Nature and Nuture Essay

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The question is this: How can we distinguish between the environmental causes of behavior and heredity causes? This question embodies the nature-nurture issue. John B. Watson argued that each is made, not born. He discounted the importance of heredity, maintaining that behavior is managed entirely by the environment. Indeed he boldly claimed: " Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own special world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select-doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts…show more content…
Furthermore, the work of behavioral geneticists and the theories of evolutionary psychologists have influenced developmental psychologists. Both behavioral geneticists and evolutionary psychologists have highlighted the importance of heredity in influencing human behavior. Clearly, the relationship between heredity and environment is far from simple. As a consequence, developmental psychologists typically take an "interactionist" position on the nature-nurture issue, suggesting that a combination of heredity and environmental factors influence development. Developmental psychologists face the challenge of identifying the relative strength of each of these influences on the individual, as well as that of identifying the specific changes that occur over the course of development. Developmental psychologists use several approaches to determine the relative influence of genetic and environmental factors on behavior. In one approach, researchers can experimentally control the genetic makeup of laboratory animals by carefully breeding them for specific traits. Although researchers must be careful when generalizing the findings of nonhuman research to a human population, findings from animal research provide important information that cannot be obtained by using human participants. Human twins serve as another
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