Comparing the Theories of Nature and Nurture as Roles in Human Behavior

Comparing the Theories of Nature and Nurture as Roles in Human Behavior

Comparing the Theories of Nature and Nurture as Roles in Human Behavior
The variability of human behavior amongst the nature and nurture concepts has been a
major ongoing debate in the field of psychology, since there was never a definite resolution
discovered of which one influences human behavior more. However, many years of this
controversy has led to the understanding that both sides of the discussion have differences that
result on a complex interaction with each other. In this occasion, the deliberation of these
theories comes from the contrast yet correlation between genetic factors (nature) and
environmental factors (nurture) in human behavior.


Nature
The Nature theory includes the nativists who believe that the genetic code and hereditary
factors of each individual influence their unique characteristics, such as hair and eyes colors.
They also argue that the product of maturation happens when other personal features develop
later in people’s life, like height and weight. The impact of inheritance in behavior is stable
because genes are not in the control of the human; they are born with them with no judgement
beforehand. For instance, an individual cannot control inherited mental health issues: “bipolar,
for example, is four to six times more likely to develop when there is a family history of the
condition.” [ CITATION Goo15 \l 1033 ] Furthermore, recent research in biopsychology have
demonstrated that behavior is influenced by neurotransmitters which support the idea that our
brain already comes predisposed with our particular behaviors contradicting the nurture theory.
Nurture
On the other hand, nurture refers to the environmental variables including: childhood
experiences, how a person was raised, social relationships and the surrounding culture of people.
This theory is mostly supported by behaviorism and empiricists as it focuses on how the

environment influences the human behavior. For instance, John Locke’s “Tabula Rasa” explains
that the mind originates from a blank state, meaning that our knowledge is determined by our life
experiences as we grow up. As a result, humans acquire some characteristics depending on the
different atmospheres that they live in. For example, parenting styles and experiences during
school can impact how children learn to behave: “a child might learn through observation and
reinforcement to say “please” and “thank you” [whilst] [a] nother child might learn to behave
aggressively by observing older children engage in violent behavior on the playground.”
[CITATION Ken18 \l 1033 ] This explains that although individuals are born with certain
genetics, a variety of factors that surround them during their lives shape them in the people they
become and how they act.
Overview
Even though there are various differences between both concepts, increasing research for
this debate keeps demonstrating that one does not influence more human behavior than the other.
The debate has shifted to discuss on how nature vs. nurture factors associate with each other and
as a result impact the different conducts that humans have. Nature explains the biological
approach, psychoanalysis, and cognitive psychology of human behavior, whilst nurture refers to
the behaviorism and humanism concepts. Both of them come together and result in different
behaviors for each individual. For instance, my father is diabetic which means that I am at risk of
having diabetes because of inheritance factors. However, if I surround myself with a healthy
environment and take care of my diet all of my life, I will decrease the possibilities of having
diabetes. Thus, nature explains how the brain is born (internal) and nurture explains how the
brain is shaped with time (external).

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