Nature vs Nurture

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Twin study, Human nature Pages: 4 (1283 words) Published: July 11, 2013
Nature vs. Nurture is a topic that has been long debated by psychologist and everyday individuals alike. Twin studies have been used by scientists to provide enlightenment on environmental and hereditary influences on behavioral development. While certain elements in a child’s upbringing and environment are bound to influence the way he or she will grow up to socialize, interact, and internalize this world we live in, researchers are interested in the relative importance of genetic predispositions. Our social and antagonistic experiences help to shape our personality and mental development, but what about what has already been "wired" into our DNA? We can physically see that characteristics like height, weight, hair color, eye color, and other facial and body characteristics can be passed from parent to child. However, epigenetics research often questions if mental or behavioral characteristics such as personality traits, or mental abilities are also etched into our DNA. Although inquisitiveness about the importance of both environment and heredity has existed for centuries, scientists are at the earliest stages of investigating which factor plays a bigger role. (Powledge 2011) Inconsistencies in the arguments between leading psychologists have led to the reformation of the "nature - nurture" theory. Since heredity and environment have been proven to both influence our future outcomes the only fair question that can be posed is "How Much" of a role does either side play in the mental and physical development of a child. One of the most amazing things in science is the study of multiples. For decades, psychologists have tracked the growth, development and mental capabilities of twins, triplets, etc. Identical twins specifically, who originate from a single sperm and egg share the same

genetic make-up, yet this does not mean that they are exactly alike. Environmental factors, as well as chemical changes within DNA influence the physical appearance and...

References: Harris, J. R. (1995). Where is the child 's environment? A group socialization theory of development. Psychological Review, 102, 458-489.
Loehlin, J. C., Willerman, L., Horn, J. M. (1988). Human behavior genetics. Annual Review of Psychology
Powledge, T. M. (2011). Behavioral Epigenetics: How Nurture Shapes Nature. Bioscience, 61(8), 588-592. doi:10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.4
Richman, (2007) http://www.npr.org/2007/10/25/15629096/identical-strangers-explore-nature-vs-nurture
Elyse Schein, P. B. (2007). Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited. Random House Publishing Group.
Witt, J. (2012) Soc2012. New York; McGraw Hill (p .75)
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