.

Barnabas Pastory

Experienced academic research writer

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Barnabas Pastory (age 30) is an independent academic writer with a 4-year experience in writing research papers at degree and master level, CVs, academic essays, and project reports. His writing career begins in 2014 when, as a finalist university student began assisting others to write field reports and research proposals. Recently he has entered the short story writing arena and has begun presenting works to publishers to build connection. He holds a BA in Guidance and Counseling and has worked for two years as a Teaching Assistant and Academic Faculty Administrator at Kampala International University in Tanzania.

Interests

On Social Media

No social media available!

NATURE-NURTURE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR

Oct 29, 2019 3 months ago

For many years, one topic within behavioral sciences that has attracted keen attention is the extent to which particular aspects of human behavior or personality are a product of either nature or nurture. So far, those who tend to defend either view would rather be ridiculed and asking whether who we become is down to nature or nurture, seems to be a wrong question. Tackling definitions first, nature refers to the genetic makeup (the information encoded in genes) which a person inherits from parents. Nurture refers to the different environmental factors to which a person is subjected from birth to death. As clear as these definitions are, one's curiosity may linger around the kinds of arguments that each perspective holds. On the extreme nature side, nativists basically argue that the characteristics of humans plus individual differences are due to persons' unique genetic codes. Generally, the earlier a characteristic appears the more likely it is genetically determined; the ones which emerge later in life are the product of maturation. Put it simpler, we all have an inner “biological clock” which switches on/off types of behavior in a pre programmed way. Theories that support the nature position include Bowlby's Attachment Theory, which views the bond between mother and child as an innate survival process and Freud's Theory of Aggressive Drives, in which the aggressive instincts are viewed as innate. To support their position, nativists conduct family, twin, and adoption studies, constituted in behavioral genetics—whereby the traits of biologically and non-biologically related people get compared. A family study starts with one person who has a trait of interest and examines the individual's family tree to determine the extent of correlation with other family members. In a twin study, data on twins' characteristics are collected from many pairs and the rates of similarity/variation are calculated. Thirdly, an adoption study compares biologically related people who have been reared apart. Some of these observations have revealed undeniable results. Classical evidence comes from studies like those that involved identical twins Paula Bernstein versus Elyse Schein and Springer Lewis versus Jim Lewis. The pairs had turned out to be quite similar in many aspects of behavior after more than 30 years of separation. Additionally, evidence for nature has been found among adopted children who show traits similar to biological parents than to adoptive parents. Still, some empirical data show less or no support to the nature position. To sum up, where nature counts, studies should be able to prove that our personalities do form early in our lives and are difficult to change later on. At the other end of the spectrum are the environmentalists. Their basic assumption is that at birth the human mind is a blank slate and that it is gradually “filled” by environmental experiences i.e. ‘nurture'. Thus, characteristics that emerge in infancy through childhood are the result of learning. It is how we are brought up that governs the psychologically significant aspects of child development while maturation applies only to the biological aspect of being. To illustrate, when an infant forms an attachment, it is responding to the care it has received. While language comes from imitating others' speech, cognitive development depends on the environmental stimulation and, more broadly, on the civilization within which the child is reared. Theories that orient to the nurture position include Behaviorism (by Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner) in which behaviors are determined by environment-controlled learning and Bandura's Social Learning Theory which states that behaviors are learnt through observation and imitation. As for nature, nurture advocates rely on behavioral genetics studies to defend their position. For instance, if two identical twins reared apart (say for 20 years) turn out to be quite different in behavior or personality, that difference would be attributed to environmental factors. In general, if nurture counts, studies should strongly prove that our outside experiences have particularly powerful influence on who we become and across a range of environments, we should be able to flexibly alter our behaviors over time. After coming across the arguments of each side, many contemporary scholars (including this essay's writer) would rather assume a harmonious though complex gene-environment interaction. Arguably, nature provides the hardware (neural development, for example) while nurture provides the software (skills, for example) that guide behaviors. Hence, it makes more sense to take the middle-of-the-roader position: the differences in people's behaviors could be more or less due to either hereditary or environmental factors―and seemingly it's meant to be that way. Buying into Mairi Levitt's assertion, ‘the term nature-nurture should serve only as a way of framing discussion on the causes of behaviors.'

Read
comments button 0 report button

NATURE-NURTURE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR

Oct 28, 2019 3 months ago

For many years, one topic within behavioral sciences that has attracted keen attention is the extent to which particular aspects of human behavior or personality are a product of either nature or nurture. So far, those who tend to defend either view would rather be ridiculed and asking whether who we become is down to nature or nurture, seems to be a wrong question. Tackling definitions first, nature refers to the genetic makeup (the information encoded in genes) which a person inherits from parents. Nurture refers to the different environmental factors to which a person is subjected from birth to death. As clear as these definitions are, one's curiosity may linger around the kinds of arguments that each perspective holds. On the extreme nature side, nativists basically argue that the characteristics of humans plus individual differences are due to persons' unique genetic codes. Generally, the earlier a characteristic appears the more likely it is genetically determined; the ones which emerge later in life are the product of maturation. Put it simpler, we all have an inner “biological clock” which switches on/off types of behavior in a pre programmed way. Theories that support the nature position include Bowlby's Attachment Theory, which views the bond between mother and child as an innate survival process and Freud's Theory of Aggressive Drives, in which the aggressive instincts are viewed as innate. To support their position, nativists conduct family, twin, and adoption studies, constituted in behavioral genetics—whereby the traits of biologically and non-biologically related people get compared. A family study starts with one person who has a trait of interest and examines the individual's family tree to determine the extent of correlation with other family members. In a twin study, data on twins' characteristics are collected from many pairs and the rates of similarity/variation are calculated. Thirdly, an adoption study compares biologically related people who have been reared apart. Some of these observations have revealed undeniable results. Classical evidence comes from studies like those that involved identical twins Paula Bernstein versus Elyse Schein and Springer Lewis versus Jim Lewis. The pairs had turned out to be quite similar in many aspects of behavior after more than 30 years of separation. Additionally, evidence for nature has been found among adopted children who show traits similar to biological parents than to adoptive parents. Still, some empirical data show less or no support to the nature position. To sum up, where nature counts, studies should be able to prove that our personalities do form early in our lives and are difficult to change later on. At the other end of the spectrum are the environmentalists. Their basic assumption is that at birth the human mind is a blank slate and that it is gradually “filled” by environmental experiences i.e. ‘nurture'. Thus, characteristics that emerge in infancy through childhood are the result of learning. It is how we are brought up that governs the psychologically significant aspects of child development while maturation applies only to the biological aspect of being. To illustrate, when an infant forms an attachment, it is responding to the care it has received. While language comes from imitating others' speech, cognitive development depends on the environmental stimulation and, more broadly, on the civilization within which the child is reared. Theories that orient to the nurture position include Behaviorism (by Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner) in which behaviors are determined by environment-controlled learning and Bandura's Social Learning Theory which states that behaviors are learnt through observation and imitation. As for nature, nurture advocates rely on behavioral genetics studies to defend their position. For instance, if two identical twins reared apart (say for 20 years) turn out to be quite different in behavior or personality, that difference would be attributed to environmental factors. In general, if nurture counts, studies should strongly prove that our outside experiences have particularly powerful influence on who we become and across a range of environments, we should be able to flexibly alter our behaviors over time. After coming across the arguments of each side, many contemporary scholars (including this essay's writer) would rather assume a harmonious though complex gene-environment interaction. Arguably, nature provides the hardware (neural development, for example) while nurture provides the software (skills, for example) that guide behaviors. Hence, it makes more sense to take the middle-of-the-roader position: the differences in people's behaviors could be more or less due to either hereditary or environmental factors―and seemingly it's meant to be that way. Buying into Mairi Levitt's assertion, ‘the term nature-nurture should serve only as a way of framing discussion on the causes of behaviors.'

Read
Load more

Newsletter

Subscribe and stay tuned.

Popular Biopages