Nature vs Nurture Essay

Nature vs Nurture Essay

Nature is attributed to hereditary and gene factors that define human beings including physical appearance and personality characteristics. Biological psychology emphasizes the role of biological and genetic influences on a person. Nurture looks at all the environmental variables that have an impact on what people become.  It incorporates early childhood experiences, social relationships, culture and how people were brought up. Behaviorism on the other hand states the environment has an impact on the behavior of an individual. There is a heated debate on whether our personalities are made or whether people are born like that. People also wonder whether it is the environment or inherited genes that impact development, intelligence and ability among other issues. The nature versus nurture conflict has prompted researchers to establish what can be attributed to human behavior. People are divided on the different factors choosing to believe that genes play an integral role in how people are and others hold a strong stand that the environment influences the kind of behavior that we acquire.


            Science states that specific traits such as eye color, weight, height and hair loss among others are associated to genetic causes. Nativists who are the people that support nature are of the opinion that human beings are a result of evolution and each person has unique gene codes that define our individuality. Gene coding in each human cell establishes diverse traits of a person more so physical attributes like height, hair color and size among others. Controversy still looms on whether sexual orientation, intelligence and personality can be associated with gene coded in DNA of humans. Characters in an individual do not exhibit at birth, but come out during puberty and due to maturation. Biological clock has the ability to control and trigger characteristics that become evident in bodily changes during the puberty. Identical twins will tend to display similar personality traits in relation to fraternal twins even when they are reared in the same environment (Tucker-Drob, Briley, McAdams, Shiner and Tackett, 2017). People are more likely to develop mental health conditions, if they have a family history of the diseases. Alcohol addiction is equally related to genes and may recur in families. When it comes to analyzing homosexuality, people believe that there is a likelihood of a gay gene being in gay people that explains that gays are born that way and it is not a behavior they acquire.


People             who favor nurture believe that the human mind is usually blank at birth and characteristics are instilled in us by the environment as we grow older. A child will form an attachment to is parent because of the attention and the love that it receives. The environment plays a role in the language people speak and the body language they portray. Skinner who is an empiricist believes that a person will tend to use behavioral shaping techniques to learn about language. John Watson, a psychologist believes that the environment plays a role in the personality that people have. He states that it is possible for a child to be trained to be anything one desires, but their talents and potentialities remain. Hereditary structure of a human being has the potential of being shaped in diverse ways (Watson, 2017).

Nurture also plays a role in the mental development of an individual. Genetic dispositions play a major impact but an environmental trigger must play a part for the condition to build up. If one detects of a likelihood of a mental condition developing, then proper attention and care should be undertaken to lower the risk of getting the condition. Moreover, addiction cannot only be attributed to nature as being friends with alcoholics can trigger an addiction. An individual whose family has a history of alcoholism can be disastrous if it is coupled with environmental factors such as advertising, social attitudes and product availability. Certain characteristics can be linked to environmental influences like learned experiences and parenting styles. For example, a child might learn behavior by observing what others do and reinforcements to say certain words like thank you and please. Another child might behave aggressively by looking at older children engage in violent behavior. Social learning theory coined by Albert Bandura indicates that people learn to behave by observing what other people do. Children can learn aggressive behavior by simply looking at aggressive people act.

Genetics and environment can interact to be able to explain the reasons people get certain behavior. Three types of environment/gene relations can be identified as passive, evocative and active correlation. If there was a belief that musical ability was hereditary then that would mean that the parents of the child would have to e musicians. The parents would then be in a position to provide a favorable environment for them to explore their talent. Evocative association can be defined by people who are genetically distinct being able to evoke diverse reactions from their parents, peers and the society. Active correlation is when people select certain experiences that align with their preferences that are genetically influenced.

In summary, nature and nurture both play a role in shaping the personality of an individual. Although the topic remains controversial it is hard to side with one side as both have strong arguments and evidence that goes in their favor. Human intelligence that is often identified with the debate of nature versus nurture can be associated with both factors. Biology and environment are dependent on each other and it would be hard to separate them. Both nature and nurture play an integral role in the development of a human mind. Environmental influences through social mediators like peers, family and neighborhood and individual experiences in the form of accidents, success and failures play a role in personality characteristics of an individual(Kandler and Zapko-Willmes,2017). Hence, environmental and genetic factors play a role in analyzing the different personality characteristics.


Kandler, C., & Zapko-Willmes, A. (2017). Theoretical perspectives on the interplay of nature and nurture in personality development. In Personality development across the lifespan (pp. 101-115).

Tucker-Drob, E. M., Briley, D. A., McAdams, D. P., Shiner, R. L., & Tackett, J. L. (2017). Theoretical concepts in the genetics of personality development. Dan P. McAdams, Rebecca L. Shiner, and Jennifer L. Tackett (Eds.) Handbook of Personality Development. Guildford..

Watson, J. B. (2017). Behaviorism. Routledge.

Do you need an Original High Quality Academic Custom Essay?