Nature Or Nurture : Biological Factors As The Nature Part Of The Debate

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Psychology has long debated whether behaviorial characteristics are genetic or learned. We refer to genetic characteristics and biological factors as the nature part of the debate and the environmental factors as the nurture part of the debate. While many psychologists, like Freud, Skinner, and Bandura, have formed solid arguments for their sides in the argument, it is very difficult to say whether nature or nurture is the cause of aggression. Each side has research to support them and followers who believe in their side of the debate. Aggression is due to genetics as well as environmental influences (McLeod, 2007). Aggressive behavior is the attack, either physical or verbal, of one’s self or another person. It can be to protect one’s self or to harm another. Aggression is found in both adults and children. This behavior is the effect of stimuli from a person’s own self, or genetics, and the environment they live and grow up in. There are a few, different types of aggression, due to physiological and mental effects. While violence means aggression, aggression does not necessarily mean violence. Sometimes aggression is used in order to protect someone, not actually harm another in any way (Jianghong, 2004). Dodge (1991), which is cited in Jianghong (2004), explains the types of aggression. One type of aggression is called “hot-blooded,” which is violence caused by another person being violent. This aggression makes a person emotional and crazed. Another type of aggression is “cold-blooded,” which is aggression used for domination of another person. According to Raine (2002), which is cited in Jianghong (2004), aggression can be caused by many things, including learned behaviors from family and media, neglect, and brain abnormali... ... middle of paper ... ...bula rasa, or a blank slate and must be filled by learning how to act based on our environment and nurture situation. Because our minds are blank when we are born the environment is the deciding factor in how our behavior, including aggression, is formed (McLeod, 2007). While many psychologists who follow the biological approach and study psychoanalysis believe all behavior is due to genetics and neurochemical influences in the brain, Behaviorists believe all behavior is learned from the environment. However, it is found that many characteristics can be due to genes and the environment (McLeod, 2007). Nature and culture complement each other into forming an unique human. Humans are such complex creatures we cannot put behavior in one category; aggression can be due to both nature and nurture because both genetics and the environment affect behavior (McLeod, 2007).

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