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Since time immemorial, there have been questions and debates regarding the issue of nature verses nurture with questions such as: what are the factors that contribute to the mental development of a person? The answer to this question is not clear with many not being sure whether it is nature- genetic or biological make up of an individual- or nurture- how an individual is brought up, by whom and under which environment. This is due to the fact that human beings can inherit mental traits and characteristics like a propensity for particular mental diseases from their parents just in the similar manner they can inherit physical characteristics like eye color, predisposition to physical diseases or even height (Bateson, 2004).    

For instance, some people argue that intelligence and alcoholism are inherited biologically while some support the concept that large portion of these people are a result of the environment through which an individual is brought up. When regarding the concept of nature verses nurture, researchers use not only twins that were raised together but also those who were raised apart so as to decide if or not a particular trait is programmed biologically or incase it evolves due to the environment through which one twin was brought up. Nevertheless, the fact that the twins who had been separated by adoption were frequently brought up in the same environment is the flaw in this kind of research.


Bateson (2004) asserts that intelligence is the most controversial sector in the debate of nature verses nurture. This is due to the fact that intelligence- an individual's capacity to think reasonably and handle challenges reasonably- is related closely to achievement in both scholastic and other conditions. While it is shown by studies that all kinds of twins and biological siblings are more probable to same intelligence, many researchers agree that genetics influence intelligence to a great extent. It is therefore a matter of fact that the stronger the similarities in intelligence, the closer the biological links. Nevertheless, there are also resemblances in intelligence between unrelated children who were brought up together within same family even though these resemblances are not immense like those between biological children and twins particularly.         

What is said in this research and others is that there is no one definitive factor that affects intelligence solely. One's intelligence is influenced greatly by the manner through which a person is raised. For instance, other researchers have settled upon figures while it is placed forth by psychologist Arthur Jensen, a researcher that intelligence is 80% determined by biological factors (Brawley et al., 2003).

Researchers have also attempted to determine if environment or genetics influence a person's personality in addition to intelligence and characteristics. For instance, if an actual outgoing social person has a child, will similarly that child be an outgoing? This fact is accepted by some researchers. As a matter of fact, it has been proved by scientists that there is a biological association in term of personality where unreservedness- being social and outgoing- and neuroticism- being overly sensitive, touchy or moody are concerned.

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According to Brawley et al. (2003), the question remaining was how this can be proven where solution that it can be proved via studies involving twins that are not living together. In fact, it has been found by same studies that numerous thing appear to be inherited ranging from political attitudes and values to the extent of time that is spend by individuals watching television. This might sound ridiculous and of course, there is nobody who is suggesting that a certain gene has advanced that affects directly an individual's preference for watching a television. Somewhat, the fact that act of watching television is normally a solitary, passive one, is what researchers are focusing on. This could be something that is connected to whether or not an individual is extroverted. The fact that scientists have identified a gene that influences brain chemistry and might be the reason that certain people are involved in risk-taking behaviors like extreme sport and bungee jumping while others do not have also confirmed these type of findings. 

Schizophrenia- a serious psychological disease that is marked by dispersed thoughts delusions and confusion- has been proved to possess high genetic correlation implying that there is an increased probability another member of the family, or future offspring, might also develop schizophrenia incase one member of the family has schizophrenia as discussed on mental illness. Of course, it is not true to say that an individual will ever develop a disease due to the fact that he or she is may be predisposed to schizophrenia as a result of genetics (DeWitt, 1998). Alcoholism and major depression are therefore other types of psychological disorders that might be hereditary.

Furthermore, some responses developed by the developing organisms to environmental conditions might lack instant adaptive value even though their benefits are manifested later in life. It is supposed to be emphasized that are not merely impacts of restraint in utero, but instead mechanism through which the foetus utilizes an early environmental prompt to foresee its future and takes up a developmental path that might suit it appropriately to its predictable postnatal or adult environment. The efficiency of this type of plastic approach will be in regard to whether prediction made is accurate for instance best suited to real environmental conditions in future life, or not (DeWitt, 1998). The development of the capability to increase a predictive and adaptive plastic response will be probably in regard to the number of features like the accuracy of the prompt the occurrences of different environmental conditions, as well as outcomes of the mismatch and the intrinsic price of gracefulness itself.

Diamond (1991) proposes that a good example of this kind of adaptive response is coat thickness within pasture vole. The vole pup is born during autumn season has got a thicker coat when compared to one born during spring. Development of coat thickness that is encouraged by trans-placental movement of melatonin signaling day-length when provided with constancy of both the intrauterine and the nesting heat environment can be only developed in expectation of the foreseen postnatal heat environmental. These kinds of predictive responses can be significant constituent of animal development. This is due to the fact that they enable foetus foresee its postnatal environment in regard to the material cues trnsduced through the placenta and sets its physiological homeostatic mechanisms to suit the postnatal atmosphere.

Evidently, a considerable amount relies on the prediction's accuracy. this is because the offspring will nearly certainly thrive when a match between the foreseen and real atmosphere takes place. Nevertheless, an organism is left with a postnatal physiology that is mismatched and unsuitable incase the prediction is not correct thus putting it at an increased risk from disease or predation. This kind of error in prediction can emerge either due to the fact that postnatal atmosphere has changed or simply because the foetus has obtained incorrect information on which its prediction is based (Diamond, 1991). The latter is probably to take place in the presence of placental dysfunction or maternal disease, and also due to exaggerated maternal constraint.

Neonates can also be induced with predictive responses. The effects of infant thermal atmosphere on the number of active sweat glands that are reported might represent a human being for instance. Epigenetic changes like the DNA Methylation in addition to other functional and structural variations upon which succeeding development is conditional, taking place during sensitive periods in development are the mechanisms underlying predictive adoptive responses. They therefore have characteristics that night overlap and grade into each other despite the fact that it was proved that each of the three possible kinds of responses is distinct processes (.

In general, it is currently agreed by nearly all researchers that both biology and environment play significant duties to some extent in shaping individuals. For example, adopted children might also have many characteristics and behaviors with their adoptive parents just in the similar way children may share characteristics and behaviors with their biological parents. The role of this information is therefore to assist mental health specialists, researchers and teachers to assist all individuals that to be aware that potential for their growth, development and accomplishment in their lives.

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