Nature vs Nurture

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Human behavior, Intelligence quotient Pages: 2 (654 words) Published: February 17, 2014


“Nature versus nurture: What affects a person more, their genes or their surroundings and the way they raised?” Name:
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The debate on nature versus nurture is as old as the field of psychology itself. Opinion is divided as to the issue whether human behavior is influenced by human experiences or genetic factors. The crux of the debate revolves around the question as to whether it is the innate attributes of an individual or the environmental experiences of one’s surroundings that shape up the physical and biological traits of an individual (Ceci & Williams, 1999). We argue that though both innate characteristics and environmental experiences affect an individual, it is the latter that has a greater influence on the behavior and physical traits of an individual. Whereas nature denotes the inborn qualities of an individual also known as nativism, nurture, in this whole debate encompasses the individual experiences of a human being. Basically, nature refers to one’s genes while nurture characterizes the child hood experiences of a person. Those who subscribe to the idea of nature having an effect on human behavior are of the view that the physical and personality attributes of a human being are determined by one’s genes, notwithstanding the environment within which one is raised (Rutter, 2006). On the other hand, those who argue that persons are affected by nurture, argue that while one may be born with the innate quality or genes of giving one a normal body, they may face malnutrition in their childhood thus causing stunted growth. In essence, it may well be stated that while nature insists on the biological and family factors, nurture emphasizes on the social and environmental factors (Ceci & Williams, 1999). There is ample evidence to indicate that both biological as well as environmental factors are responsible for the IQ of a child. While the intelligence of a person is mainly determined by the genetic factors or the...

References: Ceci, S. J., & Williams, W. M. (1999). The Nature–nurture debate: the essential readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Coll, C. G., Bearer, E. L., & Lerner, R. M. (2004). Nature and Nurture: The Complex Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Behavior and Development. Mahwah(NJ): Lawrence Erlbaum.
Rutter, M. (2006). Genes and Behavior: Nature-Nurture Interplay Explained. Malden,MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
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