Nature vs. Nurture Debate


John Bowlby

Nature Theory

  • Children are biologically pre-programmed to form attachments in order to survive.
  • Study of imprinting in animals - mainly developed Lorenz' study on birds.
  • Believed that attachment behaviours are innate/adaptive.

Nurture Theory

  • Maternal deprivation can lead to:
    • delinquency
    • reduced intelligence
    • increased aggression
    • depression
    • affectionless psychopathy
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Albert Bandura

Nurture Theory

  • Social Learning Theory.
    • Children are more likely to imitate the people they perceive as similar to them - Bobo doll experiment.
    • Behaviour is picked up from other people in social settings.
      • For example, a teen may pick up "slang" from their peers and the people they spend time with.

Further details on Albert Bandura's experiment in Social Learning Theory card set.

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John Watson

Nurture Theory

  • Proposed that the process of classical conditioning (based on Pavlov) was able to explain all aspects fo human psychology.
  • Denied completely the existence of the mind or consciousness.
  • Believed that all individual differences in behaviour were due to different experiences of learning.
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