Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Introduction to Nature vs. Nurture

You got your dark brown eyes from your dad, and you got your height from your mom…but where did you get your love for roller coasters and devotion to sick animals?

Physical characteristics lean more towards genes and heredity, but genes seem to get less attention when speaking of behavior. This is where the nature vs. nurture debate comes in. Scientists call the nature theory when people behave as they do due to heredity, genes and instincts. On the other hand, the nurture theory encompasses how behavior is taught and influenced by the environment, or the surrounding people.

There has been an ongoing debate between how human behavior is shaped, learned and acquired. Some say that behavior results from nature, or one’s own genes, while others say that behavior results from nurture, or the environment. People are aware that both nature and nurture influence how humans live and think but exactly how much of human traits are determined by either nature and nurture remains unknown. I have not heard of anyone saying that all behavior is shaped by either nature or nurture, but I have heard strong debates favoring one side. Scientists may seem more engaged in the nature theory because of the biology and chemistry involved. This in turn leads to further research in the nature field. On the other hand, psychologists research about the effects of nurture, furthering research in that category. Research can last forever because humans cannot find out everything there is to know, but the information that is found contributes to this debate.

This is the topic of which I will explore in this blog. I chose to investigate this area due to my interest in science and psychology, two of my favorite subjects. The science lies in the genes and body chemistry whereas the psychology involves human behavior and interaction. Day by day and week by week, there will be more posts regarding different aspects of nature vs. nurture. These aspects will include psychological phenomena, genes and research studies.

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