Nuture Nature Vs Nurture

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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. The nature versus nurture debate relates to many different areas of psychology such as language acquisition, prejudice, intelligence and many other areas of study. In this paper, the debate of nature versus nurture in the origin of shyness will be focused on and discussed.

According to the American Psychological Association, shyness is defined as ‘the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people’. Shyness is a personality trait within all human beings, but varies between individuals. Shakespeare wrote “A devil, a born devil on whose nature nurture can never stick.” (Shakespeare, 1611). However, can someone really be born a devil? In this case, can an individual be more shy than others from birth? To further investigate this, this paper will examine the following question, To what extent is shyness genetic? In other words, this question refers to whether children are born shy due to their genetic inheritance or is shyness
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