For centuries, the debate regarding nature and nurture has existed within the psychology community and beyond in terms of human development and achievements. The main aim of this debate is to found out what is the main influence on a person, nature or nurture, or to be more specific, the genetics with which a person is born or the environment in which he is born into and the environment. According to a dissertation writing service UK, this is no easy debate as there are some solid facts and evidence as well as examples that can help readers form their opinions.
Students often get assignments in their academic days that include debates and nature and nurture are hot topics as they give students a chance to understand the basics of what this is all about. Teachers expect students to tackle their assignments most carefully and study in detail the concept of nature and nurture and work on coming up with the best debate.
Nurture debate is the scientific, cultural, and philosophical debate about whether human culture, behavior, and personality are caused primarily by nature or nurture. This is one of the oldest philosophical issues within psychology. In the past, the debate over the contribution of nurture took a very one-sided approach; one group of thinkers argued that nature plays a very important role while the other group argued that nurture is what matters most.
Nurture refers to all the environmental variables that affect who we are, including our early childhood experiences, how we were raised, our social relationships, and our surrounding culture. Nurture assumes that correlations between environmental factors and psychological outcomes are caused environmentally. For instance, how much parents read with their children and how well children learn to read appear to be related. People select, modify and create environments correlated with their genetic disposition.
History of the Nature Vs Nurture Debate:
The nature vs. nurture debate seems to be a never-ending one. In modern times, this debate centers around the effect genes have on human disposition as opposed to the influences that early environment and development might have. Culture, society, and other people can also have a profound effect on the way people develop and behave. In the 1960s, psychologists and pop culture were heavily influenced by the theories of behaviorism. This theory led to the widespread belief that human personality is principally influenced by experiences and training. It was also during this time that researcher John Money attempted to demonstrate that gender was a product of early conditioning by raising a boy, whose circumcision was botched, as a girl. While his experiment seems to be a success in the beginning, yet it was a failure towards the end.
In the past few years, the nature side of the debate gained more attention, as newly discovered genes for every behavior were discovered by scientists. Evolutionary psychology and sociobiology are the two branches of science that attempt to discuss and explain the evolutionary roots of human behavior and books written in this field became extremely popular but despite all this, critics still emphasize the important role of early childhood development, environment, and cultural influences.
Nativists advocate that all or most of the behaviors and characteristics are the results of inheritance. People who believe in this theory also believe that all of our characteristics and behaviors are the result of evolution. Genetic traits handed down from parents influence the individual differences that make each person unique. Even well-known thinkers like John Locke believed in what is known as tabula rasa, which suggests that the mind begins as a blank slate. According to this concept, everything that we are and all of our knowledge is determined by our experience.
Nature affects mental health immensely; certain genetic factors may create a predisposition for a particular illness but there is a chance that a person develops an illness due to the environment. When a genetic variant indicates the possibility of developing a mental illness, this information can be used for nurturing behavior in such a way that the condition may not develop, or even if develops, it will not be so severe.
Empiricists believe that all or most behaviors and characteristics result from learning and behaviorism is a good example of a theory rooted in empiricism. Behaviorists believe that all actions and behaviors are the results of conditioning. Theorists such as John B. Watson believed that people could be trained to do and become anything, regardless of their genetic background.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool recently found that while a family history of mental health conditions was the second strongest predictor of mental illness, the strongest predictor was in fact life events and experiences, such as childhood bullying, abuse, or other trauma. This indicates that nurture is playing a significant role in the development of mental health issues.