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Nature vs. Nurture - And its affect on intelligence, personality, and behavior

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Nature vs. Nurture And its affect on intelligence, personality, and behavior Neerav Shah IB Diploma student Extended Essay Draft 2 Mentor: Mrs. Shangraw Due January 8, 2003 Table of Contents Abstract Research Thesis: In the controversy surrounding the topic of nature vs. nurture, it is both the hereditary (natural) factor, and the environmental (nurture) factor that plays a role on a human's intelligence, personality, and behavior. Scope of Investigation: In this research paper, the aspects of both nature and nurture were compared with an unbiased perspective. First, the background of both nature and nurture were given. This included definitions and what is incorporated under each category. Next, the natural (or genetics) aspect was discussed. In the first part of this, the affect of nature on intelligence was discussed. Within this first segment, case studies and various other scientific experiments were discussed. After a mini conclusion on this segment, the effect of nurture (environment) on intelligence was discussed. Under this segment, case studies and various other scientific investigations were discussed. Another mini conclusion followed after this segment. An introduction to personality and behavior then followed. Next, the affect of nature on personality and behavior was discussed. Within this segment, scientific facts incorporated with case studies and investigations were discussed. This was followed by another mini conclusion. Next, the effect of nurture on personality and behavior were discussed. This again included various case studies and investigations. This was followed by a mini conclusion. Finally, an overall conclusion and how it tied in with the thesis as well as various other aspects was discussed. Conclusion: In conclusion, it was found that both nature and nurture affect and play a role on a human's intelligence, personality, and behavior. Due to the fact that this is an ongoing debate and that research is still in progress, a conclusion was made from data already known and acquired. Evaluation of Sources Nature vs. ...read more.


It is through this instilled personality that one behaves in different ways. The third way heredity (nature) influences personality and behavior is through our inherited composition. One technique to determine if this theory is true is through case studies relating to twins (identical and fraternal). As discussed before, twins are an important factor of study for this controversy. The comparison of identical twins (monozygotic twins) and fraternal twins (dizygotic twins). IQ, as discussed before, is very similar in the two types of twins because of their genes. In the same way, identical twins share very similar personalities and behaviors because of their identical genes. A single fertilized egg that split into clones produces identical twins. (Dunn, Judy, Sisters and bothers, p146) An example of identical twins that display inherited behavioral patterns is Jerry Levey and Mark Newman. The two men met in a bar, and had grown up in different environments. It was soon found that they demonstrated behavioral similarities such as drinking the same beer, holding a bottle the same way (held it with the little finger stretched beneath the bottom), having the same physical gestures, being involved in the same careers. (Reunited Twins) The twins displayed these characteristics even though they grew up in different environments. This shows that it is true that heredity does play a role in determining personality. Fraternal twins do not share the same quality because in the early stages of growth in the mother's womb, the eggs are split and two new zygotes are formed. Through this study, it was found that heredity does play a role in determining personality. Another relationship that was discussed before was that between adopted children and their biological parents. This is an ongoing study, and so the results are not yet known. If there is a match in the personality between the biological parents and their children in foster homes, then the nature perspective gains advantage. ...read more.


This shows another way in which the environment, or nurture, has an affect on a person's personality and behavior. Although not as great as nature in this case, the study of the environmental upbringing's (nurture) affect on personality and behavior is an ongoing one and so many case studies are inconclusive. What is known, however, shows that nurture affects how people respond and interact with the world. The setting of people, in this case, is a very important determining factor. How and where a person is raised plays a key role in how that person's personality and behavior develops. This means that society, whether it be of any nation, will indeed affect how people not only interact and view the world (personality), but also how people will act in response to that very society as well as to the rest of the world (behavior). After extensive research on a variety of case studies and results from various other scientific research experiments, it was found that nature and nurture both have a great affect on a person's intelligence, personality, and behavior. Nature (heredity and genes) plays a greater determining factor for personality and behavior than nurture (surroundings) does, while nurture plays a slightly greater role in determining one's developing intellectual ability. Life encompassing an individual is made up of an infinite amount of activities, functions, and responsibilities. Nature fulfills some of these many life processes as does nurture. There are many cases where nature starts out by playing a greater importance, and then the supremacy shifts to nurture as life progresses. It is important to realize that the debate over nature versus nurture is an ongoing one, and one that is likely to continue indefinitely. Most of the research that has been conducted encompasses the basics of this debate. The results of this research show no inclination to either side of the argument, and so it can be concluded that both nature (genetics) and nurture (surroundings of upbringing) play an equal role in the affect on all types of life processes in humans. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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A well-structured account of the current debate concerning the role of a person's genes and environment in determining their intelligence, personality and behaviour.
The strengths of the essay are to be found in the latter stages where many of the writer's assertions are supported by a number of relevant case studies. The reader is encouraged to draw their own conclusions from these investigations. Quite rightly, the writer points out that, since much of the research is on-going, it is too early to draw definitive conclusions. The jury is still out!
In the first part of the essay, however, there are a number of rather sweeping generalisations which are not supported by evidence derived from scientific investigations.
Overall, however, the writer communicates a real interest in the subject and gives the reader considerable food for thought.

Marked by teacher Ross Robertson 01/03/2013

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