Debates - Nature vs Nurture

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  • Created by: Raachel
  • Created on: 30-03-14 13:15
what is the nature vs nurture debate?
the nature-nurture debate is concerned with the extent to which human psychological characteristics are the products of our genes (nature) and of our environment (nurture)
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what is nature?
nature is what we are born with e.g. chromosomes, brain. -genetically programmed to look a certain way, behave in certain ways and die in certain ways. - sex = non-autosomal chromosomes
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what three aspects of our nature can predispose people to acquire particular psychological characteristics?
1.genes - dictate release of hormones which dictate our human biology. 2.neurotransmitters - send messages around or body and between neurones of the nervous system. 3.Brains - large/small, active/inactive areas
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what is nurture?
nurture refers to the effects of our environment & our experiences on us as we develop & grow. the involves all external influences, such as family and peers. - learning through interaction & experiences with the environment, & socialisation process.
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which four research methods can be used to study the nature vs nurture debate?
Twin studies, Adoption studies, Animal studies, Cross-cultural studies
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why are twin studies used when studying the nature vs nurture debate?
easily identify what has a nature basis and what has a nurture basis by studying MZ/DZ twins. can identify genetic links between the twins by looking at concordance rates.
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give an advantage and disadvantage of using twin studies to study the nature vs nurture debate.
- best way of studying the influence of genes/environment. - small sample due to rare occurance of MZ twins, so results are hard to generalise
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why are adoption studies used when studying the nature vs nurture debate?
shows how environment influences a characteristic. If appears that environment has no affect, then it can be suggested it is down to nature.
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give an advantage and disadvantage of using adoption studies to study the nature vs nurture debate
- successfully highlight impact of environmental factors, especially with MZ twins > difference because of nurture. - low reliability because scenario of twins separated is rare + must occur naturally
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why are animal experiments used when studying the nature vs nurture debate?
animals that are 100% genetically identical can be specifically bred, and studies on these animals will show to what extent the environment has an affect by varying their environments.
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give an advantage and disadvantage of using animal experiments when studying the nature vs nurture debate
- short gestation period so inheritance patterns can be studied quickly. - anthropomorphic to generalise from animals to humans
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why are cross-cultural studies used when studying the nature vs nurture debate?
they show which characteristics are innate (found across cultures) and which are learned (found in some cultures) by comparing a characteristic within different cultures
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give an advantage and disadvantage of using cross-cultural studies when studying the nature vs nurture debate
- highlights difference between cultures > supporting nurture. - difficult for researchers to become completely immersed in a different culture and tend to be ethnocentric
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social approach - nature or nurture? why?
nurture - focuses on how society affects people and looks into relationships and interactions with outher
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cognitive approach - nature or nurture? why?
nature - information processing in the brain takes place in a certain way and brain structures serve different functions with regard to thinking
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psychodynamic approach - nature or nurture? why?
nurture - parents and society teach moral values (superego) and conscience and so we learn to fit in with society
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biological approach - nature or nurture? why?
nature - hormones, neurotransmitters, genes and brain structure link with the genetic blueprint, as do maturational processes
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learning approach - nature or nurture? why?
we learn through our interactions with the environment, including all of our experiences and socialisation
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child approach - nature or nurture? why?
both - born with innate tendency to form attachment & develop language. difference experiences lead to different developmental and maturational experiences
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criminological approach - nature or nurture? why?
both - MAOA gene, testosterone levels, low activity in pre-frontal cortex. SFP & SLT
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clinical approach - nature or nurture? why?
both - biological basis e.g. DA levels (schizophrenia). can be affected by environment and social situation - those wil less social support or high levels of stress are more likely to develop a mental disorder
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what is the internationalist view?
development involves both nature and nurture. cannot be separated from each other or from human behaviour sufficiently to be studied as separate entities.
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briefly evaluate the role of nature and nurture when explaining human behaviour.
- most explanations involve elements of both, not a debate at all because cannot be separated from each other or from human behaviour meaningfully, when behaviour is reduced one could be pin-pointed as being the cause but takes away holistic view
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give a weakness of nature as an explanation for human behaviour (clue: twin studies)
no characteristic is 100% the same in MZ twins so nature does not seem to have any examples of being the sole influence on human behaviour.
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Card 2

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what is nature?

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nature is what we are born with e.g. chromosomes, brain. -genetically programmed to look a certain way, behave in certain ways and die in certain ways. - sex = non-autosomal chromosomes

Card 3

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what three aspects of our nature can predispose people to acquire particular psychological characteristics?

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Card 4

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what is nurture?

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Card 5

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which four research methods can be used to study the nature vs nurture debate?

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