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Psychology has long been debating the issue of Nature versus Nurture.
“The nature-nurture issue is a perennial one that has resurfaced in current psychiatry as a series of debates on the role that genes (DNA) and environments play in the etiology and pathophysiology of mental disorders” (Schaffner) The debate is essentially about what is inherited (nature) and what is experienced by environmental factors (nurture) and how they affect human development.
He stated that the reason he did not put “versus” in the title is because “via” is more appropriate since he tries to say that nature coincides with nurture.
II. Current Psychological Approaches on Nature Vs Nurture
When someone achieves greatness thanks to an innovation or other breakthrough, it is usually agreed that the individual has a high level of intelligence. Often, when exploring the background of the individual, the influences of nature versus nurture are questioned.
The development of personality traits is often part of the nature versus nurture debate. People want to know how children develop their personalities.
Williams. The Nature-Nurture Debate: The Essential Readings.
The zeitgeist (the intellectual and culture "flavor" of a time and place) has swung back and forth over time with regard to the amount of influence that nature vs. nature has on human intelligence.
In terms of the nature and nurture of heightened human capabilities, this idea contradicted the accepted belief that talent was inherited, a belief established by Sir Francis Galton in 1896 with his work, Hereditary Genius....
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"Youth Today: On Nature versus Nurture, Success and Failure."
Psychology has developed many useful research methods to study nature versus nurture, including twin studies and adoption studies. Psychologists have also been able to study some naturally occurring phenomena, such as feral children and savants, to help understand the influences of nature and nurture. Future studies will likely focus more on nonshared environmental factors. In addition, as medical technology becomes more and more sophisticated and as researchers are able to identify specific genes that influence psychological traits, researchers will be able to test individuals for the presence of these genes and determine just how much a particular gene might influence the development of something like schizophrenia.
One of the themes of Frankenstein is nature versus nurture....
Yet another naturally occurring phenomenon that garners much attention, and on the surface seems ideal for studying the influence of nature versus nurture, is the existence of savants. The term savant is used to refer to those who have an outstanding ability in one area or skill while simultaneously having a more general intellectual deficiency (Miller, 2005). Researchers and theorists have used the existence of a unique and an especially astute ability in a specific area as one part of the evidence for specific or multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983). Because this one ability is intact, yet other abilities are not, it suggests that there are specific innate abilities for this sort of “intelligence” that the savant displays. On the other hand, some argue that savants may focus all of their attention on one ability or skill and develop it through practice (Miller, 2005). So again the complications of naturally occurring phenomena block researchers from making firm conclusions regarding nature versus nurture from savants.
Nature versus nurture - Wikipedia
Feral children provide another opportunity to study the nature/nurture issue. Typically, the cases of feral children get much more attention than the normal, more scientific methods of researchers. Feral children are children who appear to grow up in the wild or to be brought up by animals. These children seem to have had very little, or no, human contact while they were growing up. Feral children would seem to support the conclusion that experiences (i.e., nurture) are important to the normal development of the human brain. If these children experienced deprived environments in their youth, then these deficient environments led to them developing very poorly and with many cognitive deficits compared to normal human children. As promising for studying the nature/nurture issue as these cases might seem to be, they are few and far between, so they amount to nothing more than case studies that capture a lot of attention. Candland (1993) discusses the stories of many feral children such as Peter, Victor (the Wild Boy of Aveyron), and the wolf-girls of India. In the end, however, real-life examples of feral children have too many unanswered questions to provide accurate information concerning the nature/nurture debate. For instance, exactly where and when were these children abandoned, and exactly why were these children abandoned? It may be that these children were severely disabled to begin with and this may be the very reason that they were abandoned in the first place. If this is so, then these children really do not provide unique information about the nature/nurture issue. As is usually the case with real-world examples, the number of uncontrolled factors is so numerous that no conclusive data can be obtained from the reported cases of feral children. Nonetheless, these cases will continue to garner a large amount of attention, and they provide a more human face and emotional connection to the nature/ nurture debate.
Nature Vs Nurture Essay Free Essays - StudyMode
In psychology today, researchers have a number of methods that help them to identify the extent to which nature and nurture influence psychological traits. First, twin studies involve the comparison of identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins develop from the same fertilized egg, so they are called monozygotic (MZ) twins. Identical twins have the same genetic makeup, so their genetic relatedness is 100 percent. Thus, any differences found between identical twins can be attributed to the environment (i.e., nurture). Fraternal twins, on the other hand, develop from two separate fertilized eggs, so they are referred to as dizygotic (DZ) twins. Fraternal twins are like any two siblings with a genetic relatedness of 50 percent. This difference between identical and fraternal twins in genetic relatedness is key to drawing conclusions about nature and nurture from twin studies. With this basic knowledge of genetic relatedness of twins one can make conclusions based on correlations between twins on a particular psychological trait. If a trait is influenced by nature (heredity), then researchers should find that fraternal twins are more variable (or different) on that trait as compared to identical twins. Because identical twins have the exact same genetic input, researchers should not observe any differences between them on a trait that is hereditary in nature. However, if a particular trait is not influenced by nature, then researchers should find that identical twins are not any more similar to each other on that trait than fraternal twins are to each other (Dunn & Plomin, 1990; Plomin, 1990). Another method that researchers use to study the influence of nature and nurture on psychological traits is adoption studies. Some adoption studies examine individuals who are not genetically related to one another, however they all live in the same environment (i.e., family). Other adoption studies examine individuals who are genetically related to one another, but they are raised in different environments. If nature is a key component for a trait, then individuals who are genetically related to one another (irrespective of their environments) should be similar on that trait. However, if nurture is a key component of a trait, then individuals who share a particular environment should be similar on that trait (irrespective of their genetic relatedness; Dunn & Plomin, 1990).
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