Nature Vs Nurture debate

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  • Nature- Nurture Debate
    • Twin studies
      • Shows how genetic influence behaviour.
      • Schizophrenia- Gottesman and Sheilds.
      • Criminal behaviour- Christiansen, Johannes Lange.
      • Depression- McGuffin et al.
    • Adoption studies
      • Shows effects of environment Vs genes.
      • Criminal behaviour- Crowe, Hutchings and Mednick.
      • Schizophrenia- Heston.
      • Biological parents- same genes, adoptive parents- same environment.
    • Different types of environmental influence
      • Inner biological- mother's physical state during pregnancy.
      • Individual psychological level- mother's psychological state during pregnancy.
      • Psychological environmental level- post-birth experiences.
      • Sociocultural- historical level- where and when the child is born; current stage of scientific knowledge; educational and health care policies.
      • MZ twins and siblings share similar environment.
        • DZ twins share more similar environment- partially explains why DZ twins show higher concordance rates.
    • Interaction of Heredity and environment
      • Personality of child effects the way they are brought up and therefore their environment.
        • MZ twins reared in different environments have different personalities.
      • Constructivism- people create their own environments.
      • Impossible to define an environment independently of the person.
        • Contrary to behaviourist approach.
      • Development of nervous system involves  environment.
    • Different approaches within the debate:
      • Psychodynamic:
        • Stressed biological nature.
        • Focusses on instinctual drives of sex and aggression which are expressed within society.
        • Frustration or satisfaction of needs effects personality long- term.
        • Acknowledged influence of environment.
      • Behaviourist:
        • Environmental determinism (Skinner and Watson).
        • Nurture: of paramount importance.
        • Behaviour directly shaped + controlled through associative learning.
        • Micro environment- home, school. Macro environments- sociocultural, political.
      • Social Learning Theory:
        • Stresses role of environment on behaviour.
        • Little attention to biological determinants.
        • Behaviour is modifiable by environmental factors.
        • Environmental factors not only influence.
        • Higher level cognitive processes effect behaviour.
        • Considers interaction between individual and behaviour.
      • Cognitive:
        • Focus is on innate info processing abilities that are constantly refined by experience.
        • Cognitive development are determined by nature.
        • Innate schemas develop and expand through continuous interaction with external world.
      • Humanistic:
        • Life's main motive is the need to self-actualise.
        • Humans significantly influenced by environmental variables.
        • Nature and nurture have roles in determining behaviour and setting the boundaries within which one is free to develop.
      • Biological:
        • Continuing interaction between nature and nurture.
        • Focus is on heredity, the interaction with environment is acknowledged.


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