nature verses nurture

Topics: Psychology, Nature versus nurture, Observational learning Pages: 4 (1191 words) Published: December 17, 2013

Nature verses Nurture
The nature versus nurture debate is an argument over whether nature plays a primary role in the development of an individual (heredity), or the environment (nurture). Nature, as understood by Psychologists, refers to physical characteristics that are biologically inherited, such as the color of skin, eye or texture of hair. Nurture on the other hand, refers to environmental influences after conception, such as our experiences (McLeod 2011). The debate has been controversial and ongoing for decades; Psychologists have tried to determine whether a person’s development is predisposed by DNA or his environment. So the questions exists, is it inherited gene or is it the driving force such as upbringing and nurturing from parents and caregivers that influences a child to grow up to become a lawyer, doctor, or a professional athlete. Both theories are essentially at opposite ends of the spectrum. Those who adopt an extreme hereditary approach (nativists) are of the belief that the characteristics or the human specie are a product of evolution and that our individual differences are due to the unique genetic makeup of the individual. At the opposite end of the spectrum, are environmentalists (empiricists) who believe that at birth the human mind is a blank slate that during development is gradually filled with our experiences (McLeod, 2007). In this paper we will look to two studies exploring the controversial nature versus nurture debate, make comparisons between them and discuss the conclusion of each study. John Bowlby (1907-1990) was a psychoanalyst who believed that mental health and behavioral problems could be attributed to early childhood. In his evolutionary Theory of Attachment developed after World War II, he suggests that children come into the world "biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others," as this is a means of survival. According to his original theory, infants have a universal need to seek close proximity...

References: McLeod, S.A. (2011). Albert Bandura/ Social learning theory- Simply psychology. Retrieved 10/01/2013 from
McLeod, S.A. (2009). Attachment Theory - Simply psychology. Retrieved 10/04/2013 from
McLeod, S.A. (2011). Bobo Doll Experiment- Simply psychology. Retrieved 10/03/2013 from
McLeod, S.A. (2011). Nature Nurture in Psychology- Simply psychology. Retrieved 10/05/2013 from
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