Free «Nature vs. Nurture Debate» Essay Sample

According to Agin (2010), the ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate has gathered much attention among psychologists coming up with diverse arguments. On the one hand, nature entails the genetic and biological characteristics that shape up an individual, While, on the other hand, nurture can be described as the environmental factors such as the way of upbringing, religion, and culture that shape up an individual’s personality. Some psychologists have argued that nature is more important than nurture, while on the other hand, others have argued that nurture plays a bigger role compared to nature in human development. Other psychologists have argued that the two are inseparable and equally significant in human development. My opinion is that nature and nurture are inseparable, and they shape each other in human development.

There is enough evidence that nature and nurture are two entities, which are inseparable in shaping up an individual’s personality. Agin (2010) points out that some genes (nature), cannot become active without being exposed to external stimuli (nurture). A good example of this is the development of vision. People have no ability to develop normal sight with no contact to visual stimuli. On the other hand, some environmental (nurture) factors may be influenced by some genes (nature). A good example is the way some long-term smokers are able to survive without contracting smoking-related diseases, because the exposure to smoking may have altered their genes. This shows that nature and nurture shape each other in human development. People are able to gain intellectual capacity because of interactions with nurture. Innate talents are enhanced through the interaction with peers, teachers, family members and the larger society. This means that without nurture, innate talents are wasted.

According to Jones (2008), nurture and nature are two equally important factors that contribute to the development of social smiling in human beings. Jones explains that smiling is a genetic characteristic which is evident even in infants. However, if an infant’s mother does not pay attention to the infant’ smiles, smiling disappears as the infant grows up. This is because social smiling is an innate characteristic that needs to be shaped by nurture. Jones (2008) argues that even with adults, social smiling as a behavior is highly influenced by the surroundings (nurture). A person cannot smile when confronted with external conditions such as grieve and sadness among others. However, it is natural for a person to smile without even one’s consciousness when surrounded by joy and happiness.

Nature vs. nurture based therapies on children and adolescents established to have behavior disorder and have also proved that both nature and nurture are equally important in human development (Schneider, 2010). Schneider argues that both nature and nurture play important roles in shaping up a person’s behavior. Therefore, when children and adolescents are diagnosed with behavior disorders neither nature nor nurture can adequately explain the causes of the misconduct. Despite the fact that some genes can lead to the development of behavior disorders, nurture plays a big role in the development of these disorders. In this regard, psychologists have used the nature vs. nurture concept to come up with therapies that can effectively treat children and adolescents suffering from various behavior disorders. It can therefore be concluded that nurture shapes nature and, on the other hand, nature shapes nurture in human development. These two entities cannot be used independently in explaining human behavior and development. Inborn characteristics are highly influenced by nurture and the two, i.e. nature and nurture determine a person’s personality.


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