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The Effects Of Environmental Manipulation On Different Learning Theories

2438 words - 10 pages

The Effects of Environmental Manipulation on Different Learning Theories


The environment plays a crucial role on our behaviour. Environmental
Manipulation is about the circumstances, people, things and events
around people that influence their life. The purpose of this paper is
to prove the affects environment has on behaviour and whether a
person’s behaviour is determined by their upbringing (nurture) or by
their genetic characteristics (nature). The research is important
because if we were to find that the way someone is, is controlled by
genetic factors then changing there behaviour will be extremely
difficult. On the other hand if their social background determined
someone’s behaviour then it could be far easier to deal with
behavioural problems. The essay will begin with the nature-nurture
debate. This will be followed by case studies. Learning theories of
Piaget and Vygotsky will also be discussed and finally an overall
conclusion will follow.


Nature vs. nurture has been an oscillating controversy in the field of
psychology for many years. Does one inherit genes, or does the
environment affect one’s genes? The basis of nature is the principle
that people have their personalities engraved inside their genes,
which are inherited from their parents. The basis of nurture is that
the environment plays a big role in the development of a person’s
personality. Both nature and nurture, therefore, play a crucial role
as the determining factors of one's intelligence, personality, and

Early studies have focused mainly upon the environmental influence,
e.g. in the home. More recently there have been moves towards
researching biological effects on the roots of behaviour and
development. One reason is new technology allows psychologists and
physiologists to study the brain in greater detail. There are many
approaches to the nature/nurture debate. The biological approach
believes people act the way they do because of inheritance.
Behaviourists argue for nurture, although the potential for learning
is innate. The cognitive approach does not completely side with
nurture, as it supports the view that the structure of the mental
system is innate.

For my first piece of work I am going to use the film ‘Wild Child’. In
the film we see how a feral child is captured and then taken to Paris
to be studied by a doctor. We see that once the boy has been moved to
Paris he is clearly not like the other children. He is different in
many ways such as, he dose not walk straight, does not react to loud
noises in the same way as others. While in France Doctor Itar tries to
teach the boy how to act like a “normal child” and teach him how to
talk, eat etc. The doctor does manage to make him show much more
normal actions...

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