Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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Nature vs. Nurture The dubious history of the heredity environment controversy can be easily traced as far back as the start of the present century with at least some historical evidence placing the roots of this dispute in the time of John Locke. This controversy has continued despite continual reiteration that the critical question is not how much of a trait is due to heredity and how much is due to environment, but rather how environment transact to influence development.” ( Wachs , 1983, p. 386). This paper will focus on the nature/nurture controversy and the extent to which an individuals intellectual level is determined either by inborn intelligence or by environmental factors. The relative powers of nature and nurture have been…show more content…
Among these elements are some of the most relevant issues pertaining to this subject including: twin, adoption, family, orphanage life, IQ, and race studies. It is to these studies we will now turn our attention. TWIN STUDIES The importance of twin studies is evident if we look at the studies objectively, if intelligence is basically hereditary, identical twins who have the same genetic legacy, should be concordant for that trait than are fraternal twins, which are no more alike genetically than other siblings. Burt's (1958) famous study show that the intelligence test scores of identical twins, whether reared together or apart , display considerably higher correlation than the scores of fraternal twins. Burt's work is currently viewed with caution due to the manner in which he gathered and interpreted his data (Vernon, 1979). However, Burt's research provides an important foundation for this research. Jone's study (1946) shows that there is a modest difference in the intelligence test scores of twins reared apart, and the more divergent the environments, the greater the difference. “While environmental factors are important in raising or lowering a child's level of intellectual performance, these studies demonstrate that they only do so within limits set by heredity.” (Mussen, Conger, and Kagon, 1963 p.52) The Louisville Twin Study (Wilson, 1983) showed that environmental considerations such as characteristics of home and the

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