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Nature vs Nurture - Research Paper Example

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The nature versus nurture debate demonstrates whether a human being is just formed by pieces of flesh with biological predispositions and genes responsible for his behavior, or there is also an intellectual soul residing in him that is able to learn and acquire behaviors and attitudes that are not innate…
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Nature vs Nurture

Download file to see previous pages... The nature versus nurture debate demonstrates whether a human being is just formed by pieces of flesh with biological predispositions and genes responsible for his behavior, or there is also an intellectual soul residing in him that is able to learn and acquire behaviors and attitudes that are not innate. Sleeper and Chudler (2007, p.14) assert that “nature refers to skills humans are born with, and nurture refers to skills humans learn.” Every human being has some inborn or hereditary qualities that are passed over to him through genes; but, there are a lot of other qualities that he learns over time through knowledge and experience. Whether humans are a result of hereditary information or they are modified by their environment in which they live, is the essence of the nature versus nurture theory (Shaffer, 2009, p.11). Some researchers support the argument that nature is responsible for the makeup of an individual’s behavioral patterns which can be modified through interaction with society. They suggest that human beings are not happy or sad because of their environment but individuals are different from each other because of their genetic makeup granted to them by their parents. Opponents of this approach argue that the behavioral patterns have nothing to do with genes because a human being can be modified into whatever kind of a person the nurturer wants him to grow into. This paper intends to discuss that both nature and nurture are equally important in the brought up of an individual and bringing the best out of his abilities. Let’s consider some examples that state that importance of neither of the two concepts can be denied in the development of a human being. Consider the parents of a girl who are both doctors and they want their daughter to become one too. The girl herself has very much willingness and interest toward becoming a doctor and everybody knows that she has an inborn talent and ability to excel in the field of medicine. However, when she passes her high school, she has not enough marks to get into a medical school. She takes admission in a computer science university and makes up her mind to study hard and show to the world that she can do it. And unbelievingly, she keeps on passing with good grades in a field which is just opposite to her inborn talent and abilities. This example supports nurture part of the debate. However, here is another example. Every offspring is like his or her parents in attitude and behavior. A girl Miss ABC is talkative because her mother is. Mr. X is witty like his father. Jack sleeps with his back facing the ceiling just like his father. Julie’s mother was very studious when she was a child and Julie and her siblings are following her in this regard. This supports the nature part of the debate. There can be thousands of such examples which show that both nature and nurture work intermittently and contribute toward the healthy development of a human being. This debate is also sometimes called as DNA versus Destiny. Steen (2001, p.23) talks about the “split twin” approach in his book. This was a study conducted with two twins who were separated after their births and taken to two different cultures and different households to observe the change in their personalities and behaviors when they grew up. This study aimed to prove the importance of the both the nature and nurture parts of the debate or, in other words, the genes and the environment in which the twins were reared. He asserts that the study can be much more helpful if both the identical (monozygotic) and fraternal (dizygotic) twins are involved in the experiment because the difference in genetic traits is higher in dizygotic twins that in monozygotic twins. So the variation in personality outcomes can be better understood if both kinds of twins are separated from the other one and brought up in different environments. Such experiments prove to be very helpful in determining which one of the two (nature or nurture) wins. However, the results have always shown ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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