M1 Discuss The Nature Nuture Debate

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Twin study, Human nature Pages: 6 (1526 words) Published: November 23, 2014
M1 - Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the development of an individual. Introduction:
In this assignment we will discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the language development of an individual. It will include a variety of different language theorists such as; Noam Chomsky (1951), Steven Pinker (1994) and B.F. Skinner (1957). We will discuss who they were and what their theories were, and also we will discuss a twin study in language development. Determinism/Choice and Interaction:

Determinism is the philosophical theory that every event, including human cognition and behaviour, decision and action, is determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinists generally believe in only one possible future, though deny that humans lack free will. This can be either by what the individual has genetically inherited or by social environment and experience. The alternative to determinism is choice and interaction which is the belief that people can take control of their own lives through the choices they make which can also be called nurture or free-will. Some people think that everything is fixed by the nature or by nurture or that everything is a matter of choice. However, most people understand that the human life course involves an interaction of nature, nurture and the decisions and choices that people make. Moonie. N (2007) pages 165-166 Nature vs. Nurture:

The definition of learning through ‘nature’ is that things that we know which are innate. These things are biologically caused and genetically inherited. The definition of ‘nurture’ is the effect of the lifestyle and environment has on influence on our lives, as we can control it. The nature-nurture debate is all about whether genetics (nature) or our environment (nurture) is responsible for our behaviour and development. This essay will include the language development about the nature- nurture debate. Lancaster. K (2009) page 45 The nature vs. nurture debate has been around for many centuries which argue about the role of heredity and environment in human development. We acknowledge that both nature and nurture play a role in language acquisition. Theorists have argued that all humans are born with instincts which we have throughout life. However, other theorists have argued that the way we have been brought up, the culture and environment around us are extremely influential in what defines our personality traits and characteristics. Theories of Language Development:

Both of the theorists Noam Chomsky (1959) and Steven Pinker (1994) had believed that the ability to develop an oral and signed language can be hereditarily automatic to us. Chomsky said that we are with a ‘language acquisition device’ that allows to be familiar with and develop languages that we experience. Children do develop language really quickly and it is most likely that the ability to use language is hereditarily automatic in the same way as our ability to stand or walk. The ability to use language develops because of maturation, which means it is assumed to be due to a hereditarily programmed order of change. We would need to experience other people using language, but we do not need to be trained in order to speak. Moonie. N (2007) page 161 Evidence for an innate human capacity to acquire language skills comes from the following observations: The stages of language development occur at about the same ages in most children, even though different children experience very different environments. Children’s language development follows a similar pattern across cultures. Children generally acquire language skills quickly and effortlessly. Deaf children who have not been exposed to a language may make up their own language. These new languages resemble each other in sentence structure, even when they are created in different cultures. Twin studies in language development:

Most of the studies done on the nature vs. nurture debate have been conducted on the...

References: Lancaster. K (2009) ‘AS Health and Social Care’, Edexcel (pages 45-49)
Moonie. N (2007) ‘Health and Social Care’ Book 1, Heinemann: Oxford (pages 160-166)
‘BF Skinner, Behavioralism, & Language Behaviour’ [online] [07/12/13]
‘Wild Child Speechless After Tortured Life’ [online] [07/12/13]
‘Twins vs. Adoption’ [online] [07/12/13]
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