The Nature/Nurture Debate Essay

794 words - 3 pages

Nature --- Innate behaviour. This is the behaviour that has been evolved over many generations, under the influence of natural selection. The behaviour is adapted to the animal's way of life and is shown by all members of the species.

Nurture --- Learned behaviour. The individual animal throughout its life learns this type of behaviour. There is often great variation among a species because it all depends on the environment and experiences of the individual animal.

There is a big controversy between whether inherited genes or the environment influences and affect our personality, development, behaviour, intelligence and ability. This controversy is most often recognized as the nature verses nurture conflict. Some people believe that it is strictly genes that affect our ways of life, others believe that it is the environment that affects us, and some believe that both of these influence us. Either way, social scientists have been struggling for centuries deciding whether our personalities are born or made. Tests are done often on identical twins that were separated to see how they are influenced. In the past twenty years, it has been discovered that there is a genetic component to about every human trait and behaviour. However, genetic influence on traits and behaviour is partial because genetics account on average for half of the variation of most traits.
Researchers are finding that the balance between genetic and environmental influences for certain traits change as people get older. Also, people may react to us in a certain way because of a genetically influenced personality and, we may choose certain experiences because they fit best with our instinctive preferences. This means that our experiences may be influenced by our genetic tendencies. One way researchers study the development of traits and behaviours is by measuring the influence of genetics through out ones life span, and it is found to be that the genetic influence on certain trait increase as people age.
Several researchers have described three types of gene-environment correlations:

·A passive correlation may occur because parents transmit genes that promote a certain trait and also construct the rearing environment, which will likely support a child's genetic propensities. For example, if we assume musical ability is genetic, musically gifted children will likely have musically inclined parents who provide them with genes and an environment that promotes the development of musical ability.
·An evocative...

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