Parenting - Behaviour | 0-18 yrs

Nature Vs Nurture: Understanding The Debate


Sometimes our children behave in ways that we simply find inexplicable. They do things that we've never taught them. At such times, we may wonder, "What really determines how our children behave?" Is it the way we raise them or is it their genes which they have inherited from us?

Scientists have debated this topic for years. In 1869, Francis Galton called this the 'nature vs nurture' debate. Some scientists believe we are all born as blank slates. As we grow up, our environment and upbringing determines our behaviour. These are the scientists who are on the side of 'nurture'.

Other scientists believe that our behaviour is determined by our genes. They believe that human behaviour has been shaped by years of genetic adaptation and evolution. These scientists support the 'nature' perspective. 

However, modern science indicates that behaviour is determined both by one's genes and upbringing. In other words, it's a bit of nature as well as a bit of nurture, put together. 

Read through our ClipBook to find out more about this interesting topic.


Origins Of 'Nature Vs Nurture'

When exactly did the debate begin? It goes back to 1869 when English polymath Francis Galton first coined the phrase 'nature vs nurture'. Accomplished in many fields, Galton was deeply interested in understanding whether behaviour is determined by...

Understanding The Nature Vs Nurture Debate

The nature vs nurture debate is one of the oldest in psychology. Psychologists on the side of nature argue that human behaviour is determined by their genetics. Psychologists who argue for nurture believe that environmental factors and upbringing ...

Influence Of Environment On A Child's Growth

Environmental factors have an impact on a child's development. The parent-child relationship, the relationship between the parents themselves, the families socioeconomic background, the type of home the child is raised in as well as the school he ...

Influence Of Genes On Behavior

Physically, children resemble parents. Could it be that behavioural characteristics are also passed on genetically? All behaviour has heritable components. Therefore, if your parents were kind people, it is likely that you will also be kind. Genes...

Studies On Twins Separated At Birth

There have been numerous anecdotes on how identical twins separated at birth showed striking similarities in behaviour when they were reunited years later. For instance, take the case of the 'Jim twins'. They both married women named Linda, drove ...

Steven Pinker's View

Steven Pinker is a leading psychologist. In his view, nature plays a far greater role than nurture in determining a child's behaviour. He wrote a book called 'The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature' in 2002. In this book he argues that...

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