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Nature and nurture - Term Paper Example

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Sociology: Nature vs. Nurture Your Name Due Date Introduction ` Most people know what love is. Or at least think that they do. However, if you ask people to define it you may never hear the same definition twice. This can be said about many emotions…
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Nature and nurture
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Nature and nurture

Download file to see previous pages... These are the questions that many psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and researchers have aimed to determine for decades. Many theories have been established claiming to explain the origins of emotion, unfortunately, some of these theories are antithetical of others, and so the debate goes on. Which are the origins of emotion; nature or nurture? History Again, the argument has continued for decades spawning a number of differing theories; since the time of great thinkers, like Plato, that could put the topic to rest. Those who support the position that emotion is more a matter of natural or biological drives are, often, called nativists. Those that support the idea that the majority of human behaviors are a matter of experience and environment are termed empirists (Cherry). However, only 2 theories, Biological Approach and Behaviorism approach, speak to either extreme. While remaining theories take into account the need to compromise. For example, Psychoanalysis concedes that social upbringing plays a part, but sex drive and aggression were entirely outside our control. While Cognitive psychology approach teaches that people respond as part of innate, internal structure that guides how one will react to information (McLeod). Discussion One of the most controversial and heavily debated topics in relation to the origins of emotion is the “mother and child” relationship. Many nativists felt that a mother’s dedication to her offspring and the emotion reflected is simply a matter of hormonal conditioning. Similarly, the offspring’s bond and affection for their mother is solely a matter of survival. The relationship is less about “feeling” and more about “need” and “biological imperatives” (McLeod). One researcher, in the 1950s, Harry F, Harlow, disagreed with that perspective. He believed that there was more to the relationship, to the psychology of emotion and programming outside their control. In order to prove his theory he began an experiment designed to shed light, not only, on the relationship between mothers and their offspring but what drives it. Harlow knew, very well, that he would never be ethically allowed to use human subjects, given the intended nature of the experiments, it would be deemed inappropriate, As an alternative he turned to Rhesus monkeys.; a small primate that shares some genetic similarity with human beings. The experiments would involve the removal of several newly born Rhesus monkeys, just hours after birth, taking them away from their birth mothers. These subjects would then be placed into isolation. The monkeys would be raised by surrogate, synthetic mothers. Both would be constructed of wood, wire, and contained a light for warmth, however, one mother was covered with a soft terrycloth. The Rhesus monkeys were a part of a number of experiments. The first experiment involved giving the Rhesus infants a choice between the wire mother and the soft one. Both mothers were outfitted with a nipple to provide food. The second involved, both, the wire and soft mothers, but only the wire mother would be capable of providing food. In the final experiment a number of the Rhesus infants were exposed to complete isolation, their feeding was done in clinical means, with no substitute mother of any kind (Herman). Below you can see examples of, both, the soft mother and wire mother. The results of Harlow’s experiments were significant. Harlow noted that in the first experiment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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