Is a child's development influenced primarily by genetics and biological predisposition? Or, could the majority of influence be found in the child's environment? This nature/nurture question is possibly one of the oldest theories debated in psychology (Bee, 2004). Today, it is commonly accepted that most aspects of a child's development are a product of the interaction of both nurture and nature (Bee). Both sides of the nature/nurture argument present compelling evidence of how each factor impacts development. It is no longer a question of whether it is nature or nurture, which influence development, but more importantly in what ways, and to what extent. The Impact of Nature on Development
Nature, which is also known as heredity, is the genetic code you are born with. It is passed on to you from your parents. Some examples of nature or heredity could be your height, behavior, and IQ just to name a few. The issue of nature having a great impact on a child's development can be illustrated in the studies of twins. Flanagan (2002) explored the Minnesota study in which a set of twins was raised separately. In one case, a set of identical twins was raised apart, known as the Jim twins. They did not meet until they were almost forty and had many similarities even though they were raised apart. There was no real explanation for all their similarities except that nature must play a crucial role in development. "The Minnesota twin study concluded that on multiple measures of personality and temperament, occupational and leisure-time interests and social attitudes, mono-zygotic twins reared apart are about as similar as are mono-zygotic twins reared together" (Flanagan). This is a prime example that nature plays a significant role in our development. Another example of nature is the study of adopted babies. Families with adopted children share the same environment, but not the same genetic code (Flanagan, 2002). The Texas Adoption Project found "little similarity between...
References: Bee, Helen (2004). Child and adolescent development (Section 1, pp. 3). Retrieved July 28, 2004, from University of Phoenix website: www.myresource.phoenix.edu
Flanagan, C. (2002). Nature and nurture: why are siblings so different? Psychology Review, 8(3), 23. Retrieved July 28, 2004, from the InfoTrac Database.
Nature vs. Nurture (2001). Planet Papers. Retrieved July 28, 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/3492.php
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