It is probably the most discussed and controversial topic in psychology, the “nature versus nurture” debate. It is a debate whether human behavior, attitude, and personalities is the result of biological/genetic factors (nature) or is it life experiences and what we learn/reflect from them (nurture). It is impossible to know for sure if it is nature or if it is nurture affects a person’s behavior more maybe it is a mix of both that decides or suggests an individual’s behavior. There also a possibility if neither nature or nurture affects the person’s behavior. In this paper of nature versus nurture debate it will consist of an overview of the topic and how it is used in psychology.
It is believed that nature-nurture debate can be started back when Plato suggested the idea of innate knowledge and Locke suggested the tabula rasa (Dodge). Plato and Socrates suggested the people are born with ideas, which Aristotle and Locke suggested when you are born the mind is a blank slate (“Tabula Rasa”). There was point where Charles Darwin believed the in a mix of both. This was during the time when Darwin was noticing variations among species and he then made the theory of evolution. The theory states that nature choses the best traits for a species to survive and reproduce in different environments. Based on what has been stated so far it can be said that nature gives us what we already have, but we can nurture ourselves and change ourselves in different.
I can say that I have received a few traits from my parents. I have a good work ethic has from my dad. My mom is a nurse concerned for others, so she has need to help others and I try to do the same. Of course in the environment I grew up in as a child and I am currently growing in I have gained new habits, and lost old ones in order to adapt. I have been raised to be responsible for things that I do and to respect everyone I meet. Another thing is that I may not be rewarded for things for I am supposed to but I should do good things for the right reasons.
A person’s personality is a combination of both nature and nurture, but with more nurture, to have gone so much life that I am now and I am wanting to be because of those experiences are shaping me as a person.
My personality is based some of the environment I am in because I find that I share the same thoughts and make the same choices as my parents. Most of my social life is being around my friends, people who have influenced to be a better version of me, who have seen me in my up and down moments in my life. I do not talk with my parents nearly as much as friends. It can be said my points in my life where I watch my mom, dad, and grandmother and how they act and behave and what they have told me what I should do and what I should not do and why has definitely shaped me as a person. While meeting more and new people and people who are my closest friends and them being people who I want to be around with to help me grow as a person also impacts my life. If I was raised in a different environment or different parents I could have been totally different due to my environment and the stressors affecting me or I could have been exactly like my biological parents.
The concept of nature and nurture for people will be different for everyone. It hard to tell if you learned or you inherited the things that you do. Even though I have qualities that I share with my parents, the thing is that I could have learned those qualities during the span of my life and that that my parents learned what they learned from their parents so some traits cannot be inherited. I do believe that the genes have the potential for to determine a person’s behavior and personality and that they can be active in the situations where the trigger is caused that will allow the person to change to adapt to the environment.
In psychology, the theory of nature-nurture is used on a constant basis to set a base line where on where a person’s problems may have occurred during their lifetime. “In all areas of the behavioral sciences, genetic influence has been shown to account for substantial variance, but this same research provides strong evidence for the importance of environment as well. Heritability, which is an effect size index of the proportion of phenotypic variance that is accounted for by genetic variance, is typically between 30 and 60% across psychological traits, which means that 40–70% of the variance is not genetic in origin.” (Plomin, Robert). This means in the some of the heritable traits are have been counted for as a mutation or change for the genes, for psychological traits while the other part is counted as it is not genetic and that it suggested that environment plays a role.
In behaviorism where behavior is due to reinforcement of reward or punishment we can be taught on how we should act and why we should act this way. While in cognitive psychology we can use the information we have gained in circumstances to make informed decision, the humanistic approach could be to love and accept that we can be everything or anything we want to be. In psychoanalysis, it can be stated the unconscious is what motivates people’s behavior and decision. In psychology the theory of nature vs nurture can be interpreted in many ways and psychologists or anyone in the psychology field are still trying to grasp this concept and trying to prove one or the other or claim there is a balance between both.
Of course there are many subfields then those mentioned above everyone is dedicating their lives to understanding trying to understand. While teaching why people do what they do or researching it. There also those who try to help people trying to help people improve themselves and help deal with aspects that people want to change about themselves that they have experienced in their whether if its due to nature or nurture and if see if they can change it in any sort of way.
“The issue is not nature versus nurture, but rather nature and nurture because both are important, which suggests that the way forward is to develop strategies that bring nature and nurture together to help us understand the development of complex traits.” (Plomin, Robert) We need to be able to accept both as being factors of what makes us, who we currently are. A culmination of nature where our behavior, attitude, and personalities or nurture, the result of biological/genetic factors or the life experiences.
It should be mentioned that in the current decade of social media we feel that we need to conform to social norms what seems to be cool and acceptable while it can be wrong. It is the time were the internet is everywhere even on cell phones, while back it in day there was a time we had to use dial up to access the internet on a desktop computer. The internet is used a lot of different ways to express ourselves, our feelings, thoughts and etc. Whether it is through Facebook, YouTube and other forms of social media like snapchat people want to be heard or be another person. While they have their own experiences other people accept them and while others do one thing that is morally wrong but it is cool then other people will start doing it to be acceptable because social media is their environment and they adapt in that way.
Even though there are many more factors trying to keep the paper at the simplest form this should encompass most of the debate of nature and nurture. Even though there will be constant debate of what should be considered whether a psychological trait is inherited or learned in because of the person’s surroundings can be factors. In psychology it can be seen the many fields from psychoanalysis, to cognition, behaviorism and even family systems, these all play a factor in the debate of nature and nurture along with the science behind it trying to support that what people do are partially inherited.