Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture

opinion Essay
1830 words
1830 words


Nature vs. nurture has been discussed by philosophers in the past and by scientists more recently. Philosophers such as Plato argued that all knowledge was inherited from your parents and when you were told something you didn’t learn it you were just reminded of it. Aristotle however argued that all humans were born with a blank slate and built on it with influence from there environment. In the 1700’s the empiricists and the internalists took over the argument. They fought through letters explaining there point of views and denouncing the others. This leads to Pavlov coming up with the idea of behaviorism in the early 1900‘s. Behaviorism became the new wave of Psychology and influenced a lean towards the nurture side. It was not effectively argued against until 1928 when Watson published his book. This opened up the floodgates for environmental influences studies. Soon the idea of nurture was the popular excuse for behavior. Studies using animals were the most popular was in which scientists used to prove a theory, or disprove a theory. The newest studies use human twins to prove nature vs. nurture.

An age-old question has been asked for generations before us. What is the reasons behind the development of human behavior? There have been many theories formulated to explain why humans behave the way they do. Explanations vary from demonology to magnetic fluids controlling people’s behaviors. Over time, two theories have remained

popular in academic fields such as philosophy and psychology. The surviving theories for behavior stem from physiological and sociological explanations. However, the two explanations have not always been compatible with each other. The famous nature vs. nurture debate over human behavior resulted from conflicting views between proponents of the physiological (nature) and sociological (nurture) explanations. Throughout history, research has swayed popularity back and forth between the theories. Yet, theorists have broken down the line separating nature and nurture. Today, people us both explanations in research to advance the knowledge of human behavior.

Thousands of years before the field of psychology, philosophers pondered on

human behavior. As early as 350 BC, such philosophers as Plato and Aristotle

tried to understand behavior. The question of nature or nurture as the primary

drive can be traced to these...

... middle of paper ...

...y the effects of

each in development. In these future studies, more groundbreaking advances will

be made to aid humans in better understanding human behavior. In the end, that

is what both sides of the nature vs. nurture debate intended to accomplish.


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Theory. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum,.

Ashcraft, M. (1998). Fundamentals of Cognition. New York, NY: Longman.

Barnet, A. (1998). The Youngest Minds. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Cowie, F. (1999). What’s Within?. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Devlin, B. (1997). Intelligence, Genes, and Success. New York, NY: Copernicus.

Deutschmann, Linda B. (2002). Deviance and Social Control Third Edition. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Thomson Learning.

Fujita, Frank. (2000). Nature vs. Nurture. 3/15/2002 from 11.html

McGraw, M. (1995). Beyond Heredity and Environment. San Francisco, CA: Westview


Modgil, S. (1987). B.F. Skinner: Consensus and Controversy. New York, NY: Falmer


Myers, David G. (2001). Psychology Sixth Edition. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how he thought it had a unique role in human processes.
  • Opines that ideas which come into the mind from outside can't be formed.
  • Opines that they’ll take any one and train him to become a professional.
  • Opines that the objection to inner states is not that they do not exist, but that it does exist.
  • Analyzes how the interaction between nature and nurture can be summed up by the statements of drs. fausto-sterling and evan balaban.
  • Explains linda b. deutschmann's deviance and social control third edition. scarborough, on: nelson thomson learning.
  • Explains that nature vs. nurture has been discussed by philosophers and scientists in the past.
  • Explains that physiology and new studies involving genetics, such as adoption studies, and studies on twins popularized genetic influence over environmental.
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