Share
Explore BrainMass

Nature/Nurture Debate

Out of all of the sciences, psychology hold the most controversy in the nature vs. nurture debate. This is the debate surrounding whether behavioural traits are created and influenced by one's genes or one's environment

There are two classical sides in this debate. Nativists believe that everything that constitutes a person comes at least primarily, if not entirely from their genes. Empiricists post that people’s behaviours are almost entirely influenced by their environment.

In reality, genes interact with the environment at every level. This means that all behaviour results from both nature and nurture. Although historically the debate has been more binary, most psychologists agree that both genetics and environment influence all behaviour on some level. Since this shift in the study of psychology, the direction of that nature/nurture debate has gone from 'is behaviour dictated by genes or environment' to 'what is the relationship between genes and environment in expression behavioural traits?' Many new fields have emerged that study this relationship.

Behavioural geneticists study the relationship between genes and behaviour. Although genes do not have a direct influence on behaviour, they guide cells to generate proteins that cause cells to form chemicals in the body that are related to behaviour, such as neurotransmitters

Most behaviours are found to be caused by an interaction of multiple genes with the environment. Most disorders with genetic traits are polygenic - meaning that they are influenced by more than one gene.

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes that occur without a change in DNA sequence. The environment  can actually influence how  genes behave and express themselves. 

A common example used in the nature/nurture debate is that of twins. If two identical twin grow up separately from each other, they can grow up to look different due to their different lifestyles, even though their DNA is still identical. The epi genome does not change the DNA but decides whether or how much some genes are expressed in different cells in the body. Environmental factors that can do this include stress, diet, behavior and toxins that can activate chemical switches to regulate gene expression. 

Image Credit: Two Buckets View at Wikimedia CommonsHomogenous Mudpie View at Wikimedia Commons

These graphs illustrate the field of psychology's shift concerning the nature vs. nurture debate.

 

Genetic links

Briefly select a side in the nature vs. nurture debate of personality development and then locate at least five current research studies with a summary as to whether childhood temperament and personality have a biological basis.

Survivor TV Show and Social Deviance

a. Descibe and example of a television program that you believe clearly displays social deviance, and explain why you specifically selected it? b.The television program how are people labeled as socially deviating from the expected social norms and who does the labeling? c. Analyze the deviance, using terms such as primary dev

Father Involvement During and After Pregnancy: Research

This solution genersates ideas on father involvement during and after pregnancy with the following: 1. An overview of the topic 2. Explain the physical and biological developments that occur throughout the lifespan as it relates to the topic 3. Explain how culture and society have influence on this type of development 4. P

Adolescent Egocentricism Information

Reflect on two of Elkind's manifestations of adolescent egocentrism: 1. The imaginary audience 2. The personal fable Next, create two case studies (350 words each), each illustrating one of these. Case studies can be personal experiences or made up for the purpose of illustration. Examples should be unique.

Correlation and Causation

1. The Developing Person addresses the importance of accurately interpreting research data. One common mistake identified is the confusion of correlation with causation. In this week's DQ1 forum, define both correlation and causation and provide one new example of each. Provide an example of a negative impact of confusing

Environmental Risk Perception

Select an environmental risk, such as climate change, and research two articles from peer-reviewed journals that have different perceptions of the level of risk (i.e., low, high) Provide a summary of each article. Compare and contrast the risk perceptions presented in each article. Identify any environmental stressors that ar

IQ and Culture

Please help answer the following questions: Although modern Intelligence Quotient (IQ ) tests are greatly improved, share your views on why there is still some difficulty of fairness for people from different cultures/ethnicity? Is the cultural aspect influenced by nurture or nature or both?

Survival of the Fittest theory by Charles Darwin

What does the term survival of the fittest mean? If Darwin did not have the vision to investigate the differences in species, where would psychology be today? Please provide references and notes thank you.

The Nurture Versus Nature Debate in Language Development

The relative significance of nature and nurture on the development of human language has been a historical debate spanning decades of cognitive and developmental psychology. For many years, people have debated and discussed the importance of nature and nurture and which has greater significance in human development. In this assi

Parent and teacher feedback in the assessment process

Assessment is used for various purposes and it is important to understand the role as a teacher or caregiver within the context of each purpose. Discuss at least two examples of how some of these purposes can be beneficial and two examples of how they can be detrimental.

Observational Learning and Video Game Violence

Many people confuse negative reinforcement with positive punishment. Define and differentiate these terms, and discuss ways to keep them straight. Discuss the difference between continuous and intermittent reinforcement. If you want a response to continue after it has been learned, which schedule should you choose? Provide an

Psychology: Personality Development Theory

Most of Sigmund Freud's theories are over 100 years old. Over time, his theories have sparked controversy and disagreement. Some have stood the test of time. Freud is regarded as one of the most important and influential thinkers of the last century. While most modern academics believe he was wrong about many things, his concept

Temperament

For this discussion, focus on the development of temperament in the context of nature and nurture, emphasizing the parent-child relationship. Share real-life professional or personal observations that illustrate the development of temperament, citing major theories or recent research that support your observations. Need r

Biopsychology as a neuroscience

1. Why is it flawed to ask how much of a particular behavior is due to genetics and how much is due to experience? 2. Why is it appropriate to separate the contributions of genetics and experience when measuring the development of differences among individuals?

Nature or nurture

The nature vs. nurture theory is a very debatable subject, so debatable that many areas of interest have been developed to attempt to answer this question and/or decide on which factor has more influence. Nature is depicted as our hereditary factors and nurture is depicted as our social and environmental factors. In an attemp

Personality Traits: Nature or Nurture

Prepare an in-depth analysis of the following topic (a) A consensus is emerging concerning the fundamental dimensions of personality traits: and (b) There is possible biological and evolutionary basis for inherited aspects of these traits. Summarize and critique the evidence for these two suggestions. Finally, discuss th