That was the question raised recently by psychologist Judith Rich Harris, author of the controversial book, The Nurture Assumption. If they turn out to be bums, it certainly is not your fault. How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out well? How much blame when they turn out badly?
Understand what the nature—nurture debate is and why the problem fascinates us. Understand why nature—nurture questions are difficult to study empirically.
Know the major research designs that can be used to study nature—nurture questions. Appreciate the complexities of nature—nurture and why questions that seem simple turn out not to have simple answers. Introduction There are three related problems at the intersection of philosophy and science that are fundamental to our understanding of our relationship to the natural world: These great questions have a lot in common.
Everyone, even Both nature and nurture influence human without much knowledge of science or philosophy, has opinions about the answers to these questions that come simply from observing the world we live in. Our feelings about our relationship with the physical and biological world often seem incomplete.
We are in control of our actions in some ways, but at the mercy of our bodies in others; it feels obvious that our consciousness is some kind of creation of our physical brains, at the same time we sense that our awareness must go beyond just the physical.
We are so concerned with nature—nurture because our very sense of moral character seems to depend on it. In fact, even the great violinist might have some inborn qualities—perfect pitch, or long, nimble fingers—that support and reward her hard work. And the basketball player might have eaten a diet while growing up that promoted his genetic tendency for being tall.
When we think about our own qualities, they seem under our control in some respects, yet beyond our control in others.
What about how much we drink or worry? What about our honesty, or religiosity, or sexual orientation? They all come from that uncertain zone, neither fixed by nature nor totally under our own control. Researchers have learned a great deal about the nature-nurture dynamic by working with animals.
But of course many of the techniques used to study animals cannot be applied to people. Separating these two influences in human subjects is a greater research challenge.
In nonhuman animals, there are relatively straightforward experiments for tackling nature—nurture questions. Say, for example, you are interested in aggressiveness in dogs. You want to test for the more important determinant of aggression: You could mate two aggressive dogs—angry Chihuahuas—together, and mate two nonaggressive dogs—happy beagles—together, then switch half the puppies from each litter between the different sets of parents to raise.
You would then have puppies born to aggressive parents the Chihuahuas but being raised by nonaggressive parents the Beaglesand vice versa, in litters that mirror each other in puppy distribution.
The big questions are: Would the Chihuahua parents raise aggressive beagle puppies? Would the beagle parents raise nonaggressive Chihuahua puppies? In fact, it is fairly easy to breed animals for behavioral traits.
Nevertheless, despite our restrictions on setting up human-based experiments, we do see real-world examples of nature-nurture at work in the human sphere—though they only provide partial answers to our many questions. The science of how genes and environments work together to influence behavior is called behavioral genetics.
The easiest opportunity we have to observe this is the adoption study. When children are put up for adoption, the parents who give birth to them are no longer the parents who raise them.
What about the biological child of a Spanish-speaking family adopted at birth into an English-speaking family? What language would you expect the child to speak? And what might these outcomes tell you about the difference between height and language in terms of nature-nurture?
Studies focused on twins have led to important insights about the biological origins of many personality characteristics.
Another option for observing nature-nurture in humans involves twin studies. There are two types of twins: They are essentially clones. Fraternal twins are ordinary siblings who happen to have been born at the same time.
To analyze nature—nurture using twins, we compare the similarity of MZ and DZ pairs. Identical twins, unsurprisingly, are almost perfectly similar for height. The heights of fraternal twins, however, are like any other sibling pairs:‛BOTH NATURE AND NURTURE INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR’ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines Nature as “persons or animal’s innate character, and innate meaning inborn”.
Nature refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are—from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics.; Nurture refers to all the environmental. A masterful guide to human development that redefines the nature versus nurture debate.
A much-needed antidote to genetic determinism, The Dependent Gene reveals how all traits-even. Both Nature and Nurture Influence Human Behaviour Essays ‛BOTH NATURE AND NURTURE INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR’ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines Nature as “persons or animal’s innate character, and innate meaning inborn”.
We spoke with Psychologist David Moore to find out more about the science of epigenetics, its impact on the nature versus nurture debate, how epigenetic research relates to humans, and the hopes. The nature vs nurture debate has been going on since the early ages, but the heat is still on between the belief that our genes dictate all our traits and the idea that rearing plays the most part.