Discussion Nature versus Nurture

March 8, 2022
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Discussion Nature versus Nurture

Discussion Nature versus Nurture

I need an explanation for this Psychology question to help me study.

In thinking about the nature versus nurture debate, explain why you think nature, nurture, or both has/have the strongest impact on development. Include information from the video and scholarly resources to support your viewpoint. Please give specific examples from your own development or the development of someone you know.

Be sure to provide the URL link(s) and/or title(s) to any resource used as reference in your post.

In rare cases due to unfortunate life events, some twins have been separated at birth. Watch this short video to prepare yourself for the discussion.

Nature versus nurture is a long-standing debate in biology about the balance between two competing factors which determine fate: environment (nurture) and genetics (nature). The alliterative expression “nature and nurture” in English has been in use since at least the Elizabethan period[2] and goes back to medieval French.[3]

The complementary combination of the two concepts is an ancient concept (Greek: ἁπό φύσεως καὶ εὐτροφίας).[4] Nature is what people think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors. Nurture is generally taken as the influence of external factors after conception e.g. the product of exposure, experience and learning on an individual.

The phrase in its modern sense was popularized by the Victorian polymath Francis Galton, the modern founder of eugenics and behavioral genetics when he was discussing the influence of heredity and environment on social advancement.[5][6][7] Galton was influenced by On the Origin of Species written by his half-cousin, the evolutionist Charles Darwin.

The view that humans acquire all or almost all their behavioral traits from “nurture” was termed tabula rasa (‘blank tablet, slate’) by John Locke in 1690. A blank slate view (sometimes termed blank-slatism) in human developmental psychology, which assumes that human behavioral traits develop almost exclusively from environmental influences, was widely held during much of the 20th century. The debate between “blank-slate” denial of the influence of heritability, and the view admitting both environmental and heritable traits, has often been cast in terms of nature versus nurture. These two conflicting approaches to human development were at the core of an ideological dispute over research agendas throughout the second half of the 20th century. As both “nature” and “nurture” factors were found to contribute substantially, often in an inextricable manner, such views were seen as naive or outdated by most scholars of human development by the 21st century.[8][9][10][11][12]

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The strong dichotomy of nature versus nurture has thus been claimed to have limited relevance in some fields of research. Close feedback loops have been found in which nature and nurture influence one another constantly, as seen in self-domestication. In ecology and behavioral genetics, researchers think nurture has an essential influence on nature.[13][14] Similarly in other fields, the dividing line between an inherited and an acquired trait becomes unclear, as in epigenetics[15] or fetal development.

The interactions of genes with environment, called gene–environment interactions, are another component of the nature–nurture debate. A classic example of gene–environment interaction is the ability of a diet low in the amino acid phenylalanine to partially suppress the genetic disease phenylketonuria. Yet another complication to the nature–nurture debate is the existence of gene–environment correlations. These correlations indicate that individuals with certain genotypes are more likely to find themselves in certain environments. Thus, it appears that genes can shape (the selection or creation of) environments. Even using experiments like those described above, it can be very difficult to determine convincingly the relative contribution of genes and environment.

Heritability refers to the origins of differences between people. Individual development, even of highly heritable traits, such as eye color, depends on a range of environmental factors, from the other genes in the organism, to physical variables such as temperature, oxygen levels etc. during its development or ontogenesis.

The variability of trait can be meaningfully spoken of as being due in certain proportions to genetic differences (“nature”), or environments (“nurture”). For highly penetrant Mendelian genetic disorders such as Huntington’s disease virtually all the incidence of the disease is due to genetic differences. Huntington’s animal models live much longer or shorter lives depending on how they are cared for.[38]

At the other extreme, traits such as native language are environmentally determined: linguists have found that any child (if capable of learning a language at all) can learn any human language with equal facility.[39] With virtually all biological and psychological traits, however, genes and environment work in concert, communicating back and forth to create the individual.

At a molecular level, genes interact with signals from other genes and from the environment. While there are many thousands of single-gene-locus traits, so-called complex traits are due to the additive effects of many (often hundreds) of small gene effects. A good example of this is height, where variance appears to be spread across many hundreds of loci.[40]

Extreme genetic or environmental conditions can predominate in rare circumstances—if a child is born mute due to a genetic mutation, it will not learn to speak any language regardless of the environment; similarly, someone who is practically certain to eventually develop Huntington’s disease according to their genotype may die in an unrelated accident (an environmental event) long before the disease will manifest itself.

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