Free «The Nature versus Nature Controversy» Essay Sample

This is an unending debate in psychology that has been going on for over a century now with no vivid conclusion made till today. This debate centres on whether human traits are inherited or result due to the environment surroundings. The nature vs. nurture controversy was started by Sir Francis Galton as he was the one who came up with the ‘nature versus nurture’. He suggested that intelligence was either as a result of the genes that we inherit or it is learned from the environment surroundings, (Samuel, 2005).

Nature is defined as someone’s innate characteristics that make up ones human behaviour aspects which result from the genes inherited. Nature in the debate, argues that genetics form human characteristics and behaviour. The genes in a human determine some of their traits such as the colour of the eye, the hair, height, skin pigment etc. On the other hand, nurture refers to traits obtained as a result of the exposure to the environment after conception hence the individuals surroundings’ play a big role in one’s individual life as one acquires experience.

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The controversy in the nature-nurture debate is that one can either acquire there human traits as a result of the genes he/she inherited from conception. These genes can determine one eyes colour, the height, skin pigment or one acquires the traits they possess as a result from the environment they inhibit. Therefore nature in the debate argues that one hereditary gene determines the intelligence and personality while nurture opposes this saying that human behaviour is determined by the environment in which one was brought up in therefore learns from it.

In twin studies Identical and fraternal twins’ similarities are compared with each other in terms of emotions, characteristics and behaviour. Identical twins are twins who have similar genotype. Fraternal twins share their genes halfway with each other. By measuring their attitude and theory of mind we get to note their traits in this study which are IQ, personality traits

Adoption study is a study involving the effect of the environment and hereditary on the traits of an individual. Subjects are adoptive parent, identical twins separated, biological parents and adopted children. Children that are adopted do not share genes but share the environment with the adoptive parents. Researchers compare rate of concordance between a biological parent and a child whom they share the same genes and another child with an adoptive parent. The traits acquired could be clinical depression, (Roleff, 1996).

In adoption studies it involves children who are mainly adopted and raised by the adoptive parent thereby they don’t share genes. In twin study it involves twins who share the same genes. In adoption study it relates to the exposure to the environment that leads to formation of one traits and behavior while in twin studies the composition of the genes lead to an individual’s traits.

Both studies provide an insight to the nature versus nurture debate. The twin studies use genes to show impact on one’s development thus proving nature. Adoption study sides with nurture as it’s the environment that determines ones development.


Adoption study aims at showing the effect of environment surrounding on an adopted child who is sharing the same environment with adoptive parents but have different genes. Twin study shows the impact when fraternal and identical twins are compared. Researchers note the effects of the genes on identical twins development that have been brought up in different environments.


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