Essay on Nature Versus Nurture Debate

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The nature versus nurture debate is one of the oldest and most controversial issues in Psychology. The nature versus nurture debate revolves around the contributions of genetic factors and environmental factors to human development. The primary method of attempting to determine which of these effects human development the most has been cross-cultural studies. Cross-cultural studies are studies conducted across more than one culture, based on the assumption that the differences between cultures genetically are less that the differences within a culture. Through cross-cultural studies, Psychologists are able to determine whether nature or nurture has the paramount effect upon the three major segregations of human development, Cognitive,…show more content…
Jean Piaget, a developmental psychologist, proposed that infants progress through a series of four stages of cognitive development. The first, the sensory motor stage, primarily focuses on the interactions the infant has with their surrounds and how they form ideas and concepts concerning the world in this stage. It was found that a nurturing and homely environment would inspire exploration whilst another without engaging activities and things of interest would hinder development. Another researcher of cognitive development was Kearins who, through applying Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development, studied the spatial and visual memory abilities of Australian Aborigines. By comparing the Aborigine adolescents and white adolescents, Kearins studied the differences across two different cultures, enabling the study of environmental factors (Nurture). In Kearin’s study, the participants played a game intended to test their visual and spatial capabilities in which they had to memorise the location of objects upon a grid. Kearin’s hypothesis was supported as the Aboriginal adolescents displayed great visual and spatial memory abilities. Although various extraneous variables could have caused the Aborigine adolescents to score higher, this study demonstrates how different environmental factors do influence cognitive development within humans to a degree.
Physical development refers to the changes that occur in the size, shape, proportion, appearance, motor skills
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