Nature vs. Nurture

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Human nature, Human behavior Pages: 2 (304 words) Published: September 2, 2013
Nature V. Nurture

Nature versus nurture has been one of the most commonly argued topics ever since the

dawn of time. Several great philosophers have argued that certain qualities of human behavior

are inborn, which means that these qualities are a part of our genes. This is called nature. Others

believe in the ideology that several environmental factors, primarily education and parenting,

affect the human behavior. This is nurture. So which way of thinking is correct? Many scientific

studies today have revealed that neither nature nor nurture, but rather a mixture of the two affects

human behavior. I completely agree with this viewpoint. However, I do believe that the extent to

which either nature or nurture affects human behavior varies greatly in different scenarios. For

instance, let us consider the case of the 2001 heinous crime, where a mother Andrea Yates

ruthlessly killed all five of her children. Yates had grown up in a very stable and friendly

environment but despite her positive upbringing, she did the unthinkable. Researchers believe

that Yates committed the killings under the influence of postpartum psychosis, a serious

condition of the baby blues, which is most likely influenced by genes. Clearly in this case, nature

played an upper hand. Let us now consider Ivan Pavlov’s experiment with the salivating dog.

Every time this Russian physiologist fed his dog, he used to ring a bell. After a while, the dog

learned to associate the bell with food. Afterwards, even if only a bell was rung and no food was

given to the dog, the dog would still salivate heavily. In this scenario, nurture, which is Pavlov’s

training of the dog, takes the upper hand. Hence, on the basis of these examples and many more,

I have adopted the viewpoint that nature and nurture both affect behavior on different degrees.
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