So what is it?
- The first aspect of this debate is nature; there is nothing complicated about defining it. Nature is responsible for the formation of our mental state, the redistribution of genes and the sorting of information encoded in our genes. In short, nature is responsible for the way we are born.
- The second aspect is consonant with the first one but significantly differs from it in meaning. Nurture is the general designation of the factors that influence the formation of our personality. The process of forming the inner core begins with childhood. The process of maturation, with all its attendant factors, is equally important in determining how we present ourselves. We should not neglect the social connections and contacts with the surrounding people. Family, friends, and acquaintances are an important part of a person’s growth and personality building.
Most likely, you are a follower of one direction but do not deny the correctness of the second choice. This is absolutely normal because even scientists have not yet achieved a consensus on this issue. In particular, it concerns psychologists, for whom the progress of personality formation is a pivotal facet of all their studies. Some are convinced that it is genetic information that deduces human growth and reflection. Other scientists tend to think that it is the environment that controls the formation of behavioral strategies.
Previously, scientists were quite adamant when it came to this question. They were fiercely defending their point of view, not allowing other interpretations. Today, there is a kind of liberalism in the scientific community about this matter. Scientists began to look at both methods and rationally consider each of them as quite probable.
In addition, they also recognize that both nature and the environment are taking turns in putting up with responsibility for personal development during life.
Nature and nurture: what lies behind these notions
What played a more important role in shaping your temperament? Is it all about genetics, or maybe it’s about other factors? What influenced your character? Are these the genes of your father or mother? Maybe your environment has made you a person who you are now?
This question has been communicated since the days of Plato and Descartes. They were sure that all our actions are inborn reflections. That is, they were embedded in our genetic code even before we were born.
Their supporters declare that our identity is a set of factors, and it is based on evolution. Each person is extraordinary in itself because his or her parents have provided him or her with special genes.
A famous figure in the scientific community John Locke believed that a man at birth is a blank sheet. This means that both bad and good qualities come to him with experience. Empiricists were also committed to this scenario because they assumed that anyone can learn anything, regardless of their origin.
Adequate nature & nurture examples
Imagine you’ve regained some honor. What was the reason for that? Maybe the genetic code in your brain? Perhaps it was your efforts and the surrounding environment that helped you to achieve these results? If a woman becomes a victim of domestic violence, what is the reason? Perhaps her husband just has a tendency to be aggressive? This is probably just a standard behavior pattern he experienced over and over again as a child.
Let’s think about linguists. These are people who devote their lives to learning a language. It is foolish to deny that language does not matter in the formation of a personality. Language is our way of knowing the world and reflecting. Noam Chomsky is one of the researchers who spoke about the connection between children’s speech and their perception of the encircling things.
When a child wants to ask for something, he or she can say it politely or aggressively. The fact is that such contrasting behavior can be observed between siblings. Doesn’t this mean that children were treated differently by their parents?
Children’s behavior does not depend solely on their parents’ attitudes. They absorb the principles of behavior from their peers. Albert Bandura, a well-known psychologist, experimentally proved that children are actually able to acquire the character of behavior from others. It pertains to both positive characteristics and negative influence.
Psychology is a very diverse discipline, and several sectors can be distinguished in it. Scientists who study human psychology from the point of view of a person’s biological potential are convinced that neurotransmitters are directly related to the formation of a person’s character.
Social psychologists cannot agree with them. They believe that the environment, namely adolescent conflicts and problems within the family, have a major impact on personality formation.
Interaction between two controversial scientific facets
These two factors are equally important when it comes to personal development. This can be demonstrated by a simple example.
Many children have the innate ability to distinguish sounds and reproduce them correctly. This is the inborn skill they had got before birth. However, the presence of such a gene does not mean that the child will be a talented musician. The result is that you need to work hard to show your abilities to the full potential.
What else can you focus your attention on? Look at yourself. How tall are you? Did you know that your growth is the result of the interaction between heredity and your lifestyle, i.e. the convergence of inborn factors and the environment? How do you prove the relationship between these factors? A child can have very tall parents. It means that he has all the chances to grow up to their height. However, there is a small clarification: if the child does not eat well and receives enough nutrients together with the food, he will not be able to reach his maximum height.
What is the up-to-date opinion on these notions
Starting with Francis Galton, Charles Darwin and his followers, the debate has not stopped. Galton, for example, was against uneducated citizens getting married, because it could have caused the same kind of hide-bound offspring.
Today, public opinion has moved a little forward, and scientists are less extreme about this issue. They believe that both factors influence our development.
Undoubtedly, there are many people who do not deviate from their radical views, but fortunately, they are in a minority.
There is a positive trend in the evolution of this matter. The interest of ordinary people does not fade away, but they begin to realize that the question is fundamentally wrong. It is impossible to determine the only factor influencing our development. The formation of a personality is a relatively sophisticated process, which is influenced by both internal and external characteristics.