Angiela Pauline Padua
AH146-AD14 / AH146-YP14
16 October 2017
The Nature-Nurture Debate
It is clearly known that people are born with numerous abilities that could possibly be traced from their genetic inheritance and that there is nothing that could interfere. The view that skills, personality or intellect are innate and is determined by genes comes from the nature perspective. On the contrary, the view that what people become and why they act the way they do is due to their experiences comes from the nurture perspective. How most people try to trigger and develop those abilities mainly depends on their environmental factors (i.e. lifestyle, culture). The aim of this essay is to explain and evaluate the nature and nurture perspectives in relation to depression.
Depression is an affective mood disorder involving prolonged disruption of emotions. It is also believed that twenty percent (20%) of people are likely to suffer some symptoms of depression (Lawton & Willard, 2015). To be clinically diagnosed with depression, various characteristics needs to be apparently occurring for a period of time. Such characteristics are: loss of energy meaning failure to function satisfactorily e.g. people who cannot cope with the demands of everyday life. Another characteristic could be decreased appetite or weight loss (Gross et al., 2000).
Biological explanations for depression have been proposed as some psychologists believe that mood disorders are likely to run in families (inherited genes) and/or it has to do with dysfunction in neurotransmitters (e.g. low levels of serotonin). In terms of heritability, family research has supported the view that there is a genetic link to depression. According to McGuffin et al. (1996, cited in Gross et al., 2000), for major depression, the average concordance rate for identical twins (MZ) is 46% and for fraternal twins (DZ) is 20%. Additionally, the tendency for adopted children to develop depression in their later life appeared to have biological parents who have one despite having different upbringing environments. This shows that genetic predisposition is one way of explaining depression. Moreover, biochemical influences which involves imbalance in neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry signals to ones’ brains and nerves) may also be a reason why depression occurs. Biological interpretation of having low levels of serotonin (controls mood, appetite or sexual desire) could also be linked to several misconducts such as extreme anger and/or other mood disorders. Schildkraut (1965, cited in Gross et al., 2000) proposed that minimal release of noradrenaline (linked with body’s energy production) causes depression and accordingly, later researches suggested that it is similar with serotonin. An evidence to support this proposal came from Wender & Klein (1981) who provided animals with drugs which reduces noradrenaline production and as a result became sluggish and inactive, which are indicative...