Analyze the key elements of nature-nurture controversy - Essay Example

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This debate is concerned with determination of whether certain aspects of behavior are products of nature or as a result of nurture. In this debate, nature refers to genetic or inheritance of behavior. It refers…
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Analyze the key elements of nature-nurture controversy The nature nurture controversy is a critical debate in psychology. This debate is concerned with determination of whether certain aspects of behavior are products of nature or as a result of nurture. In this debate, nature refers to genetic or inheritance of behavior. It refers to an individual’s innate qualities. It can also mean the personality and physical traits of people that are determined by his/her genes. On the other hand, in this debate, nurture is used to mean personal experiences or the environmental influences after birth.
The nature nurture controversy is regarded as the most persistent issue in psychology. The debate has received many contributions by various psychologists; among them; the Greek philosopher Plato and Aristotle. Plato believed that human intelligence and all other capabilities were as a result of nature. He argued that behaviors are inherited. According to him, every character that is in a child was inherited from the parents and that no character is learned or influenced by the environment we live in. On the other hand, Aristotle argued that it is the environment that shapes the character of an individual. According to his argument, no character is inherited from a parent. He argued that a child develops his/her character depending with the environment that she/he is raised in. The two elements have recently been recognized to play interacting roles in the development of a human being. However, the issues remains unresolved to whether, people’s intelligence, their personality traits and their behavior are inherited or learned.
B. Compare and contrast two studies on nature vs. nurture
Different philosophers have conducted research in determining the most important element in the development of humans, nature or nurture. An example of the studies conducted involved twins. Davis et al. (2012) in this study collected data from over six thousand families to show that environmental and genetic contributions to forty five childhood cognitive behavioral traits varied geographically in the U.S. the research was conducted in the United States the an observation methord.The study involved both identical and fraternal twins and focused on the observed differences depending with the geographical location. Although the initial perspective was that both nature and nurture had equal contributions to the psychological development of a child, the ultimate results of the study revealed that the genetic tendency of a child is modified by their environment. In this situation, nature and nurture work hand in hand in shaping personality and that neither of the two elements should be considered as dominant.
Another study was conducted by Plomin (2001). This researcher used the meta-analysis method and focused on the way children in a family portray different characters in spite of being brought up in the same environment and with similar genetics. Since children in the same family shared the same genetics, the study was conducted to reveal why children in such conditions display differences in their psychological development. The study revealed that each child in a family experiences a different environment depending on some factors. If children are treated differently by parents, they tend to respond differently to the shared environment. According to this study, the interaction between children creates a unique environment for each child. However, just like the previous study, the ultimate finding of the study is that both nature and nurture play a significant role in the development of personality.
Differences of the two studies
The fist study involves twins while the second one involve children born in the same family
The first study involves different geographical locations while the second one involves the same environment the first study used the observation method while the second study involved the meta-analysis. The first study was conducted by Davis while the second study was by Plomin, Dunn and Asbury.
Both studies were conducted in the U.S and revealed that the development of personality is as a result of both nature and nurture.
The two studies do not provide a specific position of whether it is nature or nurture that determines personality. However, both studies conclude that both nature and nurture work hand in hand in the development of personality.
Davis, O. S. P., Haworth, C. M. A., Lewis, C. M., & Plomin, R. (2012). Visual analysis of geocoded twin data puts nature and nurture on the map. New York, NY: Springer.
Plomin, R., Asbury, K., Dunn, J. (2001). Why are children in the same family so different. Nonshared environment a decade later. Can J Psychiatry. Read More
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