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Flashcards in Nature Vs Nurture Deck (12)
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What is the nature vs nurture debate on about?

The nature-nurture debate argues whether inherited characteristics are more influential in causing human behaviour or whether an individual’s environment is more significant.


What do nativsits strongly support?

The nature side of the argument

It refers to our behaviour being hereitary


Example of the nature side


  • The biological approach suggests that our behaviour is determined by biological influences for example, genetics and the role of neurotransmitters.
  • Research into twin studies and OCD has found that monozygotic twins have a concordance rate of 47% and dizygotic twins have a concordance rate of 18% which suggests that nature could cause an inherited predisposition and is very influential in causing human behaviour


What is meant by the nurture side of the debate?

nurture suggests that behaviour is determined by our environment and our upbringing


What are emphiricits?

The supporters of the nurture arugments


Example of nurutre side

Behaviourist psychologists

 Behaviourist psychologists suggest that behaviour can be explained in terms of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. For example, the study of Pavlov’s dogs demonstrated that we learn through association which highlights the importance of nurture in causing human behaviour.


What is interactionism


Focus on debate on two parts

interactionist approach to attachment between infant and parent seen as a 'two-way street;

  • Child's innant temperment influences  how parent behaves towards them
  • Parent in turn affects the child's behaviour (Belsky and Rovine)


Example of interactionism


Epigenetics is a change in genetic activity without changing the genetic code

Lifestyle and events we counter (e.g smoking , pollution) leave epigenetic marks on the DNA telling our bodies which genes to ignore and which to use influencing genetic code of offspring

introduces third element into nature vs nruture debate - the life experience of previous genes



Understanding the interaction has real-world implication

  • Extreme beliefs in the influence of nature and nurture may have negative implications on how we view human behaviour
  • Nativist suggest genes determine behavioural characteristics/ This has led to controversy (e.g linkign race to eugenics police and advocating model of society that manipulates citizens)
  • Recogniging that human behavour is both nature and nurture is more reasonable way to approach the study and managment of human behaviour



Evidence of gene-envirnoment interaction

  • Scarr and McCartney outlined three types of gene-envirnoment ineraction , passive , evocative and active
  • The ineraction is different for each type e.g passive-interaction parent's genes influence how they treat their children (musically-gifted parents encourage children to play s love of music)
  • Again this points to a complex and multi-layered relationship between nature and nurture


A strength of understanding nature-nurture relates to other debates

  • Strong commitment to either nature or nurture position responds to a belief in hard determinism
  • Nativist perspective suggest atanomy is destiny while epircists argue that interaction with envirnoment is all
  • These quate to biological and envirnomental determinism showing links with other debates



confunding factor of unshared environments

  • Research that likes to 'tease out' envirnomental influences is complicated by the fact that even sibilings with same family will not have identical upbringins -there are shared and unshared enivrionments
  • Dunn and Plomin suggest individual differences as silbings experience events differently (e.g age or life event like divorice)
  • This would explain findings that even MZ twins  reared together do not show perfect corodance rates