus nurture debate argues that either genetics or environment must have the upper hand influence on human development, recent findings propose the two operate simultaneously. Rather than continue calling the argument 'nature versus nurture', researchers have begun using phrases such as ‘nurture through nature', or 'nature in nurture'. One pair of researchers offers, "Once in motion, nature and nurture function as a union within the person, rather than two separate entities" (Dai & Coleman, 2005, Nature in Nurture section, ¶ 1). This implies a major shift in thinking regarding human development. Looking more deeply into the infinite number of genetic and environmental combinations influencing human development allows far greater avenues of behavior and learning pattern explanation.

References
Dai, D. Y., & Coleman, L J (Spring 2005). Introduction to the special issue on nature, nurture, and the development of exceptional competence. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 28, 3-4. p.254(16). Retrieved April 08, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale: http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS Dickstein, S. (2007, March). Infant mental health: Babies on the couch?. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 23(3), 1-6. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Revisiting Nature vs. Nurture. (2004). Gifted Child Today, 7(1), 1. Retrieved April 10, 2008 from General Gale database.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • The Nature vs Nurture Debate

    ...CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NATURE/NURTURE DEBATE WITHIN PSYCHOLOGY The debate between the influences of our biology and genetics (nature) versus our environment (nurture) on human behaviour is long standing within psychology. The phrase nature-nurture was first used in 1874 by Francis Galton in his publication ‘Men of Science: Their Nature and N...

    Read More
  • Nature vs Nurture

    ...Nature vs Nurture “While each child is born with his or her own distinct genetic potential for physical, social, emotional and cognitive development, the possibilities for reaching that potential remain tied to early life experiences and the parent-child relationship within the family” (Weissbourd, 1996). When a baby is born, that chil...

    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture

    ...how adoption and twin studies have influenced the nature versus nurture debate. Due date: 2nd May 2013 Name: Veronica Pedersen Student ID: S2858555 Tutor: Mr Riyad Rahimullah Words: 1370 When determining and discussing the question “how adoption and twin studies have influenced the nature versus nurture debate” it is importa...

    Read More
  • The Nature vs. Nurture Debate

    ...The nature versus nurture debate is of constant discussion amongst psychologists today. In the 17th century the French philosopher Rene Descartes set out views which held that people possess certain inborn ideas that enduringly underpin people's approach to the world (Bee, p.3). On the other hand, the British philosopher John Locke took a more e...

    Read More
  • Nature Versus Nurture Debate

    ...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-cul...

    Read More
  • Nature Vs Nurture Essay

    ...Maggie Kent 3/27/14 Child Development p.3 Nature vs. Nurture Nature vs. Nurture There is a constant battle between researchers from different fields saying almost all traits come from genetic makeup and that traits are based off of the environment a person is living in. When it comes down to the argument of nature versus nurture, there is no...

    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture

    ...Nature Vs. Nurture For centuries psychologists have argued over which plays the larger role in child development, heredity or environment. One of the first theories was proposed in the seventeenth century by the British philosopher John Locke. Locke believed that a child was born with an empty mind, tabula rasa (meaning "blank slate") and tha...

    Read More
  • Nature vs. Nurture

    ...Virtual Child Paper: Nature vs. Nurture I have always held the belief that Nature v Nurture is not a zero-sum game. To steal a line from T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men, I believe humans are born into this world a “shape without form.” That shape, of course, is our nature; the sum of our genetic mak...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.