Nature Vs Nurture Theory

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The nature vs. nurture debate centers on whether human behaviour and personality are inherited (nature) or acquired (nurture); in other words, whether a person’s environment or a person’s genetic inheritance determines their behaviour and personality. Goldsmith and Harman (1994) adopt a neutral position, in which both nature and nurture influence people, stating that they “believe that the fundamental issue concerns the interplay between characteristics of the individual and of the relationship” (54). Goldsmith and Harman discuss temperament and attachment for infant, with temperament being linked to the nature side of the debate and attachment being linked with the nurture side; as a result, the infant’s temperament influences the attachment bond between the infant and the mother, but the attachment bond influences the temperament of the child as well. Therefore, both nature and nurture interact with each other to produce people’s behaviour (Harman et al. 54). Andersen and Berk (1998) take on the nurture perspective, while Leary (1999) claims that nature is the determining factor of a person’s personality. Andersen and Berk discuss the impact of old relationships on new/present relationships; notably, the “activation of mental representations of significant others and the use of these representations in relation to new individuals underlie transference, and thus that transference occurs as a result of basic principles that govern the activation and use of social constructs”

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