Nature vs. Nurture

Naturevs. Nurture

Naturevs. Nurture


Natureor Nature in Psychology

Naturevs. Nature and the aspects of personality and culture are importantconcepts in social sciences. All these aspects are significantbecause they aid in understanding issues affecting the social beings.Psychologists argue about the two subjects and the effects of socialsystems and biology on people and their behavior. The ones who aresupporting the argument of nurture claim that socialization, as wellas influences from the environment, are the most crucial factors inthe determination of who people are, and how they behave. On theother hand, the ones supporting the nature argument claim thatbiology and genetics solely shape individuals.

Theissue of nurture vs. nature is also studied regarding people’spersonality. For instance, Ridley (2013) gives an example of a studywhere the character of twins and adopted children was conducted. Acharacter is mostly looked at as a trait which is inheritable inadopted children and twins. Identical twins who have been raiseddifferently in separate families act in almost similar manners, ascompared to people who are randomly selected. Additionally,biological sisters and brothers are more alike in personality,compared to the ones who are adopted. It is also worth to note thatfraternal twins display less similar traits in comparison toidentical twins. The study argues that personality is usuallyinherited, but that the examination of genes and the environmentshould be done.

Cultureand trait are important concepts in social sciences because itsstudies are referred to as psychological anthropology this is one ofthe branches of cultural anthropology, which seeks to find out thedifferent types of personality which are prevalent in a particularculture and to know where the cultures place each of the types ofcharacter. The type which is viewed as ideal in a culture is thencalled the culture`s personality. More specifically, culture andindividuality studies use the techniques of psychology to the area ofanthropology and include Rorschach tests, role-playing, and in-depthinterviews. Hence, the field is clearly important to social sciences.


Thename of their subject is Psychology.

  1. Freudian theory

TheSigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is a structural theory ofpersonality which argues that human behavior comes about due to theinteraction of three mind components which are the ego, id, andsuperego. Unconscious psychological conflicts were the ones givenmost importance in his theory as he believed that they were the onesresponsible for shaping a person’s personality and behavior(Ridley, 2013).

  1. Jean Piaget’s theory

Accordingto his theory of cognitive development, his belief revolves aroundchildren thinking differently than adults. He further explained thisby saying that children went through four universal stages ofcognitive development. He concluded that development was biologicalwhich changed as the child matured. Cognition in all children tendsto happen the same way in all the stages.

  1. Skinner theory of operant conditioning

Thisargument revolves around the fact that behavior is determined by itsconsequences, whether they are punishments or reinforcements, whichmake it less or more likely that there will be an occurrence of thebehavior again. He further believed that the only scientific approachto psychology was one that focused on behavior as opposed to internalmental processes (Ridley, 2013.

  1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Thistheory was developed by Abraham Maslow being a motivational theory inpsychology, which put forward the arguments that even though peopleaim to meet basic needs, high requirements in the form of a pyramidare required to be fulfilled (Ridley, 2013. Maslow`s Hierarchy ofNeeds is represented in five levels in a hierarchical pyramid.

Howtheir theories are different

Allthe four approaches are different in that the Freudian theory focuseson personality which is influenced by the Id, ego, and superego. Itfurther goes on to assert that unconscious psychological conflictsshape behavior and personality in an individual. On the other hand,Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development focused on childrenand the fact that they think differently in comparison to adults.There were four stages of cognitive development that all children hadto go through (Ridley, 2013. These two theories are different as theFreudian theory focuses on an individual’s personality while thePiaget’s theory focuses on cognition of a child.

Skinneroperant conditioning theory is based on behavior, which comes aboutas a result of the consequences. Nevertheless, Maslow`s hierarchy ofneeds revolves around the need to meet basic needs which are in theform of a pyramid. This theory explains that at the bottom of thepyramid are essential requirements that should be fulfilled.


  1. Abraham Maslow’s Theory and the Concept of Nurturing

Maslow`sHierarchy of needs pyramid builds on a person`s greatest needs. Atthe pyramid`s base, there exist the basic needs which include water,food, and the ability to breathe. After this is needs regardingsecurity such as a job and shelter, then the family and friendshipsfollow. After this is the self-esteem of the individual, then it endson morality. Abraham Maslow makes it clear that if any of those needscannot be achieved or met, then the person does not possess theability or energy to worry about matters concerning the minor issues,which are above it. It is a crucial concept, especially ifresearching about the development of children. If a child is notnurtured correctly, he/he is unable to meet their genetic potential,despite the fact that the capacity is present.

  1. Piaget and the Concept of Nature

Piagetmakes a point concerning nature in the sense that things such as thematuration of the body and brain, the ability of individuals tolearn, act and perceive are all attributed to natural actions. Inaddition to this, the capacity to get motivated can be attributed tonature.


Normalbehavior is deemed as the typical pattern of behavior which is notedin most people. In particular, those who have an average amount ofpersonality stability, intelligence, and social adaptability are allnormal. On the other hand, an abnormality is defined as the perverteddevelopment or exaggeration of the normal behavior in psychology. Inessence, people`s weird actions that do not seem to be similar to thenormal behavior are referred to as abnormal behavior.

Peoplelearn how to express their feelings regarding anger, sadness orfriendliness from copying their parents or from the kinds ofapprovals or punishments given to them by the parents. From thefamily institution, they learn about values regarding whatconstitutes as either being right or wrong. Additionally, they learnabout how to relate to others, for instance how to speak to peoplewho are older than them or how to play with children and so on.Ridley (2013) points out that the more the family experience ispositive, the more the individuals will have a positive outlook onlife. It translates to the fact that if a person is denied thestableness and happiness that is supposed to be in a family, he willmost likely be angry at the whole world. In essence, it is evidentthat the institution of household impacts the psychologicaldevelopment of the individual concerning normal and abnormalbehavior. When the family system is stable and offers both gentlenessand firmness, the mental evolution of the person turns out to be ofnormal behavior. Stable and happy families tend to have the unity ofdisciplining children with love, consistency, and firmness, and thatis why the kids turn out to be normal. On the other hand, if parentslack all these, the individuals develop abnormally and may start todistance themselves from other rational beings.

Thedivorce or separation in families also constitutes to the peoplebeing abnormal, because of the stress issues related to it. Whenpeople are exposed to so much stress, they tend to develop signs ofabnormality. Several studies have been conducted which show thatseparation in the family is associated with a broad range of seriouseffects on the well-being of individuals, and how they develop. Someof the results which are reported include severe impacts oncognitive capacity, signs of abnormal behavior, emotional and mentalhealth, and so on. The strange behavior further leads to other issuessuch as lone parenthood, early marriages, low status of occupation,poor relationships with the parents, not trusting others, lack ofsatisfaction with life and so on. All these are signs of abnormalbehavior which apparently emanate from the unstable conditions in thefamily.


Ridley,M. (2013). Nature vs. nurture: Genes,experience, and what makes us human.HarperCollins Publishers.