Psychologists and researchers have spent many hours discussing this answer. The nature versus nurture debate has been going on for years, with plenty of compelling evidence on both sides. Many say that our environment completely determines how we develop as people, others claim the opposite. They claim that the biology of a person is decisive. How is a person actually formed?
How Is A Human Formed?
The Nature versus Nurture debate is a much-discussed topic in psychology. The nature versus nurture issue has to do with the question of whether genetic determinations shape us into who we are or whether our environment does this. Genetics (biology) is the nature side and the environment is the nurture side.
There are many psychologists who argue that only one side has influence, while other psychologists believe that nature and nurture both have influence but not in equal value. However, most contemporary psychologists think that both have an effect on the development of a type of person.
- Have you ever been afraid without knowing exactly why you were afraid?
- Do you have certain fears because society has taught you to be afraid?
- Have you ever wondered why you adopt the same attitude as a member of your family?
- Is it because of biology or because you grew up with this person?
Many questions like these have forced us to ask ourselves what is the real cause of all this.
Nature: The Biology Of Man
Nature is the genetics (biology) of the person. We inherit many traits from relatives such as hair color, eye color, height, and so on. These are properties that are not usually altered by nature. They are part of our genes encoded on our chromosomes. It is a known fact that all this stems from genetics, let there be no doubt about it. The real question, when it comes to nature, is whether the more abstract traits (behavior, temperament, fear, personality, and so on) also come from genes.
Twin/adoption studies are often conducted to test the nature versus nurture issue. It is according to what happened during a twin/adoption study. Two identical twins are separated at birth and live in two different parts of the world and these two different families (both non-biological) are compared.
Often shocking results are found when the twins are brought together and discuss their lives. What often happens is that twins grow up in two completely different environments, yet have very similar characteristics, such as the same interests, talents, personality, behavior, and so on. This is proof that genetics (biology) has an effect on the way people behave.
Nurture: The Environment
Nurture has to do with our environment. The question on the nurture side of this issue is whether the environment affects the type of person he or she will become. Take as an example that nurture is indeed the cause of one’s behavior, attitude, personality, and so on.
This would mean that others surrounding the person can influence a certain behavior. This would mean that a person is not born with a personality, but it is the people in his or her life or in society that will shape the nature of the person.
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British philosopher John Locke agreed with the nurture side of this issue and believed that everyone is born a Tabula Rasa, Latin for “blank slate.” He believed that at birth, the mind is a blank slate and that our experiences become writing on these slates. According to this theory, we are born with no knowledge of what to fear or how to act. It is up to our environment to teach us how to act and behave.
In 1920, an experiment was conducted by John B. Watson and his assistant Rosalie Rayner at Johns Hopkins University. This experiment included an 11-month-old child, Albert. In this experiment, Albert was given a white rat to play with through a natural stimulus. Albert showed no fear of the rat and the rat and Albert became familiar. Later in the experiment, the rat was brought back to Albert but with a loud rattling sound.
Little Albert was frightened by the unpleasant noise and began to cry. The loud rattling sound was the unconditioned stimulus that resulted in an unconditioned response. After a period of exposure to the rat along with the noise, Albert was exposed to the rat alone, without the noise.
The rat now became a conditioned stimulus. This caused Albert to cry every time he saw the rat, expecting a loud noise to come. He now feared the rat because he feared the noise. This was a conditioned response. After Albert was taught to fear the rat, Watson took the experiment further by introducing other furry objects, including a black rat, a dog, and a Santa Claus mask with a furry beard.
Albert feared all these things. Little Albert was taught to fear from the nature perspective. a dog and a Santa Claus mask with a hairy beard. Albert feared all these things. Little Albert was taught to fear from the nature perspective. a dog and a Santa Claus mask with a hairy beard. Albert feared all these things. Little Albert was taught to fear from the nature perspective.
Is There A Conclusion?
It has been shown that there is a great deal of evidence that both nature and nurture substantiate the source of our existence. There is convincing evidence for both sides, and after all these years psychologists and researchers still disagree.
- Yes, nature influences us for the simple fact that we sometimes share the exact same characteristics as relatives or by the fact that twins share the same interests and personalities, even though they have never met.
- And yes, nurture does affect us and we can see it from the evidence from the Albert experiment alone. And there are many more such experiments that support the theory that nurtures and shapes us.
Nature and nurture are both part of our lives, but one will be expressed to a greater extent than the other. Researchers still disagree on this, but what do you think?