One of the cornerstones in behavioral studies, this dispute has been in the frontline of many types of research throughout the decades. It basically tries to figure out whether our personality and by it our whole being, choices, and pathway in our lives are a result of our genetic inherited predisposition towards certain things, or rather we get influenced by those factors surrounding us, meaning the opportunities that we are presented with, unrelated to our will. Metaphorically put, do we inherit the sins of our fathers or forge our own way in life.
In other words, it hopes to reveal the facts that lead to the scenario where let’s say, two brothers, even twins, become one a doctor, while the other becomes a soldier. They both share genetic material, being siblings. They both have common traits, as neither faints at the sight of blood nor gets stressed in the presence of death. However, one is bound on saving lives, while the other has a higher probability of taking them. Where do the common genes affect end and where do education and surrounding agents begin their action?Order now
Facts got so connected and intertwined that it takes a clear mind to stroll through the arguments. Not to mention to be able to discern between the two theories, in order to complete an objectively written study. You might find some of the following pointers to be of help in writing a successful nature vs. nurture essay.
Things here are getting rather technical, and the outline seems to hold no significant difference than for any other paper, using a structure based on the requirements of college teachers around the world.
So you need to start with an introduction that catches the reader’s eye. Try and insert a famous quote to peak his interest, as in the next example: Donald Hebb emphasized the ramifications of the discussion between the supporters of behaviorism versus those favoring nativism, by asking “Which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its width?”
Of course, the introduction ends with the thesis statement, which is the main idea you want to underline in the paper. This has so many different looks, depending on the type of essay it is required of you, but the main point is to synthesize everything into this one power-phrase.
The body of your work consists of all the topics up for discussion, eventually headlined, along with the arguments that each is based on and the impact they had on your research.
The general conclusion restates your ideas and could give a small hint on your personal view on the matter, based of course on all the arguments presented beforehand.
The references area has to contain all your sources of inspiration, either if you’ve quoted or simply consulted them.
The nature versus nurture debate in psychology
This continues to be one of the fundamental studies in psychology and a stepping stone in sociology. It’s standing at the origin of determining whether personality is solely a heritable trait or rather shaped by the surrounding’s impact.
The history of this debate in psychology has the same ups and downs as any other scientific research. For a very long time, the hypothesis of the “blank slate” condition pre-existing any birth was globally accepted as the truth. It meant that a human’s personality was not influenced in any way by its heritage. Genetics was entirely cast aside. Therefore, the only influence over child development was that imposed by factors such as the social status of the family, the living environment, the education received, even one’s entourage.
The latest years of studies, mainly thanks to the examination of twins and fraternal siblings, as detailed in one of the examples below, have revealed that personality is a heritable trait, to a certain extent. Also, we are present with a set of personal skills and abilities which generate our specific responses to different situations we find ourselves in, rather than the impact of these situations having a shaping effect over our personality.
Nature vs. Nurture Essay Examples
A summary of what the main points of a few of the nature vs. nurture essays mentioned above, would look like:
- Political exploits of nature vs. nurture essays
This dispute was used as an ideological foundation in the Civil Rights Movement confrontations, many valid points being sustained, as well as shut down based on this debate. Some main ideas behind Communism versus capitalism are also based on the debate on the differences between classes.
- In both cases, some insist that those differences are caused by race, gender or class innate limitations. They deem that no matter what, those belonging to these categories cannot overrun their limits and are bound to be inferior forever. See as well for comparison, the ancient, but still an accurate, caste system in India.
- The other side argues that superior social status, better education, easier to access healthcare are advantages that become real obstacles for those from lesser categories. The only way that they could accede the same opportunities would be through great sacrifice on behalf of their close-ones, or sheer luck. Either way, they were not offered equal rights.
- The differences between identical twins
The study of twins has been the peak of experimenting to settle the nature vs. nurture debate. There is some discussion to be held around the moral issues that derive from this sort of study. Also, as always, the amount of influence that the ones who do the studying afflict over their subjects. This time, the question is “do the children that know are being watched behave in a different manner than they normally would”. Here are a couple of pointers to follow, if discussing this particular subject.
- First, the study of twins that have grown in separate environments opposed to other unrelated pairs of people has given precious insight on the way different environment affects people with same genes, against people with a different set of genes.
- Then was the study of the development of twins that shared the same environmental influence versus fraternal brothers that only shared half common genes. This was meant to reveal how much is to blame on heritability.
- Then there was a whole series of studies on the way biological siblings developed, opposed to adoptive siblings. The children were raised together and were therefore submitted to the same environmental factors, the only difference being the genetic luggage.
Nature vs. Nurture Debate Essay
Students need to understand the difference between the various types of nature vs. nurture essays that can be asked of them. Each of them has a unique set of rules and requirements. This type of nature vs. nurture essay is focused on the two opposing points of view. Being a debate, it should contain arguments for both factors, making sure to specify:
- the impact upon human development inflicted by education, healthcare and the easy access to it, being born in a social class or another, the easiness to obtain a nourishing food supply, the amount of affection that relatives show and the safe emotional surrounding they create
- the influence cast upon us by the existence of a genetic predisposition towards criminal activities, family history of addictions or abuse, mental health issues that were passed on through generations.
An example of such a study could pursue the following facts:
- based on the concept of the evolutionary origins of man, one could argue that there is no logical background for the pre-existence of ethics;
- the opposite part would argue that ethics is intrinsic to human nature and we should start from the hypothesis that human species has it as a specific trait and therefore needs to be taken into account on a separate premise than the evolutionary one.
Nature versus Nurture Argumentative Essay
This type of paper needs to focus on a single aspect of this dispute and follow it through, going into specific facts and thorough details and getting to turn the studied ideas on all sides. It is also used to clarify the position withheld by the author, in regard to the proposed topic.
Nature vs. Nurture Essay Topics
Some free examples of what could become an interesting college paper, as follows:
- Dual inheritance theory
- Behaviorism vs. nativism: the controversy continues
- The differences between identical twins
- Genetically equipped for success or victory through the gain of experience
- Factors that make our personality great
- Political exploits of nature vs. nurture essays
- Child development: breaking genetic limitations through education
As is the case with all forms of falling into one extreme or the other, the truth lies somewhere around the middle. The decades-old nature vs. nurture debate can never have only one clear winner. Both sides have valid points and neither holds the absolute truth. They are easily influenced one by the other, in the same way, that over centuries, nature has shaped personal progress while in the meantime people’s activity has put its print on nature’s evolution.
But having all these debates, with heavy arguments powerfully thrown on each side, has had one obvious silver lining and that is the evolution of study in all the domains linked to this debate: psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology.