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TO WHAT EXTENT DOES ENVIRONMENTAL MANIPULATION AFFECT BEHAVIOUR (LEARNING)? DRAW ON DIFFERENT LEARNING THEORIES TO SUPPORT YOUR DISCUSSION INTRODUCTION The environment plays a crucial role on our behaviour. Environmental Manipulation is about the circumstances, people, things and events around people that influence their life. The purpose of this paper is to prove the affects environment has on behaviour and whether a person's behaviour is determined by their upbringing (nurture) or by their genetic characteristics (nature). The research is important because if we were to find that the way someone is, is controlled by genetic factors then changing there behaviour will be extremely difficult. On the other hand if their social background determined someone's behaviour then it could be far easier to deal with behavioural problems. The essay will begin with the nature-nurture debate. This will be followed by case studies. Learning theories of Piaget and Vygotsky will also be discussed and finally an overall conclusion will follow. NATURE VS NURTURE Nature vs. nurture has been an oscillating controversy in the field of psychology for many years. Does one inherit genes, or does the environment affect one's genes? ...read more.


Watson placed a white rat in the room. Albert seemed to like the rat and even showed liking towards it. After some time when Albert would reach out to touch the rat, Watson would produce a very loud and disturbing noise. As a result, the baby became frightened of every white and furry object in which he came in contact. (Harris,1999: p5,6) I do not entirely agree with the behaviourist theory and therefore will point out some of the limitations. Critics say that behaviourism over simplifies human behaviour and that it sees the human as a robot instead of a creature with free will and purpose. It shows no clear boundaries for what is behaviour and what is merely the body functioning in the way it should and does not explain or even acknowledge the internal processes that cause our reactions to different stimuli. The behaviourist approach also dictates what knowledge the "student" will learn, in what order they will learn it and how they will learn it, and ensures that the "student" concentrates on key points rather than information as a whole. It also deals only with the problem and fails to search out the root cause, which often means the problem, without continuous treatment, can reoccur. ...read more.


Nature (heredity and genes) plays a greater determining factor for personality and behaviour than nurture (surroundings) does, while nurture plays a slightly greater role in determining one's developing intellectual ability. The two approaches are linked it is both nature and nurture that influences the child's development. The balance varies depending on the situation of particular children, e.g. poverty. Although the child may have innate basic instincts and drives for things such as learning, language, aggression or morality. It is also the environment that plays a major role. There is interaction between nature and nurture. Both Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories have had a significant effect on the way that children cognitive processes have been studied and they have also had a profound effect on education. It would be fair to say that Vygotsky did not reject all of the elements of Piaget's theory but took the weak areas and strengthened them by taking into consideration socio - cultural factors and language for example. REFERENCE Gupta and Richardson, (1995) Children's Cognitive and Language Development, Blackwell Publishers Ltd in association with the Open University. Wood, D. (1998) How children think and learn (Second Edition), Blackwell Publishers Sutherland, P (1992) Cognitive Development Today, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd Harris J.R. (1999) The Nurture Assumption, Bloomsbury Publishers Video : 'Wild Child' (http://kccesl.tripod.com/genie.html 15 April 2005) ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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