It makes you wonder if we do things because we just want to, or are we genetically designed to do these things because of what we have inherited. The biological perspective and the psychologist who study it believe that our behaviors are influenced by our chromosomes, hormones and our brain. Even when it comes to something as little as crossing a road.
Introduction: In the attempt to explain human behaviour, one of the oldest debates in psychology is the issue of nature versus nurture. This debate revolves around the extent to which genetic inheritance and external environmental factors affect human behaviour. At one end there are the nativists which believe that human differences are based of genetic codes. On the other hand, there are the empiricists who believe the human mind at birth is a blank slate and is eventually “filled” by experience.
There are three ways in which we can study biological psychology. Using comparative method it shows us how human behaviour can be understood by studied different types of animals and comparing them. Using inheritance we can find the genetics of an animal and what it inherits from its parents. We use physiology to see how the nervous system and hormones work in the body, how changes happen and how that can affect the brain also with how the brain operates. Charles Darwin was a man who believed that all plants, animals and humans came from previous forms.
Piaget and Vygotsky have a significant influence and contribution in the field of developmental phycology with a concentration on cognitive development theory. This paper’s focus is to compare and contrast those two famous psychologists. Moreover, will include a short summary of their theories; similarities and differences between their cognitive development theories, and explain what can be gained after we understand those theories. Psychologists and Their Theories Jean Piaget, biologist and psychologist.
Nature versus Nurture is one of the oldest debates within psychology that has been going on for centuries. The debate of nature versus nurture is focused on whether the behavior of a particular individual is inherited through genes and other biological factors or it is acquired through influences of external factors such as product of exposure, conditioning and or experiences (McLeod, 2007). The Nature theory is thought of as pre-wiring whichdetermines the genetics that are inherited such as eye colour, pigmentation of skin and even certain diseases are all of the things that get inherited through birth. Other physical characteristics such as height and weight are not as strongly influenced by the genetic make-up because they are also influenced by lifestyle choices (McLeod, 2007).
Epigenetics: The Punctuation of Genes The discovery of DNA in the early 1950s lead to a number of assumptions by scientists. The first being that DNA is an information centre and carries genetic information that controls all the biological processes in the body including growth and development. But only in the recently in 1996, a mechanism that controlled the ultimate control centre which is DNA was found. It was called Epigenetics meaning “change in genes”.
This branch of philosophy refers to three distinct topics- 1) the biological evolution of cognitive mechanisms in animals and humans; 2) a theory that knowledge itself evolves by natural selection; and 3) the study of the historical discovery of new abstract entities. While evolutionary epistemology refers to the theory that applies the concepts of biological evolution and stages of the development of an organism to the growth of human knowledge, it also argues that knowledge, especially scientific theories, evolve according to the principles of natural selection. However, the development of knowledge can be in the form of additions to and/or consistent modifications of the existing knowledge, the initiation and growth of knowledge, the degree of acceptance of old and new knowledge or its evolution over and throughout time in a particular environment. This leads us to the claim-
When will the nearly 150 year old debate end? For years there has been an ongoing debate of if a child is impacted more by their genetics, or their environment. This idea of nature versus nurture has been argued immensely by scientists and psychologists over the years, and both parties have come up with convincing arguments for their position on the topic. Although still debated, it is becoming more apparent that maybe it is not nature versus nurture, but how nature and nurture work together in the development of a child. While it is true that both have an impact on the individual, it is clear that certain personality traits are influenced more by the child’s surroundings, and who the child grew up with.
There are three ways in which a biological perspective helps in the study of psychology; • Comparative method – We can study and compare different species of animals to help us understand human behaviour. • Physiology – By looking at how the brain, the nervous system and our hormones work, we can see how any changes in these functions effects the way we behave. • Investigation of inheritance – By looking at our genetic makeup we can see whether we have inherited any of our parents or grandparents characteristics. Charles Darwin first proposed the idea that genetics and evolution both contributed to our many human qualities in his publication, On the Origin of Species (1859). He came up with this theory while studying different animals as he travelled the world.
Psychology has now developed into a discipline that extends and concerned with understanding the behavior and mental processes from multiple perspectives. As the name suggest, biological psychology is a branch of science that tries to explain behavior in terms of biology, and because the most important structures controlling the behavior of the brain, Biopsychology is the study of the brain and how it produces behavioral and mental processes. Implicit in this definition is the assumption that every mental process, feeling and action must have a physical or neural basis in the brain. This is much the same as saying that the mind is the product of the brain’s electrical and neurochemical activity. Although there are philosophical grounds for