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Personal thoughts on Nature-Nurture debate
Yet another naturally occurring phenomenon that garners much attention, and on the surface seems ideal for studying the influence of nature versus nurture, is the existence of savants. The term savant is used to refer to those who have an outstanding ability in one area or skill while simultaneously having a more general intellectual deficiency (Miller, 2005). Researchers and theorists have used the existence of a unique and an especially astute ability in a specific area as one part of the evidence for specific or multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983). Because this one ability is intact, yet other abilities are not, it suggests that there are specific innate abilities for this sort of “intelligence” that the savant displays. On the other hand, some argue that savants may focus all of their attention on one ability or skill and develop it through practice (Miller, 2005). So again the complications of naturally occurring phenomena block researchers from making firm conclusions regarding nature versus nurture from savants.
The debate concerning the heritability of intelligence is one example of a continuing issue, and a vigorous one at that, in the nature versus nurture debate. Providing viewpoints from both sides of the debate demonstrates some of the complexities that will continue to keep this debate an important part of psychology over the next century. Although some still argue that either nature or nurture is the most important influence on human beings and their psychological traits, the future seems to be focused on interactionist approaches that will attempt to better explain how nature and nurture interact to make us who we are psychologically.
Nature Vs Nurture Essay Free Essays - StudyMode
On the issue of nature vs. nurture, I have always held the view that when we are born, we know nothing. Environmental factors continue to influence our personality considering that we learn most things as we grow up. However, this is not to mean that we are not born without some innate intelligence or traits. As we grow up, the inherited traits also come up little by little, hence influencing the way we do things. However, nobody can explain why he or she carries his or her parents’ character since it comes naturally and nobody chooses which ones to take. On the other hand, a person can explain how a certain character that is not inherited, developed, or why they act that way, and why he or she refuses to take certain characters and chooses others. I also feel that inherited traits influence our nurtured traits such as being taught to work hard while there is an inner part inherited that creates some laziness. No matter how hard a person may try to kill these characters, it might be hard while nurtured traits can be stopped. Hence, I would assert that a person’s character could not just be defined by one of the two sides alone; rather it is a combination of both with the effects of nature being more permanent than those of nurture are. I also think that the environmental factors exist to facilitate the growth of inherited characters since we have to learn in order to realize we have talents in certain fields. Many people may have talents that they do not know about, probably inherited from their parents, yet they have not made use of them since they have been influenced by environmental factors. For instance, a person may not have much interest in a certain subject such as arts, yet he or she may have some innate talent. This could probably be out of environmental influences such as other people making them believe that science is a better subject to major in.
One of the most persistent issues in the field of psychology is the nature versus nurture debate. This debate concerns how much of an individual, and who s/he is, can be attributed either to nature (i.e., inborn tendencies or genetic factors) or to nurture (i.e., learning or environmental factors). This debate can be one of the most contentious issues in psychology because of the potential serious political ramifications of nature/nurture findings (de Waal, 1999). Although the science of psychology has entered the 21st century, it seems that the nature versus nurture debate will continue to be an active part of psychological research for many areas, including research on intelligence, personality, and mental illness. This research paper will begin with a general overview of the history of the nature/nurture question, focusing on the history of psychology and how psychologists have emphasized the different sides of this debate over time. Next, we discuss current approaches in psychology relevant to the nature/nurture debate and possibly the most controversial aspect of this debate today (i.e., the heritability of intelligence). In addition, the research methods that psychologists have at their disposal to help them determine whether a trait has genetic or environmental influences will be described. Lastly, we discuss the complexities of trying to apply research from the nature versus nurture debate.
Piaget And Vygotsky Nature Vs Nurture Free Essays
Although psychology in the 21st century is a scientific field that has developed many methods to investigate psychological phenomena, and our understanding of development has become more sophisticated, the nature versus nurture debate remains very active. An example of part of this continuing debate that will exist for the foreseeable future is the heritability of intelligence. Since Galton and Goddard argued that intelligence is essentially inherited, there have been researchers who have supported this conclusion. Over the years aspects of this debate have become part of the more unseemly beliefs of racism. Not that those who conclude that intelligence is inherited are racist, but that conclusion has in the past been partly motivated by racist beliefs against immigrants. This should demonstrate how volatile the nature versus nurture debate can be and how potentially important and influential research findings in this area are. In 1994 Herrnstein and Murray argued that intelligence was indeed a general cognitive ability on which humans differ, that IQ scores do not fluctuate much over the life span, and most importantly, that intelligence is largely heritable. Although behavioral genetic research tends to support the conclusion that intelligence is indeed substantially influenced by nature, most researchers today emphasize an interactionist perspective that recognizes the importance of both nature and nurture even when perhaps a majority of a trait, like intelligence, might be attributable to nature.
Even though the focus of most psychologists today is on the interaction of nature and nurture, there are still some theoretical approaches that emphasize the importance of nurture. Ericsson, Nandagopal, and Roring (2005) argue for the nurture side of the debate. They argue that expert performance does not rely on an inherited talent or giftedness; rather, expert performance is the result of acquired abilities that have been developed through extended deliberate practice. Ericsson et al. (2005) argue that evidence supports the conclusion that, contrary to experts in a given domain being born, before one can perform expertly in a given domain he or she must have prolonged experience in that field. Furthermore, they point out that a person’s performance in a specific area improves gradually over time and with experience; even the performance of so-called child prodigies follows this pattern. Ericsson et al. also argue that the historical improvements in performance over the last 100 years support the conclusion that expert performance is not due to innate talent. They point out that if talent were genetic, then improvements in talent over the last 100 years would not be possible because genes would fix an upper limit on talent that could not change dramatically in so short a time period. So according to Ericsson et al., their expert-performance framework attributes differences in expert performance (even among so-called prodigies) to acquired cognitive and physiological changes that are the result of extended deliberate practice.
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debate on nature verses nurture
This sample Nature vs. Nurture Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples, it is not a . If you need help with writing your assignment, please use our and buy a paper on any of the .
M1- Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to …
The nature-nurture debate has been around for a long time, seeking to determine the behavior of a person. Every person in this world has his or her character traits that are different from others, although some bear a similarity especially in closely related people such as twins and between a father and son. The nature-nurture debate suggests that the character of a person is shaped by both naturally acquired traits through inheritance from parents while others are acquired from the surrounding that continue to influence one’s thinking all the time. The debate revolves around which has more influence in one’s personality, with scholars continuing to debate while providing strongly supported arguments that have been researched and proven to great extents. However, the fact remains that human personality is determined by factors of both nature and nurture (McLeod 2007).
free essay on Nature Versus Nurture Debate in Psychology
The nature versus nurture debate stretches all the way back to the earliest days of Western philosophy, when Plato essentially believed that knowledge was inborn in humans and we merely needed to recollect this knowledge (although Plato did not believe that this was necessarily an easy process). We can firmly place Plato’s position on the nature side of the debate. On the other hand, we can firmly place another major figure in Western philosophy, Aristotle, on the nurture side of the debate. According to Aristotle, true knowledge was not inborn but came from one’s experiences with and observations of the physical world. This debate has been reincarnated repeatedly throughout the history of Western civilization. For instance, many centuries after Plato and Aristotle, the German rationalist Emanuel Kant and the British empiricist John Locke were laying out positions on opposite sides of this same debate. Of course, it was Locke who popularized the notion of the human mind as a tabula rasa (blank slate) at birth, meaning that individuals are not born with innate knowledge; rather, any knowledge or ability that a person eventually attains will have come about through that individual’s experiences. This places Locke firmly on the nurture side of the debate. On the nature side of the debate was Kant. Kant believed that before the mind could make any sense of its experiences there had to be an innate structure to the mind that enabled it to perceive the world and give meaning to one’s experiences. It was this innate ability of the mind that was most important to the attainment of knowledge. Whereas Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and Kant were primarily concerned with how humans can gain knowledge, modern psychologists are more interested in factors such as intelligence, personality, and mental illness. Thus, the nature versus nurture debate has a long history in Western culture (Hergenhahn, 2005). This research paper, however, will focus on the nature versus nurture question in psychology.
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