nature versus nurture

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Intelligence quotient, Human nature Pages: 6 (1914 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Introduction
This essay will discuss the long and tedious psychology debate of nature versus nurture and how they interact to influence development and shape us as individuals. The essay will define nature and nurture separately and it examine how they influence our development and behaviour by looking at research which was carried out on “Virtual Twins” and the genetic influences on peoples well being and health for example neonatal lung disease. It will argue how nature and nurture co inside with one and other through genotype-environment correlation. Also throughout the essay references will be made to Urie Bronfenbrenner and Charles Darwin, whose theories relate greatly to development and nature versus nurture. The essay will also examine how the nature versus nurture debate can assist a social care practitioner in their daily work. Nature versus Nurture

Before we examine how nature and nurture affect our development we must first be able to define what development is. According to Santrock development can be classified as “the pattern of change in human capabilities that begins at conception and continues throughout the lifespan” (Santrock, 2003, p. 119). These patterns are shaped through several different processes, biological process, cognitive process and socioemotional processes (Santrock, 2003). Physical refers to growth in a person’s biological nature and genes which are inherited from our parents. Cognitive describes the alterations in a person’s thoughts, intelligence and language. Finally socioemotional refers to changes in a person’s relationships with other individuals and changes in emotions due to this interaction (Santrock, 2003). Here we can already see that both nature and nurture play a vital role in our development as a person.

To fully understand the nature nurture debate we must first separate them and be able to describe what each aspect entails. Nature refers to the genes we inherit from our parents and how they play an important role in developing human behaviour. Whereas, nature refers to the environment around us and the people who influence our behaviour. Here we say that the environment includes all of the surrounding physical and social conditions (Santrock, 2003). Nature and nurture is studied using many different types of research methods such as descriptive, correlation and experimental research. Each method used depends on the type of information a researcher wishes to find out about either nature or nurture or both. Descriptive research is most suited to collecting data for nature or nurture, as descriptive research uses observations, surveys, interviews and case studies. A cross sectional approach could be used with surveys to collect data over a wide age group. However this type of study does not allow for a relation to be made between early and late behaviour. However correlation research is also widely used as it allows a link to be made. For example, it could be used to find the IQ similarities between adopted children and either their biological or adopted parents. Experimental behaviour is difficult to use for collecting data on nature and nurture, however it could be used to examine how the environment influences an individual’s behaviour. Collecting data separately on nature and nurture is very difficult to do as they are both so closely linked. This brings us to the main argument of the nature nurture debate is what percentage of human development is due to nature and what percent is due to nurture. To do this we must look at different research on both nature and nurture separately As described earlier nature is classified by our inherited genetics, for example we get our hair and eye colour from the genes our parents have given us; also we inherit psychological characteristics such as temperament and emotional stability. This type of study of genetics is known as psychogenetics or behaviour genetics (Atkinson, Atkinson, & Hilgard, 1983). Certain diseases can also be...
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