• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain what is meant by the terms nature and nurture

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Explain what is meant by the terms nature and nurture (5 marks) ________________ Nature is the extent to which abilities are present at birth. Ability can be determined by genes, including those which develop by age. The biological and evolutionary approach both support the view that all behavior is determined by nature. Nurture refers to the influence of experience. Empiricists had the view that all behavior is learnt and that through reciprocal determinism we influence the environment as the environment influences us. The behaviorist approach is the most common supporter of this view. Outline the history of the nature-nurture debate in Psychology(10 marks) ________________ Philosophers in ancient times, such as Plato, believed that a child was born with some innate knowledge. Rather than learning anything new, people simply recollected knowledge which lay dormant within their mind. Locke, however, was an Empiricist and believed that the mind at birth was a blank slate. He believed that all behaviour was learnt and that the environment and up-bringing made people behaviour in certain ways. In the 19th century there was much tension around the argument. ...read more.

Middle

However it is impossible to assume that all behaviour is determined by either nature or nurture. Instead the interaction of the two by gene-environment relationship has more face validity and is being supported now by more psychologists, including the Psychodynamic approach. Using the three types of relationship I will show various ways in which a child may be musical. The first type of relationship is passive. An example of this would be a musical parent transmitting a musical gene to their offspring, then constructing a musical environment to rear their children. An evocative relationship would be if a child was musically gifted (i.e. had the pre-disposed gene) and then received special training and opportunities by teachers (therefore rewarding and encouraging such behaviour). The third is an active relationship where individuals are pre-disposed to the gene and then select their own environments to match them (e.g. a musical child chooses musical friends). In the diathesis-stress model, a genetic vulnerability or predisposition (diathesis) interacts with the environment and life events (stressors) to trigger behaviors or psychological disorders. The greater the underlying vulnerability, the less stress is needed to trigger the behavior/disorder. ...read more.

Conclusion

found that in the USA it was 8 times more common for white women to have anorexia than coloured women; however some may argue that this could be due to genetic make-up. More evidence for the nurture argument for anorexia has come from Serdula et al(1999) who found that society has become more fat and health conscious as the number of female dieters has increased from 14% in 1950 to 44% in 1999 and in the number of male dieters has risen from 7% in 1950 to 29% in 1999. Another theory from the nature side is that anorexia is due to low serotonin levels. Several studies have reported low levels of serotonin metabolites in patients with anorexia(Kaye, Ebert, Raliegh and Lake 1984) and Kaye et al(2000) found that patients with anorexia who?ve not been restored to a healthy weight show smaller response to serotonin agonists in comparison those who?ve regained a good amount of weight suggesting an under active serotonin system. However it could be argued that low levels of serotonin could be an effect of anorexia as opposed to a cause. In conclusion it is likely that anorexia is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental influences. Some people may have a biological predisposition to anorexia but an environmental factor is needed to start it off. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. "Working conditions were terrible in 19th century Britain." Does the evidence support this view?

    adults to sixty-seven and a half hours a week, and that of children under thirteen years of age to forty-eight hours in the week, though to do this latter has, I must admit, subjected us to much inconvenience, but the elder hands to more, inasmuch as the relief given to the child is in some measure imposed on the adult.

  2. Psychology - Stress

    For example, In 1983 Meichenbaum came up with the idea of Stress Inoculation Training (S.I.T); this is a three-step procedure for producing stress inoculation. It was designed to teach people skills for alleviating stress and achieving personal goals. It aims to control irrational and catastrophising thoughts that to coincide with stressful situations.

  1. Task1 Counselling 1aPhysical signs and symptoms of stress

    John Bowlby based his work around the post World War 11 era to pressure women into remaining at home to care for their children rather than seeking employment. The main aim of Bowlby's work was discovering the impact of traumatic separation on infants.

  2. Free essay

    The organisation Characteristics, Nature V's Nurture

    are not worthy of living life to its full potential like the 'norms' of society. The idea of eugenics alone is faulty and contrary to human existence. It not only contradicts the morals of humanity, but it stands against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe the arguments relating to nature nurture, ...

    David's twin brother Brian was deeply disturbed upon learning of his sister/brothers sex reassignment and later this developed into schizophrenia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer) This case study was the first case of sex reassignment carried out an infant male with no previous history of sexual differentiation.

  2. Samuel and Bryant (conservation)Bandura, Ross and Ross (aggression)Hraba and Grant (doll choice) a. What ...

    In addition, it was also learnt that children did better in the number task than in the mass and volume tasks. This is probably because the child learns to count faster than he/ she would learn to appreciate matter and/or volume.

  1. Psychology Controversy essay, Nature Vs Nurture PY4

    r s   f r o m   s c h i z o p h r e n i a   t h e   h i g h e r   t h e   c o n c o r d a n c e   r a t e .

  2. Behaviourists explain maladaptive behaviour in terms of learning principles that sustain and maintain it. ...

    This box, along with the attached recording equipment, provided a way to collect more objective data about behavior than scientists had been able to gather before. The device came to be known as the "Skinner box" Skinner's innovations were viewed with both admiration and suspicion by The Harvard faculty.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work