The Great Debate: Nature vs. Nurture
The great nature versus nurture debate is one of the oldest controversial issues. Some people would prefer to call this issue heredity versus environment. To this day, psychologists ask whether a child’s development is governed by a pattern built in at birth or if experience shapes a child’s behavior. On the nature side of the philosophical argument, theorists believe that learning depends largely on genetics. On the nurture side of the argument, theorists believe that the environment plays a huge part in the developmental learning process of a child. However, there are theorists who are stuck in the middle and feel that both nature and nurture play a role in the learning process of a child. “Development is shaped by both biology and experience-both are equally important” (Dickstein, 2007, p.1). Nature
Around the world, scientists have researched the connectivity and/or division of the ways in which nature and nurture affect human behavioral development. They have posed the question of which, nature or nurture, is more significant than the other. According to F. Fukayama, “The only problem with the idea that identities are socially constructed and that human behavior can be molded at will is that it does not appear to be true. Slowly but surely, evidence has been accumulating over the past generation to the effect that human behavior is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance. Biology and culture interact in complex ways, limiting the freedom with which human identities can be manipulated either by individuals or by societies.” Some researchers believe that most human behaviors are socially constructed while others believe that human behaviors are inherent. We as a society must determine which research will make sense in how we should perceive the natural process of human development. How will we as a society really know whose research is actually right? Nurture
References: Dai, D. Y., & Coleman, L J (Spring 2005). Introduction to the special issue on nature, nurture, and the development of exceptional competence. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 28, 3-4. p.254(16). Retrieved April 08, 2008, from Academic OneFile via Gale: http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS
Dickstein, S. (2007, March). Infant mental health: Babies on the couch?. Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 23(3), 1-6. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Revisiting Nature vs. Nurture. (2004). Gifted Child Today, 7(1), 1. Retrieved April 10, 2008 from General Gale database.
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