Nature Vs. Nurture: Theories Of Human Behavior

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In the field of developmental psychology, the highly controversial debate of nature versus nurture remains one of the most convoluted of all time. The phrase "Nature Versus Nurture" originated from the English polymath, Francis Galton, who in 1869 was convinced that intellectual ability was substantially inherited and that the inclination for “genius” to run in families was the consequence of a natural superiority (Galton was actually related to Charles Darwin). The term "nature" refers to the influence of inherited characteristics while "nurture" talks about the impact of one’s environment in human development. On one hand, there is a group that believes human beings behave the way they do due to their genetic predisposition. This group is usually made up of scientists because of the biology and chemistry involved.…show more content…
This is known as the nature theory of human behaviour and is the view adopted by naturalists or nativists (Landau, 2009). On the other hand, there is a group that believes how people think and behave is the summation of what is taught and influenced by the environment or the surrounding people. Psychologists are usually a part of this group. This is known as nurture theory of human behaviour and is the view espoused by empiricists (Spencer et al., 2009). Empiricists insist all or most behaviours and characteristics stem from learning. Behaviourism is a fine example of a theory grounded in empiricism. The behaviourists believe that all actions and behaviours are the product of learning (conditioning). Theorists such as John B. Watson believed that people could be trained to do and transform into anything, disregarding their genetic background. Other renowned thinkers such as John Locke reckon that the mind begins as a blank slate, which is known as tabula rasa. Based on this notion, everything that we are and all of our knowledge is determined by our

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