Nature VS nurture Essay

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Nature VS nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1334

  • Pages: 5

Nature VS nurture

In this piece of work I will describe what nature and nurture are and I will discuss the nature vs. nurture debate in relation to the individual development. What is nature vs. nurture?

There are plenty of factors that motivate our growth and development throughout our life such as: Nature is the theory that our personality, intelligence and our sexual adjustment is inherited by our families DNA. Nature is the environment around us that is argued to change the way we are brought up and behave. Psychologists believe that the environmental factors around us change the way we are not nature around us. Nature can consist of many different things such as: our families DNA, our family’s behaviour while around us, inherited illness -such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes and our sexual orientation. Those who adopt an extreme belief are known as nativists. Their basic assumption is that the characteristics of the individual as a whole are a product of nature and those individual differences are due to each person’s unique genetic code such as their DNA from our families. Even though asthma and diabetes can be inherited through our families DNA, nurture can have an effect on these since if people are smoking in the environment around you, and you’re breathing that smoke into your body, over time this could lead to lung damage which could ultimately end up in an individual developing asthma, living in a polluted area can also affect your lungs. So there are many types of environmental factors that can affect an illness that can be inherited Also nurture can affect somebody developing diabetes as well since the food we are exposed to such as: takeaways and snacks and high calorie fizzy drinks can cause a person to become overweight/obese which will lead to low blood sugars, this can make a person develop diabetes. Nurture is the theory that our personality and our intelligence are learnt by individualism and by our personal experiences. Nurture is linked to your childhood or how you were been taught to be brought up. Nurture is the effect the people in your life had on you growing up. For example this would be the values your parents taught you, like how to behave or speak to people. Nature is the genetics you gained while developing in the womb, like your eye colour, hair colour, hair texture, height and body frame.

Within the nature vs. nurture debate, scientists have carried out studies on twins to see if nature affected how they grew up or changed how they did things. On the second twin they used nurture to see if that changed how an individual did things. Identical twins will often not share the exact same values or beliefs as one and other. If genetically identical twins, were raised in different environments such as: one twin in nature and the other twin in the nurture side of the debate then their physical and behavioural traits would be very different. Psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, who believes that the twin studies that have been done to prove that schizophrenia is genetic is wrong but he does believe that twin studies should be carried out to see how nature and nurture affect people’s upbringing.

Various studies show that genetic factors can affect a human’s health. Scientists suggest that by our genetic make-up can change the way we respond to environmental factors. Francis Galton compared identical twins to non-identical twins to see how nature affected the way they behaved and how they were brought up with the environment around them. Francis Galton debated which side was stronger whether it was nature or nurture by carrying out twin studies, Francis supported the nature side of the debate. Francis carried out twin studies to show the importance of genetics and how DNA affected human’s actions and upbringing. The results from Francis twin studies are that a human behavior’s is down to genetics. Genes cause people not only to have certain physical appearance which is the reason why identical twins look so much alike, but also how they behave, how they develop as a child, and whether they are at risk for inherited diseases or mental health problems.

Meanwhile in the nurture side of the debate, John Watson supported the theory that love, care and individualism can change the way we respond to things in life. John Watson believed we are blank slates at birth and that simply nurture can change the way we are brought up. The most well-known case backed up by nurture was Genie- feral child. Genie was not loved or cared for in her first thirteen years of life. She was tied up to a potty chair and wasn’t allowed to make any noise. If she made any noise she got severely beaten by her father. When Genie was discovered she did not know how to speak and wasn’t able to understand any language. Researchers were very interested in Genie case they discovered her brain waves had abnormal pattern. Researchers were unable to fully understand whether she was born with a learning disability or if her life of abuse had caused her to have such terrible brain damage, but the abuse she suffered would have slowed down Genie developing physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Lastly, even if she had a learning disability, she would have still been affected.

Genie was deprived of everything that nurturing in her life. Love, care, comfort, safety and security were something Genie had never experienced before in her life. But thanks to the researchers Genie started to learn a small part of the English language and she began to build social relationships with doctors This can be compared to the Oxana case. Oxana was born “normal” but she was 3 years old she was living in a dog kennel behind her house where she was cared for by dogs and learned the behavior of dogs and started to act like one. Nurture affected how Oxana developed in the PIES as a young girl. When she was discovered, Oxana found it difficult to manage with normal human social communication since she had been deprived of intellectual and social skills that were suppose to set her up for life her only emotional support had come from the dogs she lived with. Oxana’s lack of exposure to language in a social context made it very difficult for her to improve her language skills. While in these surroundings Oxana learnt this behavior from her only source of company which was the dogs. This is why John Watson believes that nurture changed how Oxana grew up. Nurture is the side john Watson supported. Oxana and Genie link together since they were both deprived of everything nurturing in their young lives. Oxana’s parents were alcoholics and simply could not care for her so they left her outside on one night and Oxana found warmth in a dog kennel. John Watson believed that if Oxana and Genie had a loving and caring home life, none of this would have happened and that they would have grew up as ordinary children. Nurture made genie and Oxana who they were not genetic’s (nature) which Psychologists believe in, this is where Psychologists and John Watson have debated over.

To conclude, the Nature vs. Nurture debate would have affected Amy Winehouse since it would have affected her developing physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially during her entire life. Since the environment round her could have affected her developing in many different ways throughout her life. Etc.

Bibliography
http://healthpsychologyconsultancy.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/nature_vs_nurture2.jpg http://www.scienceaid.co.uk/psychology/approaches/images/twins.png

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Nature vs nurture Essay

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Nature vs nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 834

  • Pages: 3

Nature vs nurture

There has always been a big debate on nature verses nurture. It is a debate that is still going on today. Many psychologist and other professions still trying make an agreement for one or the other. I believe that is it both nature and nurture because it cannot be just one overpowering the other. I believe that both nature and nurture intertwine with one another for every human since birth. Psychologists such as Erickson believed that nature determines the sequence of the stages and it sets the limits within which nurture operates. But is this really true? To me it felt that Erickson believed it intertwined some but he was more on the nature side more. I don’t think nature determines it mainly because nurture could do the same thing. It depends on the situation. One of the psychologists that I agree with the most is Vygotsky. Vygotsky is a developmental psychologist. Most developmental psychologist believe that nature and nurture combine to influence development, biological factor play a stronger role in some aspects of development, such as physical development, and environmental factors playing a stronger role in others, such as moral development. His theories are theories that seem to be more relatable and approachable than the other psychologist who are leaning more to nature or more to nurture. Vygotsky views on cognitive development was Intellectual development can only be understood in terms of a child’s historical and cultural context. Also, Development depends on the sign systems that individuals have available to them. Vygotsky assumed that adults could convey children through conversations how their culture interpret and respond to the world. He believed that every culture has transmitted physical and cognitive tools that are used in daily lives. He believed that thoughts and languages become more interdependent in the first five years of a child’s life. There are complex mental processes that begin as a social activity and child are able to transform the processes that they use in a social activity in their own internalization of activity. He believed that children can perform more challenging activities when they have someone there to help them who are more competent (Ormrod,2008). Around the same time Vygotsky was doing this making his own theories, there was another man who was from Russia as well named, Piaget, who had his own ideas. Piaget and Vygotsky were similar in some ways but they also had some differences. Piaget assumed that children are active and motivated learners. He feels that children are curious about their surroundings. He assumed that children construct knowledge through experience. He believed that they gained this by the physical and social environment, which is critical for cognitive growth. Piaget had his own stages of cognitive development. The first one is sensorimotor, which occurs from birth until the toddler is two years of age. Sensorimotor is when they start forming object permanence and they have progress from reflexive to goal-oriented behavior. Second, the preoperational stage which is from age two to seven years old. This is when they develop the ability to use symbol to represent an object. Third, is concrete operational from ages seven to eleven years of age. They are thinking more logically in this stage. They are less egocentric. Lastly, it is formal operation which starts at eleven and goes to adulthood. They are able to think abstract and can solve problems through a system of experimenting (Ormrod, 2008). I believe what Piaget and Vygotsky had implanted because when I am talking to little kids, it is easier to talk to them to see how they see things. Having that open communication as an adult, I get a feeling on where they are coming from and try to go from there. They are things that the environment cannot teach a child. I feel there are things that are already innate in them while they were in the womb and after they came out. It is very hard to choose that one conquers the other because they play out equally. Weather it is nature or nurture, it is very important when it comes to human development. It is very clear that they play a big role in everyday life and it will continue to play a role until the day that we pass away. I am a firm believer that both nature and nurture plays a role in life. Everything that Piaget and Vygotsky said is very true. Even other psychologists that are more on the nature side or more on the nurture side, they all bring valid points.

References
Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Educational Psychology: Developing Learners, 6th. Upper Saddle, NJ:
Pearson. Merrill, Prentice-Hall.
Slavin, R. (2003). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice and Practice, 7th.
Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Miller, P. (1983). Theories of Developmental Psychology. San Francisco: W.H.
Freeman and Company. Santrock, J.(1996). Child Development. Dubuque, IA: Brown and Benchmark Publishers.

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1375

  • Pages: 6

Nature vs. Nurture

It is a matter of concern whether human behaviors and characteristics are determined by nature or nurture. If a person’s behavior is inherited directly from the genes of his/her parents or other biological factors, then it is the nature that determines his character. But if the environment that a person grew up in, affects his behavior, then it is the nurture that determines his/her character. It became a great matter of controversy among scientists, psychologists and sociologists. Previously, many people believed that human behavior was instinctive. It can neither be taught nor learned. But later some psychologists came to the conclusion that human behavior is learned throughout the lifetime which is not instinctive. I believe that it is the combination of both nature and nurture that determine one’s characteristics. Nature only or nurture only cannot be the determining factors for one’s behavior and characteristic. A person’s behavior is determined by the equal blend of nature and nurture.

Brent Staples in his essay “Black Men and Pubic Space” proves that one’s character cannot always be determined by their race which is a biological factor or one’s upbringing and society. But both the nature and the nurture affect the way one behaves, “I grew up one of the good boys, had perhaps a half dozen fistfights. In retrospect, my shyness of combat has clear sources” (Staples 315). Although the society he lived in was not good, he became a good person. It might be because of his behavior inherited from his parents and the good manner he was taught by his parents. So both nature and nurture by his parents work here and the environment of bad people didn’t affect his behavior. However, he once says that “Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence” (Staples315). This makes the reader little confuse whether he himself is being racist, but he is actually trying to explain that particularly African American males commit crimes more than others because of the environment they grew up in and the choice they made. This may not be because of particularly being a black man, but because of the culture he has adopted since his childhood. Here he somehow takes the side of nurture.

Many black people are assumed to be criminals. People judge them just by their appearance and the impression black people have made in today’s world. But this does not always mean that every black people are criminals and it’s their biological factor that makes them do crimes. We can take the example of Brent Staple. Even though he was an educated and good person, many people and especially white women fear of him. But he was neither an uneducated person nor a criminal. He was brought up in a good family and properly nurtured by his parents. Therefore, nurturing became the factor for his behavior. Similarly, there are examples given by another author Amy Cunningham in her essay, “Why Women Smile”. Although she focuses primarily on a smile, she tends to explain the actual cause of one’s behavior. She explains that a smile or particularly a women’s smile comes from both natural happiness as well as the hope of people living around them, “The behavior seems to be an equal blend of nature and nurture” (Cunningham 190).

She further explains that both a normal baby and a blind baby smiles, although it may take a little longer for the blind one. It means that the smiles are natural and should not be taught in all cases. However, there are situations where people and especially women are social pressurized to smile and show a good behavior even if they don’t want to, “Evidently, a woman’s happy, willing deference is something the world wants visibly demonstrated” (Cunningham 191). It is both natural as well as nurtured along with the situations. For example: It is more likely for a child to be a doctor in the future if his dad is a doctor too. Nature plays an important role here because the intelligence of the child is inherited from his father. But if the child is not given proper care of his education or if the parents encourage him to be something rather than doctor, he may choose other professions too. If the child is given proper care and if he is psychologically prepared that he should be a doctor in the future, nature and nurture plays equal role. There are many debates still going on whether human behavior is affected by nature or nurture.

Many psychologists and scientists are still researching on whether it is one’s genes or the environment that affects one’s behavior. Yes, one’s genes affect their characteristics but the environment they are cultured in also affects the way they take actions. Since childhood, people are taught moral education at school and home. They learn how to talk, behave, act and respond. These all are nurture. If they are given good lessons, they will be able to be good in the future. But if one does not get proper guidance, he will turn out to be a morally bad person. These are the examples of human behavior affected by nurture. When we think about nature, different personality of people develops according to the genetics tendencies. For example it is likely for a person to have the habit of being aggressive if his father or his mother or any of his biological family has the same habit. Also there are many styles of talking, eating or walking that are inherited by one’s parents or biological family.

Paul Theroux somehow agrees the equality of nature and nurture. In his essay “Being a Man”, he explains how nature and nurture has affected a man to be like a man. According to him a girl since her childhood is encouraged to behave in a cute way but a boy is instructed to behave roughly or so called manly, “It begins with mother encouraging little girls to say (to other adults? “Do you like my new dress?” In a sense, little girls are traditionally urged to please adults with a kind of coquettishness, while boys are enjoined to behave like monkeys toward each other.” (Theroux177). This shows how a girl and a boy are nurtured differently which determines their characteristics. Healso takes the side of nature where some different behavior between men and women comes naturally, “Femininity- being lady-like-implies needing a man as witness and seducer: but masculinity celebrates the exclusive company of men” (Theroux177). We can know from this that not only a nature of a girl or a boy separates each other from their behavior but also their parents or the environment or the nurturer encourage them to behave separately. Therefore, the behavior is determined by both nature and nurture.

In conclusion, it can be stated that human behavior are both the result of nature and nurture. One can neither neglect the effect of biological factors one have on them nor disprove the behaviors that are affected by the environment one is living in. It is important for a person to have a good environment even if his biological parents are good in nature. Also, some characters are inherited from genes of one’s parents that might last forever although he is far from his parents. Therefore, both the nature as well as nurture has equal effect on determining human behavior.

Work Cited
Staples, Brent. Black Men and Public Space. The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Cunningham, Amy. Why Women Smile. The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. New York:
W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Theroux, Paul. Being a Man. The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1396

  • Pages: 6

Nature vs. Nurture

A lot of people wonder where they get their freckles from, or their edgy and thrill seeking personality. This type of curiosity about where people get their traits from brings about the worldwide debate on nature vs. nurture. There are scientists who argue that people develop characteristics mainly based on their genetic makeup, and then their are people who say that environment and social interactions has more to do with a person’s traits than do genes. People often question why people are the way they are. Nature and Nurture often have a big impact on a person, and can help in explaining why they are a certain way. The nature vs. nurture debate encompasses a variety of major topics, leading to the idea that both nature and nurture influences people in their behaviors and decisions.

Criminals go through different reasoning processes for why they commit a crime. They may have been brought up in a rough environment and are acting out, or because they simply just can not control themselves or their minds. There is evidence which suggests that there could be such a thing as gene mutations that determine our traits. These mutations control how the mind and body react to anger , whether it’s aggressively or controlled. According to Adriel Bettelheim, “researchers studying a dysfunctional Dutch family announced in 1993 that aggressive behavior may be linked to a single faulty gene that causes a shortage of enzymes needed to break down serotonin molecules that transmit signals in the brain.” This idea that criminal behavior may be associated with genetics, opens the doors to many controversial topics such as the insanity defense or the possibility of gene therapy. “For many centuries, people have tried to craft legal distinctions for the mentally ill based on the belief that they should not be held fully responsible for their actions” ().

The insanity defense is believed to often be abused and is the easy way out for guilty criminals to be held accountable. There are also people who support the insanity defense and say that the law needs to protect people who are too mentally ill to understand their actions. For some criminals, it’s not just a matter of their genes but more their environment that contributes to why they commit crimes. “Many social scientists say researchers, in a rush to ‘biologize’ behavior, are ignoring environmental influences, such as poverty, broken families and racism” (). A lot of times the reason why criminals get in trouble with the law, is because they are acting out. Being aggressive or going against authority is like their coping strategy for dealing with their problems. ”The frequency and nature of today’s violence can only point toward an inherent anger or frustration” (). Ultimately, both nature and nurture can affect criminals and people may never be able to fully understand what exactly leads them to make bad choices.

In addition to criminal behavior, there are also many other controversial topics regarding nature vs. nurture, such as intelligence and what contributes to people’s intellectual ability. “Mental ability seems closely related to the volume of those little gray cells in the brain; and differences in that volume seem to be largely a result of heredity”().Scientists are finding that intelligence goes along with the amount of brain cells (gray cells) towards the front of the brain which can be inherited through the family. There is evidence which suggests that if a person does really well with one mental task, they are more than likely to do really well on other mental tests as well. This concept is considered the general mental ability which is associated with those gray cells.

Although intelligence is found as being directly associated with the brain cells, many people believe that intelligence is also based on a person’s environment and how they learn. For a lot of people intellectual ability is not purely genetic. Their intelligence can have a lot to do with how they were brought up or their environment in which they learned. Someone who goes to school regularly will probably have a higher intelligence level, versus someone who doesn’t. How people start off learning is also important because often times, if a child is intellectually stimulated at earlier ages, their brain will mature as the child gets older and that child will have a higher intellectual ability because they started learning sooner. IQ testing is a very controversial topic because many people disagree over whether or not it is a good judge of a person’s actual intelligence. “The rift between psychologists over the value of IQ tests stems from a stark difference in the way they define intelligence: One camp sees a central, dominant intelligence, the other envisions multiple types of intelligence” ().

Although scientists have not found hard evidence to prove that IQ tests are not liable, social scientists continue to go against certain theories, such as the idea of general mental ability. They choose to believe and promote that there are different kinds of intelligence and everyone excels in different areas regardless of genetics. While genetics does play a role in intelligence, if a person works hard in achieving their goals they can become just as intelligent through challenging themselves and excelling in certain areas.

The worldwide debate on nature vs. nurture also encompasses addiction. In a study about drug addictions researchers found, “the correlations with psychoactive substance use largely resulted from social environmental factors in adolescence” (). Family environments are important to young children and can have a huge affect on them as they get older. An unstable family life can cause people to resort to drugs or alcohol to help them deal with their emotions. If a child has social issues with their friends when they are young, that can affect them as well and cause them to resort to substance abuse to deal with their problems. “As people aged, however, more of the correlation in psychoactive substance use resulted from genetic factors”().

As substances such as alcohol are more readily available to adults, genetics can influence them more and also their decisions. If there is a history of substance abuse in the family, that person is more likely to become addicted in their lifetime. In the 1920’s, “Alcohol prohibition lead to a rise in violent organized crime, a trend critics have compared to the ongoing “war on drugs”(). Because so many citizens used alcohol and a lot of them apparently became dependent on it, they felt they had rights to it; so they organized a violent crime movement to prove that. People who were involved in this war with drugs were not just the poor or downtrodden, but also the middle class and the wealthy. Addiction has no boundaries, and can affect anyone whether it is through nature or nurture.

Nature vs nurture will always be a major dispute over genes and environment, but ultimately they both have an impact on people. The reasoning behind criminal behavior is often questioned. Evidence that suggests there are gene mutations, which contribute to aggressive behavior, argues that nature can have a major role in criminal behavior, just like nature affects criminals actions. In addition to criminal behavior, another worldwide topic discussed in the nature vs nurture debate is intelligence. Like mentioned earlier, intelligence is thought to be determined by genes and general mental ability; but there are social scientists who believe that there are many different types of intelligence, determined by environment and not just genetic make up.

Addiction is another controversial subject because addiction can run in families but it also can happen to someone who had no history of it. Addiction also is very much related to a person’s environment and how they deal with their problems. For those who wonder where they get their intelligence and edgy personality, or more seriously why they feel aggressive, or become addicted to drugs, think about nature and nurture , which contribute to people’s personality and traits.

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 877

  • Pages: 4

Nature vs. Nurture

Homosexuality, Addictions and Intelligence
There have always been disputes on whether the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual was based on biological or environmental factors. These disputes are known as the Nature vs. Nurture argument. The two sides argue over how gender is chosen within a person. Based on reproductive organs, sex is easily determined at birth: male or female. Gender, however; is the sexual identity an individual takes on. It is possible for sex and gender to be different.

For an example of nurture children who were both born with an injured or damaged reproductive organ, males usually can be raised successfully as females. In order to understand which factor is the deciding factor of a person’s gender, both sides of the case must be fully evaluated. DNA studies which appear to prove that gender is a genetic trait. Researchers have analyzed the makeup of the human brain of homosexuals and heterosexuals seeking a connection between gender and the brains physiology.

They found when studying the part of the brain directly related to a persons’ sexual drive, that homosexuals had an enlarged hypothalamus, whereas heterosexuals had a normal one indicating a direct correlation between the brain and gender selections (AllPsych).

In researching DNA’s role in gender identity, some scientist have identified the gene that determines a person’s sexual preference. Although there are mounting evidence of the existence of a “gay gene, “the opposition denies the existence (AllPsych). People in support of the Nurture argument claim that is an individual conscious or subconscious decision as to his or her gender identify. While many claim that people may control their sexual orientation, their brain, and not the other way around are actually controlling them.

A person DNA and brain physiology control sexual preference which may be associated in the amygdale of the limbic system (Pscyhsmart). When scientist castrated the rats, stopping the creation of androgen, the male rats became submissive. When the androgen was given to the female rats, they began to display masculine behaviors. This experiment resulted in the male rat being submissive and allowing the female rat to mount the male, unlike the normal male rat that would mount the female when engaging in reproduction ( Lippa 102).

Similar to humans, if male do not have proper balance of hormones with his body, he may show feminine traits. These hormones are a biological aspect of gender that affects the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual. On the other hand, for the purpose of this discussion, addiction can take many forms, including not only substance use disorders, but also pathologic gambling, bulimia, and a host of other disorders. Dependency, abuse, and addiction are used relatively interchangeably; however, there is ongoing debate within the field regarding the best terminology.

Furthermore, differences in how these phenotypes are surrounded can have an impact on the results of gene discovery efforts. Genetic loci that have been consistently associated with various forms of substance addiction, as well as those that demonstrate relevance to pharmacologic treatment. While the nature vs. nurture debate has raged, is the contribution of interactions between genetics and environment. In reality, “gene expression is environment dependent” and it impossible to obtain pure estimates of genetic vs. environmental contribution – one could not exist without the other.

The environment a child experiences is partly a consequence of the child’s genes as well as external factors. To some extent a person seeks out and creates his or her environment. If she is of a mechanical bent she practices mechanical skills; if a bookworm, she seeks out books. Thus genes may create an appetite rather than an aptitude. Remember that the high heritability of short-sightedness is accounted for not just by the heritability of a gene for short sightedness but by the heritability of literate habits.

Conversely, on the discussion of intelligence, there are three facts about the transmission of intelligence that virtually everyone seems to accept: 1. Both heredity and environment contribute to intelligence. 2. Heredity and environment interact in various ways.

3. Extremely poor as well as highly enriched environments can interfere with the realization of a person’s intelligence, regardless of the person’s heredity (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 1997, p.xi). Intelligence that appears to relate to ability to reason abstractly, to learn and to adapt. In closing, homosexuality, addictions and intelligence have reliable statistical relationships with important social phenomena, but they are a limited tool for deciding what to make of any given individual. As stated by Ridley, “Mother Nature has plainly not entrusted our genetic capacities to the blind fate of a gene or genes; she gave us parents, learning, language, culture and education to program ourselves with.”

WORKS CITED:
Johnson, Ryan D. AllPsych (2005). “Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture”. Ridley, M. (1999). Genome: The autobiography of a species in 23 chapters. London: Fourth Estate Ltd. Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. (Eds.) (1997). Intelligence, heredity, and environment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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Nature vs Nurture Essay

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Nature vs Nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 998

  • Pages: 4

Nature vs Nurture

There has always been a large controversy over whether inherited genes or the environment influences and affects our personality, development, behavior, intelligence and ability. This controversy is most often recognized as the nature verses nurture conflict. Skinner talked a lot about natural selection in that we, as a species, must choose to learn as we progress to be able to survive as long as possible (Catania, 2003). This theory was a huge part of the battle between nature and nurture because Skinner’s arguments have so much science and testing behind them and his experimenting proved his hypothesis. Some people believe that it is strictly genes that affect our ways of life, others believe that it is the environment that affects us, and some believe that both of these influence our behavior. Either way, social scientists have been struggling for centuries deciding whether our personalities are born or made. Tests are done often on identical twins that were separated to see how they are each influenced by their separate environments. In the past twenty years, it has been discovered that there is a genetic component to every human trait and behavior. However, genetic influence on traits and behavior is partial because genetics can account, on average, for half of the variation of most traits. Researchers are finding that the balance between genetic and environmental influences for certain traits change as people get older.

Also, people may react to us in a certain way because of a genetically influenced personality and, we may choose certain experiences because they fit best with our instinctive preferences. This means that our experiences may be influenced by our genetic tendencies. One way researchers study the development of traits and behaviors is by measuring the influence of genetics throughout ones’ life span, and it is found to be that the genetic influence on certain traits increase as people age. Some studies was done to see whether a trait would show up in a child if it was environmentally influenced or genetically influenced. A child was given more negative attention than another was, and it increased the chances of the child having depressive symptoms and anti-social behavior. But these symptoms disappeared when accounted for genetic influences and how parents treat their children. There are three types of gene/environment relations. The first one is called a passive correlation. It is to be explained as, for example, if a musical ability was genetic, and a child was passed a musical ability trait, than the child would most likely have musically inclined parents.

Their parents then would provide them with the genes and environment to promote the development of that ability. The second one is called evocative. This happens when genetically distinct people evoke different reactions from peers and parents and others. And the third association is called an active correlation. This is when people actively select experiences that fit with their genetically influenced preferences. This does not mean that there are no environmental influences on behavior, because, for example, it is found to be that a loss of a parent during childhood promotes alcoholism in women. It is also shown that genetics plays a big role in influencing people within society. Leadership is a big quality that everyone has and there is a wide range of variations. Heritability is what researchers call ‘the degree to which behavioral variations within a population can be accounted for by genes.’ Heritability is what is found to make up a lot of one’s personality. For quite some time, scientists have been trying to draw a line between heredity and leadership also. There is no single leadership personality.

Even intelligence can only go so far with leadership. It also involves how people make decisions, and how they give and carry out rules, how they are involved with a group, and how they inspire and respect others. The list of characteristics is endless. Although genes seem to play as a map for a person’s life, researchers caution that genes act only as an influence. Anyone who has enough will or a strong enough experience could affect the way they act or react for the rest of their life. In other words, if an environmental background is changed, the amount of variation that is due to genetics can change. Both Piaget and Vygotsky argued that children actively construct their knowledge, they did not agree on how that occurred though. While Piaget focused on the biological more, Vygotsky focused on the social aspect.

This may be a classic argument of nature versus nurture. Piaget’s thought process was that learning follows maturation. Vygotsky’s thought process was that learning follows socialization. Although their theories may seem very different, they did in fact know each other and had an impact on one another. (Pass, 2007) In conclusion, it is safe to say that the role of genetics and the environment equalize people’s traits and behavior. You cannot blame either one because without one, the other would not be activated. Genes affect a lot of many aspects of your personality and behavior but the environment mutates and molds the way people are going to act. This will always be an ongoing controversy because it is nearly impossible to pin point accurately where the role of genes and the environment steps in are activated.

References
Catania, C. (2003). B.F. Skinner’s Science and Human Behavior: Its Antecedents and its Consequences. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 80, 313-320. McClelland, D.C. (1973). Testing for competence rather than for intelligence. American Psychologist, 28, 1-14 Pass, S. (2007).When constructivists Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky were pedagogical collaborators: A viewpoint from a study of their communications. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 20, 277-282. Santrock, J. W. (2009). Life-Span Development twelfth edition. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1335

  • Pages: 5

Nature vs. Nurture

ABSTRACT

The subject of nature versus nurture is addressed. Both nature and nurture have strong effects on how humans learn and are able to learn. Observations of three children discuss how nature has caused conditions that hinder development as well as how human intervention has enabled these children to grow despite their conditions. Nature and nurture have negative aspects that may or may not be improved to foster development. Nature and nurture interact in human development.

Keywords: Nature, nurture, Piaget, cochlear implant, epilepsy, Erikson, Gilligan, Vygotksy, Kohlberg, Outliers.

NATURE VERSUS NURTURE

Nature? Nurture? Both? Theorists have struggled for more than a century with which variable has the greater effect on human learning. When we refer to ‘nature’ in learning we are discussing the biological elements of human learning and intelligence, such as, chromosomes and DNA, the biology of the brain, and diseases, syndromes or conditions that the individual may be born with or develop in their lifespan (Society for Neuroscience, 2012) The theoretical framework of “Genetic Epistemology” of Jean Piaget was based on his ‘naturalistic’ research of children. Piaget was most concerned with how knowledge developed in children. His theory advocated 4 stages of development: sensorimotor, preoperational stage, concrete operations, and formal operations, which he assigned to different age groups (Genetic Epistemology, n.d.) to explain when and how human cognitive development occurs.

I have observed natural effects in several children in my life and have seen how nature has affected their learning. Mikaela and CJ are the children of our dear friends. It is theorized that Mikaela may either have lost her hearing shortly after birth or was born without hearing (Sorenson and Sievert, personal discussion and observation, 2004). CJ was born with hearing but has lost nearly all hearing in one ear and needs a hearing aid in the other ear (Sorenson and Sievert, personal discussion, 2006). When Mikaela was diagnosed around 2 years of age, she was fitted with cochlear implants (Sorenson, personal discussion, 2004). CJ was fitted with one cochlear implant around 5 years old (Sorenson, personal discussion 2008). Mikaela struggled to overcome the lack of aural stimulation and verbal acquisition. She will still sign now at age 13 when she wants to communicate quickly. Her speech is very monotonic even after speech therapy (Sievert, observation, May 2014).

CJ learned to read very quickly and would amuse himself on early Saturday mornings with watching WWII history and reading the captions so as to not wake the family (Sorenson, personal communication, 2009). They adapted and created schemas to bridge the challenge. My grandson Micah was diagnosed with epilepsy in April 2013 at 13 months of age. The seizure activity and the use of medications affected his brain activity to nearly wipe out every developmental milestone (Sievert, observation and interaction, May 2013). MRI results showed areas of the brain had atrophied.

His physical and occupational therapists have retrained his neural pathways and he is now a normal 27 month old (Sievert, observation and interaction, 2014). All of these children were able to overcome natural challenges with interventions. ADD/ADHD (WebMD.com, 2014) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (CDC.gov, 2014) are both natural in their origin and are being studied now to find interventions that enable these individuals to become empowered learners in classroom learning environments (Jensen, 2005).

The term ‘nurture’ refers to the effects of interaction in the development of the individual and can range from human interaction with caregivers, peers, and society, to environment and technological devices (UCSB.edu, 2001). Vygotsky, Erikson, Kohlberg and Gilligan would be theorists who tend to place more emphasis on how environment shapes the cognitive and moral development of the individual. Lev Vygotksy claimed that all learning was shaped by the interactions of the child with society and culture as well as how language developed (McLeod, 2007). Language acquisition was seen as very important in cognitive development, especially in developing private speech. Erikson saw cognitive development as a lifelong activity with 8 psychosocial stages, each having a crisis that called for resolution in the individual in relationship to the society (McLeod, 2008).

Both Kohlberg and Gilligan based their moral reasoning models on how children learn in relationship to the society around them plus possible societal roles placed on boys or girls (Nucci, 2014). Nurture led to Mikaela, CJ, and Micah overcoming obstacles of nature with the assistance of other humans either creating new tools to overcome hearing loss (NIDCD, 2013) or have humans developing therapies that retrain the brain (Sheikh, 2012). Lack of nurture can include poor or inadequate food and shelter, lack of sensory stimulation, technology used as a ‘babysitter’, or a lack of interaction between parent and child (Harris, 1998). I have also observed too much nurture in my school. Parents may do this by constant monitoring of homework and grades, helping too much with work, overscheduling activities for students, intensive requests for special treatment, or by requesting more homework (Dawson, Clarke, Bredehoft, 2006).

The story of Chris Langan in Outliers (2008) is a classic example of how a lack of nurture can set up a chain of failure for an incredibly intelligent man. It is clear that neither nature nor nurture is the decisive factor in human cognition or moral development. We know more than ever about how the brain functions and how the brain must be well treated to make the most of what is available (Jensen, 2005). Physical and mental conditions can determine just how much growth potential is in a human being. New therapies and technologies are constantly in development, trial, and implementation. Proper nurture in a societal and cultural environment has proven necessary for every individual. Nature and nurture need to be skillfully blended to ensure every child is empowered to attain their full potential (Jensen, 2005).

REFERENCES:

Society for Neuroscience. (2012). Brain facts: A primer on the brain and nervous system. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from BrainFacts.org:
http://cup.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/courses/20144043208/resources/week1/w1%20brain_facts_2012.pdf

Genetic epistemology (Jean Piaget). (n.d.). Retrieved on May 29, 2014 from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/genetic-epistemology.html.

WebMD.com. (2014). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Causes of ADHD. Retrieved on June 14, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-causes.

Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

UCSB.edu. (2001). Nature and nurture. Retrieved on June 14, 2014 from http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/baldwin/classes/soc142/n&n.html

McLeod, S. A. (2007). Lev vygotsky. Retrieved on June 2, 2014 from http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html.

McLeod, S. A. (2008). Erik erikson. Retrieved on May 29, 2014 from http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html.

Nucci, L. (2014). Moral development and education: An overview. Retrieved on June 5, 2014 from http://www.moraledk12.org/#!combined-theories/c3q9.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2013). Cochlear implants. Retrieved on June 14, 2014 from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/coch.aspx

Sheikh, S. (2012). Epilepsy: Definition, prevention and the role of occupational therapy. Retrieved on June 14, 2014 from http://www.slideshare.net/betrayer1990/occupational-therapy-for-epilepsy-an-overview

Harris, J.R. (1998). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way
they do. Retrieved on June 14, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/h/harris-nurture.html.

Dawson, C. and Clarke, J. and Bredehoft, D. (2006). Overnurturing: Too much of a good thing (When helping stops being helpful). Retrieved from http://www.educarer.com/oi-nurturing.htm

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 716

  • Pages: 3

Nature vs. Nurture

Over recent years the nature vs. nurture debate has been extensively discussed and researched. Should human characteristics such as intelligence, personality, behavior and ability be attributed to our genetics or our environment? One problem with this is how to pin a trait down to either an inherited or learned characteristic, or perhaps it’s both.

Are we to blame for our behavior or is inevitable due to our genetics? This question and others seems to be part of the controversy over the subject. Also, these questions play a factor in how to change and adapt behavior. Different techniques would be more effective depending on the cause of a particular behavior or characteristic.

When analyzing the causes of behavior problems in children the question of nature vs. nurture is a legitimate question. One recent study conducted by the University of Virginia and several others including one in Australia studied 1,045 twins and their 2,051 children. Some of the parents were identical twins with others being fraternal. This affected the amount of genes that were shared among the siblings. Participants were twins from a volunteer twin registry and information was gathered through a series of phone interviews beginning in 1993 and ending in 2003.

The study discovered that spousal fighting wasn’t to blame for behavioral problems in their children. Rather, it was the genes that influenced how often they argued with spouses. These genes when passed to their children caused more conduct problems. The conclusion of the study was that in family therapy, more focus on the child rather than the parents would be more effective (Society for Research in Child Development, 2007). This conclusion supports the theory that it is nature or our genetics that influence this particular behavior.

On the other end of the spectrum another study involved observing children in different childcare settings. Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied the children beginning in 1991 from the age of one month until they were school age. These 1,364 participants were selected at birth and were studied through phone and personal interviews at three month intervals. The children’s cognitive and social functioning was measured at certain intervals and followed up to the children on sixth grade. It was concluded that center based care yielded more aggression and disobedience than other types of childcare, with the quality of childcare was also found to be a factor (Society for Research in Child Development, 2007). This conclusion supports the theory that it is nurture or our environment that influences this particular behavior and the type of care children receive is an important factor in a child’s development.

Both of these studies posed the question of whether the cause of a particular problem, this one being behavioral issues, is genetic or ones environment. Both of these studies looked exclusively at one cause or the other with little being discussed about the other possibilities. The differences in the studies was the length of time given to each study with the genetic study being short term and the childcare study involving observations over a period of time. Another difference is the twin study looked at parents of a specific group, that being twins. The child care study looked at the children of many different types of parents.

While both of these studies have their merits, neither study was able to conclusively determine the cause of behavioral problems observed as being attributed solely to genetics or the environment. The question of which one plays a greater role will likely continue to be asked. Hopefully this leads to more research and answers that will further our understanding of human behavior.

References

Society for Research in Child Development (2007, March 26). Center-based Care Yields More Behavior Problems; In Other Types Of Care, Problems Short-lived. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2007/03/070326095340.htm.

Society for Research in Child Development (2007, February 7). Parents’ Genes, Not Parents’ Arguing, May Cause Children’s Conduct Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2007/02/070207090943.htm.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1032

  • Pages: 4

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 clear answer. Based on the research, I believe the environment plays a larger role in determining a person’s traits than genes do. The way an individual is raised can have different influences on their intelligence and how they will end up as adults. Family is also a major role in the upbringing of a child.

When a person in raised in an environment with negative factors, they could be slightly off mentally, and even physically, as an adult. A person that grows up with parents that are addicted to toxic substances, it is believed they have a greater risk of being addicts throughout their life because that is what they were raised with. However, some researchers believe it is in your genes to be an addict if your mother was doing drugs or drinking will pregnant. That is wrong. An individual raised with addicts have parents have the ability to make the choice to be different from their parents and to stay away from toxic substances. Studies show that addiction is 50-60% genetic. (Genetics of Addiction 2014). There are still another 40-50% of people that have just made poor decisions and ended up as addicts. Roughly 50% of addicts that have a family history of addiction are able to overcome it by making the right choices and getting help when they felt it necessary.

One of the best examples of the nature versus nurture debate is intelligence. Researchers in favor of nature believe if two parents with lower IQs have a child, that child will have a low IQ too. (Bouchard & Lykken 1990) However, those researchers are not taking school into account. If parents know their child is going to have a lower IQ, they should take initiative and enroll their child in a more advanced learning career at a young age. In a study done by Thomas Bouchard and David Lykken in 1990, they found that seventy percent of an individuals intelligence is from due to their genetic makeup. Bouchard and Lykken also concluded that thirty percent of intelligence can be influenced by the environment that individual is in, such as education, family setting, and toxic substances.

Enrolling the child in advanced schooling early on will encourage the child to work harder starting at a young age and by the time the child is in high school or college, they could be at the top of their class. Although I do believe that nurture plays a larger part in child development, genetic makeup does play a role as well. In this field of study, one of the best experiments that are done are ones involving monozygotic twins. In the Minnesota Twin Study, identical twins were separated and raised in very different environments. The findings of the experiment were that the twins grew up to be very similar in appearance, personality, and basic psychology. This proves that nurture is not the only factor, but that genes do significantly determine the possible outcome of an individual.

The factor that plays the largest role in how any person grows up is their family. Family influences an individual more than anyone would really think. The most prominent example of family influencing an individual would have to be with sports. In an article written in the Washington Post, author David Epstein concludes that a person needs both nature and nurture in order to succeed. However, if you look at professional athletes with kids that play the same sport as them, you have to wonder if that child is genetically prone to play or if they just want to be like mommy or daddy. Some parents also believe that their child will have to take over the family business one day just because it ‘runs in their blood’.

This is also false because Bouchard and Lykken both concluded that genes to not determine a person’s destiny, and they do have the power to change what they want to do. Studies also show that the amount of every emotion a parent shows to their child at a young age can influence how much that child exhibits certain emotions. For example, a parent that is very affectionate with their child and always tells them how much they love them will produce a child that does the same thing with their child and with other people as well. The same theory goes for other emotions such as rage and sadness.

“…As environmental forces create a stronger influence on differences in a particular characteristic, genetic influences will be weaker.” With the influence of family, different factors, and the environment a person is raised in have a greater influence on the development of their personality and even their physical being than the genes they’re born with. Throughout the last hundred or so years, thousands of different psychologists have discussed this topic and it is still something that is being talked about. The majority of those psychologists believe nature is the reason for how everyone behaves, but there are a handful of that are empiricists, meaning they believe that environment is the reason for behavior. I consider myself one of those empiricists because nurture is the reason for how children develop.

Citations
Bouchard, T., Lykken D., McGue, M., Segal, N., & Tellegen, A. (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Science, 250, 223-229.

“The Genetics of Addiction.” Addictions and Recovery, 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

Roberts, Steven V. “Review: ‘The Sports Gene,’ on the Science of Athletic Performance, by David Epstein.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 394

  • Pages: 2

Nature vs. Nurture

It is said that the debate between nature and nurture is hardly new. According to Francis Galton in his English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture, “Nature is all that a man brings with himself into the world while nurture is every influence that affects him after his birth” this statement explains that nature is the very thing we inherit from our parents and there are innate traits and behaviors that we certainly acquired from them.

On the other hand, nurture is the experiences we had and the environment that influences our growth as an individual. There are many factors that affect an individual that concerns his nature or the way he was raised and the experiences he had while growing up. Basically, nature in all its purest sense is visible in every aspect of my self. There are physical, emotional and mental aspects that I inherit from my parents and there are also a great number of experiences that I have had that improved my well being or more so taught me to become who I am now.

Realistically speaking, nature has brought me to this world but the very being of me is because of the society and its influences on my self that gave me the capacity and the free will to do what I want and need in my life. The debate on nature and nurture is probably larger than life. We may have had inherit a lot of things that comes from our genes but there are also many things that we learned from the outside world. Regardless of the factors that affect an individual in his growth, nature has a meaningful relevance in one’s growth.

Nevertheless, both have the importance in one’s quest to an unknown future. As said, we should not judge a book by its cover and maybe then we can judge the book if we already read it cover to cover. Works Cited Powell, Kimberly. “Are we really born that way?. ” 15 March 2006. 14 November 2007 http://genealogy. about. com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture. htm Davis, Kevin. “Nature vs. Nurture Revisited. ” April 200. NOVA Online. 14 November 2007 http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/nova/genome/debate. html

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 582

  • Pages: 2

Nature vs Nurture

Hannibal Lecter was a young boy that grew up during a horrible time period; World War II. Everyone around him died, and was left by himself with his little sister Mischa. During this time there was people pretending to be “help” but in reality they were robbers. These people took over the cabin where the Lecter family was hiding. They take hostage Hannibal and Mischa. Over a few weeks food starts getting harder and harder to find, they are struggling to find food to eat and they must do whatever they can to survive.

This is the first time that Hannibal encounters a moment in his childhood where he sees a little girl younger than him be killed and eaten; cannibalism. For many years he had to watch these men, eat things raw, with feathers coming out of their mouths and their faces full of blood. Things like these in a kids childhood are very dramatic. For over a few years Hannibal never spoke to anyone, only during his sleep when he would be calling for his sister. He was mistreated and abused at the orphanage he was in, which was his own castle.

Hannibal’s uncle picked him up at the orphanage to take him and Mischa to Paris, France, but unfortunately Mischa was nowhere to be found. Hannibal, never spoke to anyone, until one day someone disrespected his aunt, Lady Murasaki. That was the day his first words came out. After that he would speak to everyone. One day Hannibal meets the butcher, the person who disrespected his aunt, and kills him with a sword that his aunt had from her father’s samurai.

Hannibal took on medical school, and he worked with dead bodies. Hannibal takes on a quest to find the people who killed Mischa, and travels back to the Lecter castle. Upon arriving to his country one of the people who checked his passport happened to be one of the guys who was there when Mischa was killed. This guy follows him to Lecter castle and tried to kill him but failed. Instead Hannibal tied him to a tree and to his horse, once the guy spoke Hannibal just killed him and continued looking for the rest.

The leader of the group sends one guy to go after him and kill him while he is at the medical school alone, however this plan ends up backfiring him, since he kills the guy and drowning him. After that officer Popil walks in to speak to him, but discovers nothing. Hannibal was always looking for a companion, but never found one until his later years when he meets an FBI agent named Clarice. She investigates him and tries to arrest him and put him in jail while every ime she is in trouble he rescues her, and saves her life one way or another. At the end Hannibal ends up escaping with her, since she was looking for a fatherly love, which hi provided and Hannibal wanted a woman. Overall, Hannibal grew to be the person he is because of everything he went though in his childhood, if it was not because of that he would of been fine. Every single thing that happened to him scarred him, and left him marked for the rest of his life.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 558

  • Pages: 2

Nature vs Nurture

Evolution vs. creationism, pro choice vs. pro life, nature vs. nurture, etc… , these issues will always be debatable. These controversial issues will always divide the population up. Many people tend to put all their beliefsin science or religion. All are highly controversial and will be a major concern until the end of time. Nature is considered your genetic characteristics thatwere given to you at the time of conception. There are strong beliefs that “if mama does it, you will do it”.

The individuals that truly believe this ideado tend to follow the footsteps of their parents. Individuals that are not strong enough to surpass their environment willalways fall into this category of prejudice from the environment. “Traditionally, genetics characteristics are considered stable and uncontrollable” (Jayaratne, et al. , 2009, p. 25). That is saying that a person can’t control the turn out of their life because it has been etched in stoned and there is nothing they can do about it.

Nurture is considered to be the environmental characteristics that surround an individual. Our environment plays a big role in the way our lives unfold over time. Many believe that you can be nurtured to act a certain way or accomplish certain goals in a lifetime. “Environmental causes vary more in terms of how much stability and controllability they typically involve, unlike the genetic factors” (p. 25). If you’re brought up in a sound environment, you can usually control what course you are going to take in life. There is plenty conversations about nature and nurture.

There are many characteristics that we get from nature and there many characteristics that we get from nurture. Even though we can be taught to act a certain way or do certain things, it is our choice to either go with the flow or create your own destiny. Just because we have good genes and a stable environment, doesn’t mean that were are going to be set up for greatness. We have to choose what we want in life. With that being said, characteristics that result from having a choice are said to be malleable and controllable (Jayaratne, et al., 2009).

In my personal experiences, I can say that I was given natural family characteristics, nurtured by my surroundings, and chose to take my own path through life. I do agree with Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. According to Vygotsky, development of an individual involves a child having interactions with other persons (Crandell, Crandell, Vander Zanden, 2009). With having social interactions, this gives you a choice on what you want to do with your life.

You can have the natural characteristics of your family, be nurtured by your surroundings, but it is your choice to go with the norm, follow your surroundings, or go in a totally different direction. References Crandell, T. L. , Crandell, C. H. , & Vander Zanden, J. W. (2009). Human development ( 9thed). New York: McGraw Hill. Jayaratne, T. E. , Gelman, S. A. , Feldbaum, M. , Sheldon, J. P. , Petty, E. M. , & Kardia, S. L. R. (2009). The Perennial Debate: Nature, Nurture, or Choice? Black and White Americans’ Explanations for Individual Differences. Review of General Psychology. 13(1), 24-33.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 621

  • Pages: 2

Nature vs. Nurture

People tend to either acclaim or blame nature for being the source of each person’s strengths or weaknesses. However, many people do not understand the concept of the brain’s plasticity; the idea that changes occur in the organization of the brain as a result of environment, or nurture. Depending on the trait in question, either nature or nurture, or both, can affect the brain’s development of that characteristic. Prenatal brain development often leads many traits to be based on both nature and nurture.

Adoption and Twin studies have allowed behavioral geneticists to learn more about how the prenatal environment verses simple heredity effect the development of people. Identical twins, separated at birth were given tests that measure their intelligence, personality, heart rate, and brain waves; their results appeared virtually identical. However, further studies have proved that identical twins reared together have greater similarities then separated identical twins do. Therefore, even though nurture plays a role in similarly due to prenatal brain development, nature also makes a slight difference.

The illegal use of dugs during pregnancy also effect prenatal brain development. Drugs consumed during pregnancy can have a detrimental affect on the baby. The baby can be born too small or too soon, have withdrawal symptoms, birth defects, or learning and behavioral problems. This shows that in this care the nurture in the womb has a greater affect then genetics on the baby. The acquisition of a first language is purely based on nurture. It is proven that any child can learn any language with the same about of facility if learnt at the appropriate time.

However, any language acquired after this period of time if stored in a different area of the brain, thus the child can never fully master it. Many epilepsy patients are inclined to have a hemispherectomy due to incessant seizures. When a left side hemispherectomy is conducted, the patient is partially disabled on the right side of their body. However, when this procedure is preformed on children, the child is likely to be able to adapt to its effects due to the increases plasticity of a child’s brain. There have been studies that show that there are no significant long-term effects on memory, personality, or humor after the procedure.

This shows that regardless of the conditions put on the brain, it is likely to continue with what it was meant to achieve. Experiments on animals have been conducted to test the effects of nature and nurture on the brain. An experiment on rats tested whether or not experience effects brain development. The study raised a group of rats with friends in a lively environment while isolating some. The isolated rats had smaller brains then the rats with friends. Another experiment was conducted on ferrets to see if the part of the brain meant of vision, the occipital lobe, was the only place vision could take place.

A scientist rewired the brains of ferrets so that visual signals were sent to the temporal lobe instead of the occipital lobe. The result was that these ferrets had 20/60 vision; they could see. This proved that nurture can change brain development, but only to a certain extent; the ferrets did not have perfect, 20/20, vision. Nature and nurture work together in forming an individual. All aspects of life, from prenatal brain development to surgeries that may remove parts of the brain, are formed through both nature and nurture. It is the plasticity of the brain that allows these two things to work together.

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Nature vs Nurture Essay

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Nature vs Nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1055

  • Pages: 4

Nature vs Nurture

Abstract The discussion surrounding Stephen Pinkers’ book The Blank Slate: the Modern Denial of Human Nature has sparks some rather interesting arguments as to whether our being is a result of nature, genetics or is it learned through nurturing. The discussion revolved around Pinkers idea that there is no such thing as the Blank Slate theory, when it comes to human nature. He believes “that the human mind, like the human body, has been designed by natural selection through the process of biological evolution” (Bailey & Gillespie, 2002, p.2).

The Blank Slate theory derived from John Locke, a great philosopher who lived in the 16th century. In John Locke’s philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that the (human) mind is at birth a “blank slate” void of all characters, without any ideas or rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing it formed solely by our sensory experiences. As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born “blank”, and it also emphasized the individual’s freedom to author his or her own soul.

Each individual was free to define the content of his or her character – but his or her basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be so altered. Implicit in this theory is the belief that individuals are infinitely and arbitrarily malleable by society: by changing the individual’s environment, and thus sensory experiences, one can shape the individual with few, if any, restrictions. Steven Pinker challenges the Blank Slate theory. He thinks, we are genetically coded to be whatever we are.

The experiences we encounter only have a minuscule impact on how we grow. Pinker argues about the idea of which nurture plays a more important role than nature in the development of the human mind. He believes a child is born with a personality, and parents cannot cause their children to have a different personality to that which is given. Pinker states in an interview by Bailey and Gillespie that: Blank slates do not do anything they just sit there. Human beings do things.

They make sense of their environment they acquire language they interact with one another. They use reasoning to bring about things that they want. Even if you acknowledge, as you have to acknowledge, that learning, socialization, and culture are indispensable aspects of human behavior you have to admit that you can’t have culture unless you have some kind of innate circuitry that can invent and acquire culture to begin with. (p. 5) Pinker also has an interesting notion, that there is no such thing as intelligence as we know it.

If everyone is born void of everything, how do we explain intellectual difference among humans? One of his ways to solve the difference, because it is given to us genetically is to have its checks and balance. We have to match social structure to genetics. Pinker stated that the Blank Slate theory made divisions among humans socially, intellectually, racially and by gender. Method Participants Research participants stemmed from his research with twins where Pinker with the help of Jennifer Ganger, PhD. They gathered data.

On the development of words, sentences and past tense forms in a large sample of identical and fraternal twins. In the research he looked at there gradual development of their language, if it looked like the development appear in closer synchrony in identical twins (who share all their genes) than in fraternal twins (who share half their genes, among those that vary), it would suggest that language development is paced in part by a genetically influenced maturational timetable. (Pinker research 2002 p.

1) Pinker also conducted research studies on Neuroimaging of inflection where he used (functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural organization of language. He also used a set of projects that focused on inflections such as the past tense and plural to understand the psychology of language. “I have studied how past tense forms develop in children. I studied this processed in real time during speech productions. How they vary and do not vary? and how their details, quirks and exceptions are explained by linguistic theory.

” (Pinker ? research, 2002 p. 1) My view of this topic is that I think to some extent we are born with some kind of personality but our experiences molds what we truly become. I do not believe that nature give us, by genetics all the things we need in life. I think we are born with some intellectual capacity and by nurturing that, we improve our knowledge. I saw an example of nurturing on an interesting episode of CBS 60 minutes. A little boy was born severely brain damaged and was blind. He could barely walk, talk or move his hands.

At the age of two, his parents gave him a piano, he began playing it, and by age five, he was already playing classical music. The gene found in this child is found, is found in one in ten thousand people and it allows him to read music. He just needs to hear a sound once in its entirety and he can play it on piano minutes later. No everyone with this gene has this ability. His parents nurtured him and invoked the intellectual part of his brain that allows him to be an extraordinary musician. Our experience in life and the way we are nurture plays a vital roll in the individuals we become.

In closing, I think we do learn a great deal from nurturing and we are born with a gene that gives us certain personalities. Therefore, a human being cannot be completely void. References Bailey, R & Gillespie, N (2002). Reason: Biology vs. the blank Slate. http://reason. com/0210/fe. rb. biology. shtml Pinker, S (2005) http://pinker. wjh. harvard. edu Wikipedia. Org http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Tabula_rasa http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nature_versus_nurture http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Blank_Slate.

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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Nature vs. Nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 836

  • Pages: 3

Nature vs. Nurture

For a long time, scientists and biologists have argued over whether our behavior is controlled solely by our genes or if the environment we are in has any effect. This is called nature versus nurture. No one knows which one dictates our behavior or if it is a combination of both. In this essay, I will attempt to answer some of the questions that come up in this age-old debate. One question is, if genes control behavior, then is an individual really responsible for their actions? I think people are definitely responsible for their actions.

I think that, while our genes may control some aspects of our personalities, there is no denying that our environment has some effects too. Our genes form us, but our experiences shape the way we behave as people. The people we grow up with, specifically our parents teach us ways of acting and thinking that we keep for the rest of our lives. A good example of this is television. When violent acts happen, people are quick to blame all the violence we see on TV, but why do some people act on this violence while others, who probably watch the same amount of television, do not commit any violent acts in their lifetime?

I believe that it has to do with how a person grew up. If you grew up being told not to be violent and that television was just fiction, like I did, then you can sort out the violence on television from what happens and how people are supposed to act in real life. But if you were not told these things as a child, or you saw your parents participating in violence, then these lines between TV and reality become blurred. Scientists have also found out that, even though a person may have a certain behavior-controlling gene, it is not always active.

This research puts the responsibility for actions back on the individual. Humans do have free will, and they can choose if they want to let their body or their mind control them. Another question is, is a person doesn’t have the “bad gene,” but they commit a crime, are they more responsible. To look at this issue from a legal perspective, judges determine responsibility for actions by something called culpability. This term refers to a person’s knowledge of their actions and the consequences.

If a person doesn’t know what they are doing, such as a mentally ill person who commits a crime, or they are not aware of the consequences, such as a child who plays with a parent’s gun, then they cannot be legally held responsible. This would answer the previous question with an emphatic no. Culpability makes no mention of genes, so if you had the “bad gene” and you committed a crime that you were fully aware of doing and you knew what could happen if you got caught, you would be fully responsible for your actions. From my perspective, all healthy individuals are responsible for their actions.

I believe that genes control our physical characteristics, but have a minute role in controlling our behaviors. As I mentioned before, some people have a certain gene, but it is not active in their bodies. This could mean that many people with the “bad gene” have led perfectly normal, law-abiding lives, while many people without the “bad gene” could have committed crimes. Scientists say that only about 10% of criminals in our prisons have the anti-social personality, and this could be the same thing with the “bad gene.

” It is too risky to take responsibility off of individuals, because it just creates excuses for inexcusable behavior. I think that nurture plays a much bigger role in the shaping of our behavior than nature does. Placing complete control of our behavior on our genes removes responsibility off the individual, which is trouble. If people believe that they have no control over their bodies and it is all up to their genes, then we will see complete chaos. People will not engage in healthy lifestyles because they will believe that, it doesn’t matter what they do, genes will dictate their fate.

We will also see an increase in crime rate because people with the “bad gene” would be able to get away with crimes because it’s not their responsibility; it’s “their genes’ fault. ” We do know that our genes determine our physical properties, like whether we have brown or blond hair, but whether or not they control our behavior is still a mystery. I believe that they have a very limited role in determining behavior characteristics for the numerous reasons that I outline above.

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Nature vs Nurture Essay

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Nature vs Nurture Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1849

  • Pages: 7

Nature vs Nurture

The nature versus nurture debate has been a classic controversy among experts for centuries. Presently, there is no clear conclusion to the dispute; yet, there are many hypotheses. Both sides of this controversy have been explored thoroughly among researchers. The purpose of this paper is to prove that the mental aptitude of a person is determined by his genetics, along with his environment, which affects it more. The nature side of the debate argues that a person maintains his mental ability only based on what he is born with genetically.

Defending this side of the debate exclusively would be establishing that a person? environment plays no role in determining his mental aptitude. There are some reasons for an individual to be convinced that genetics play a large part in a person? s intelligence. When considering the biology of heredity, it is obvious that genes provide humans with their own physical equipment, which is in essence, their basis. Genes and chromosomes are passed on from each generation to the next. Therefore, without heredity, humans would have nothing to hand down biologically to their descendants; and this idea of genetics being purposeless is clearly incorrect.

Twin studies are rendered on sets of twins; these include both identical twins and fraternal twins. They are conducted to determine the comparative influence of heritability and environment (Morris and Maisto 82).? These studies determine the heritability of a trait: to what extent the differences among individuals are due to genes, rather than to environmental factors such as upbringing, nutrition, and schooling? (Wright). ?Recent twin research showed that the genetic contribution to happiness and stability are about 50% and 80%, respectively, while life events have only a transitory effect on happiness? Segal 55).

Segal? s conception is not directly concerning human intelligence; yet, if his statement is in fact true, it substantiates some importance of heredity convincingly. It indicates that heredity certainly does have a notable effect on a person. In general, twin studies support the nature side of the debate (Morris and Maisto 82). Adoption studies are somewhat similar to twin studies because they are conducted for related reasons. These studies consist of monitoring and testing children who are adopted. For them, researchers study the IQs in children, their birth parents, and their adoptive parents.

These studies also partially support the nurture side of the debate. Some of these studies have shown that heritabilty is about 48% influential in most humans (Hamer and Copeland 219). Conversely, many investigations have shown that a person? s environment plays a large role in his mental aptitude. This may be the less obvious influential factor on one? s life. Though, considering the enormous result of a human? s surroundings and environment on his life, an in depth investigation should be taken examining this notion. The amount of nourishment an individual receives has been proven to play a very large part in a person? mental ability.

This is especially true concerning infants and young children. The human brain critically needs nutritious food and antitoxins to function properly, particularly in early years of development. Starving people across the globe show why lack of nutrients in human bodies can stunt mental evolution as well as physical growth. ?What a premature infant eats in the first month of life can have lasting intellectual impact? a new study finds? (Raloff). A study done in Great Britain in the late 1980s shows that nutrition plays a very large role in a person? s development.

Adolescents aged twelve to thirteen were given vitamin and mineral supplements for eight months. These subjects were then administered intelligence tests. Test scores were recorded before the test and after the test. These scores were also compared to other adolescents who were not given the supplements. The scores showed that the students who had taken the supplements scored higher on the tests after taking the supplements (Herrnstein and Murray 292). A person? s environment also plays an important role on his development from early on.

Much research shows that people flourish from early stimulation. In an experiment done by H. M. Skeels using orphans, he proved this conception. Skeels studied mentally retarded orphans. Once these children were placed with families to live, were treated well, and were encouragingly nurtured, their IQs increased remarkably (Hamer and Copeland 221). Kagan and Haverman define operant conditioning as the process by which, through learning, free operant behavior becomes attached to a specific stimulus (578). John Watson conducted a substantial experiment in 1913 concerning behaviorism. He has become well- known as the psychologist who played a large role in the research of behaviorism, which is a division of operant conditioning.

Watson used an 11-month-old boy to prove that a person could be conditioned to be afraid of something by which he was not previously affected. The baby used, Albert, was put into a room with no other human and no other distracters present. Watson placed a white rat in the room. Albert seemed to like the rat; he even showed affection towards it. Some time later, Watson would produce a very loud and displeasing noise every time Albert would reach out to touch the rat. As a result, the baby became terrified of every white and furry object in which he came in contact. This distinguished investigation became known as the ?

Albert experiment? (Kagan and Havemann 94). This established that humans could be taught certain feelings and fears through their environment, with which they were not born (Morris and Maisto 15). Experiments such as these ones prove that a person? s environment can have a crucial effect on him and on his manner of thinking. Much research followed experiments like Watson? s. Psychologists have always been enticed by factors, namely environment, that affect humans. Adoption studies have also somewhat shown that a person? s environment plays an important role in his mental ability.

For example, a study done with adoptive children raised in the same house had very similar IQs. Granted this does not seem like considerable evidence; however, these children were in no way related genetically. Their environment growing up provided them with similar aptitudes for learning and for retaining information (Kagan and Havemann 39). ?Fraternal twins (who share approximately half of their genes) present an informative contrast? (B)ecause they are raised in the same environment but are not genetically identical, they help us to see the influence of environmental factors? (Segal 69).

These factors are valuable to this argument. Although certain twin studies are not completely clear in their findings, one specific study indicates that some children? s environments have had significant influence on them. Much current research examines influences on intelligence. (Researchers) examine the extent to which children? s surroundings influence their intellect. In a prior study, they found that children adopted before age 1 into high-income families displayed particularly large IQ gains by adolescence. The new(er) stud(ies) expanded on that (conception) (Bower 54-55).

One study that was conducted proves that an individual’s environment can have an extraordinary affect on a person. The subject of the investigation was called the ? Wild Boy of Aveyron? (Herrnstein and Murray 410). He was discovered in France around 1799, which was soon after the French Revolution. The 12- or 13-year old boy had been found running naked in the woods, mute, wild, and evidently out of contact with humanity for most of his life? (He) seem(ed) to be unable to become fully human despite heroic efforts to restore (his) society (after the Revolution)?

From (this) rare case, we can draw a hopeful conclusion: If the ordinary human environment is so essential for bestowing human intelligence, we should be able to create extraordinary environments to raise it further (Herrnstein and Murray 410). Though exceptional, this incident shows that environment can have an extremely drastic influence on a person. Considering the evidence stated previously in this paper, it would be a result of ignorance to believe that one sole factor, either genetics or environment, determines a person? s mental ability.

It is rather obvious that both of these factors contribute to a person? s mental aptitude. Through the research I have done, it seems that heredity, as well as environment, plays an important role in humans? mentality; but these are not exactly equal in influence though. A person? s entire environment seems to be more effectual in determining his mental ability than heredity is. The most fundamental way to rationalize my opinion is quite comprehensible. It is that heredity determines one? s potential, but environment devises how far one will reach that potential. Nature designs blueprints and nurture modifies them each step of the way? (Dempsey and Zimbardo 164). ?(For instance), some genes increase our risk of heart disease: but if we know this and eat less fat, we reduce the risk? (Tudge).

A study was done to determine whether children who are born first are more intelligent than their later-born siblings. It primarily concluded that there is no relationship between a person? s intelligence and his time of birth. Mainly though, the study confirmed that both heredity and environment are influential in a person. ?Intelligence is influenced by? enetics and quality of childbearing? Parenting efforts can make all the difference in a child? s development? (Rogers 20). In certain cases, both heredity and environment could possibly play a roughly equal role in humans. The mental disorder schizophrenia is one of these circumstances. Schizophrenia has been proven to be very hereditary; furthermore, it is most common among people living in the poor rundown areas (Kagan and Havermann 39).

Hence, humans with schizophrenia may have this brain disorder for a number of reasons related to both heredity and environment. …Because of our genes, we have our limitations…? (Tudge). This is also an important fact to explore connected with human mentality. ?Heredity sets limitations and tendencies while environment takes over to encourage or discourage the development and operation of our inborn traits? (Kagan and Havermann 40). Moreover, this debate is by no means completely resolved (Dempsey and Zimbardo 164). Both heredity and environment affect one considerably; although, my research favors environment as having more influence on an individual.

This debate, like most, is very inconclusive and ongoing. It is up to each individual to choose where he stands in debates like these. The mental abilities of humans are determined by an individual? s genetics. There is also substantial proof that an individual? s environment affects his mental aptitude. Through my research, I have come to the conclusion that environment is more influential, considering the great amount of evidence for that position. What factor, genetics or environment, makes you think the way you do?

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