Introduction of Nature and Nurture
Francis Galton brought up this argument when he referred to heredity and environment as two different causes for unique differences (1869). Three focal studies arise due to this debate; personality, pathologies, and cognitive thinking. Individual differences in personality traits are due to the consolidation of biology and the environment (Krueger & Johnson, 2008). Nature involves genetics and other biological factors pass down from generation to generation. Nurture is the influence of external factors (environment). Nature versus Nurture debate is a combative discussion, and any psychologist hasn’t proven completely until present due to its complexity. This article bids to support the contribution of both heredity and environment to an individual’s differences.
The Influence of Nature and Nurture
Personality, being assumed as a genetically influenced behavior brought about a debate as to whether it is a combination of both nature and nurture. Even though heredity plays a major role in the personality of an individual, nurture
contributes critically as development occurs throughout the life span. The personality starts to be rather diverse from the development of early childhood to the mature life due to the impact of the environment.
Behavioral genetics of Nature and Nurture
Behavioral genetics contain three main laws (Turkheimer, 2002) in which the first law is “all human behavioral traits are heritable”. The second law is that being raised in the same family doesn’t necessarily affect the individual differences as much as genetics does. Finally, the third law is that minor individual differences can be recognized to effects sole to each individual. Environmental stress, biochemical imbalance, genetic factors all affect the way a person behaves.
Environmental factors of Nature and Nurture
Heredity and the environmental aspects emerge their impact on individual differences via several means (McAdams, 2015). Environmental factors influence Hormonal regulations, neurotransmitter release, etc. Similarly, genes determine experiences. Even though a common environment is shared, due to their genotypes, the way they respond to the situation can be altered as per their understanding. The individual’s inherited experience may alert him to both possible extremes of the environment (pessimistic and optimistic).
The percentage of genetics and surrounding influence alters through life; the genetic aspect reaches a peak at adolescents, remains stable throughout middle ages, and slowly declines as the individual grows old while the environmental impact keeps increasing. Even though all the growing processes count on the information encrypted in the genes, throughout this process, inborn and external aspects cooperate dependently. The growth is useless if the individual is cut out from external influences. The basic development processes of the brain require both nature and nurture
Heredity provides the potential and the environment enhances it. The amount of psychological growth for an individual cannot be fully altered due to an arousing and more exciting environment as the growth is restricted by the hereditary potential. Exerting different levels of stimulation to two different individuals won’t make them develop equally either as the genetic traits can determine how an individual may think and interpret the world.
In the twin experiment, the IQ between the twins reared apart was dissimilar due to this reason. Enthusiasts of the nature analysis of humanoid conduct state that intelligence is purely due to genes (Schoff, 2009). On the contrary, due to the nature-nurture debate, it is known that intelligence has vast branches. For example; social intelligence is the result of nurture and the individuals’ involvement and communal conditions. The complete involvement of genetics in common diseases is not fully proven and is thought to be an assumption by certain psychologists.
Mental disorders of Nature and Nurture
There are five familial inherited mental disorders that many scientists have acknowledged throughout years of research. They are schizophrenia, severe depression, ADHD, autism, and bipolar disorder. Disabilities such as down-syndrome, fragile X, cystic fibrosis, and albinism are visible from birth. Even cardiac disorders such as heart attacks, high blood cholesterol, cardiomyopathy, and diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer can be inherited.
These disorders are also thought to be predominantly due to the environment. Many of these diseases can be either encouraged or discouraged according to the individual’s lifestyle and dietary choices. For example; cholesterol can be cut down by limiting access to fast food. This states that unlike inevitable disabilities, the extreme risk of diseases can be altered according to the surroundings and choices made.
Inheritance of Nature and Nurture
Unbalanced temperaments of parents may often be passed down to the children (Torgersen, 2009). The Juke family is one standard example. The family was known to have a history of tarnished reputation therefore most offspring too had disturbed criminal behavior. However, due to modern studies, crime was not considered as an inherited trait. On the contrary, emotional traits were known to be inherited partly.
Therefore, how these emotions are molded hinge on the surroundings. A discouraging and problematic childhood and family environment can lead to aggression (Matthews KA et al, 1996). Many children with aggressive parents can transpire to be calm and accountable.
This, however, depends on the surrounding the child is exposed to in the developmental stages and the impact their rising relationships have. However, twin studies display a genetic influence on this behavior. Aggression and problematic temperaments share common rudiments. Philosophers such as Plato, Descartes claimed that certain traits are innate and cannot be altered due to the environment and involvement of the individual (Myers, 2013).
The nativist theory of Nature and Nurture
The nativist theory is a biologically
centered theory in which they believe that humans are preprogrammed and their variances are due to their unique genetic code. They are called “nativists”. The features that aren’t present during birth but emerge later in life are a product of development. An example of this theory is the maturation of the body from adolescence to puberty.
Theory of Nature and Nurture
On the contrary, environmentalists believe John Locke’s theory in which it states that the mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa) which is later enriched by the individuals’ experiences and involvement with the environment thus stating that the behavioral variation is due to learning (Mullen, 2006).