Essay on Human Development Shaped by Biology and Experience

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HUMAN DEVELOPMENT SHAPED BY BIOLOGY AND EXPERIENCE The first core concept suggested by From Neurons to Neighborhoods depicts human development forming from the interplay of an individual’s biology and experience. Early scientists in this particular field created testable hypotheses to understand the dynamic interaction between the nature-nurture phenomenon. For example, some scientists such as Arnold Gesell considered emerging skills to be the product of an individual’s genetic make-up, while others, such as John B. Watson, speculated human behavior was determined by the surrounding environment (Shonkoff & Philips, 2001, 23). Moreover, Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov’s and North American scientist B.F. Skinner’s research in behaviorism …show more content…
A person naturally desires to have necessary biological needs filled. Pavlov’s experiment also demonstrates how nature will interact with nurture through his discovery canines salivate not just at the smell of food, but also at the sound of footsteps bringing the food. The canines were able to connect the smell and audio stimuli together to learn when one comes, such as the footprints, a reward will follow, such as the food. In human development, an individual will link stimuli together in order to adapt to his or her living environment. Some examples of individuals being shaped through experiences include the white coat syndrome and learning to speak. In the first example, a patient associates the sensation of fear with a doctor or nurse; therefore, his or her blood pressure rises when he or she sees the appearance of a white coat (Berger, 40). In the second example, a babbling toddler learns to associate the non-sensible sounds “ma-ma” or “ba-ba” with his or her mother or bottle as they each make their welcomed appearances (Berger, 172). Therefore, a person’s survival depends on whether or not he or she has associated fear with potentially harmful stimuli, or acceptance for desirable stimuli. Lastly, B.F. Skinner introduced a new form of learning process called operate conditioning. Operate conditioning, like classical conditioning, involves individuals creating associations with various stimuli. However, unlike classical
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