Nature Vs Nurture Essay

Nature is the influence of genetics or hereditary factors in determining the individual’s behavior. In other words, it is how natural factors shape the behavior or personality of an individual. In most cases, nature determines the physical characteristics which in effect influence the behavior of an individual. Physical characteristics such as physical appearance, type of voice and sex which are determined by hereditary factors influences the way people behave.

Nurture on the other is the upbringing of an individual according to the environmental conditions. That is, the way individuals are socialized. Basically, nurture is the influence of environmental factors on an individual’s behavior.

According to this paradigm, an individual’s behavior can be conditioned depending on the way one would like it to be. Often, individuals’ behaviors are conditioned by the socio-cultural environmental factors. It is because of socio-cultural environmental conditions that the differences in the behavior of individuals occur.

Nature determines individual traits that are hereditary. In other words, human characteristics are determined by genetic predispositions which are largely natural. Hereditary traits are normally being passed from the parents to the offspring. They include characteristics that determine sex and physical make up. According to natural behaviorists, it is the genes that will determine the physical trait an individual will have. These are encoded on the individuals DNA.

Therefore, behavioral traits such as sexual orientation, aggression, personality and intelligence are also encoded in the DNA. However, scientists believe that these characteristics are evolutionary. That is, they change over time depending on the physical environment adaptability. Evolutionary scientists argue that changes in genes are as a result of mutations which are caused by environmental factors. Thus, natural environment determines individual characteristics which are genetically encoded in the DNA.

Conversely, individuals possess traits that are not naturally determined. These are characteristics that are learnt rather than being born with. These are traits which largely determined by the socio-cultural environmental factors or the way the individuals are socialized within the society depending on the societal values.

These traits are learnt as an individual develops and can easily be changed by the socio-cultural environment where the individual is currently staying. These characteristics include temperament, ability to master a language and sense of humor. Behavioral theorists believe that these traits can be conditioned and altered much like the way animal behavior can be conditioned.

From the discussion it can be deduced that individuals’ traits are determined by hereditary genes and at the same time can be natured. There are those traits that cannot be changed in an individual no matter what condition the person is exposed to. These traits are inborn and embed within the individual hereditary factors.

In most cases, they constitute the physical characteristics of an individual. They also determine the physical behaviors such as walking style, physical appearance and eating habits. At the same time there are learned characteristics which are normally being conditioned by the socio-cultural values. Individuals learn these traits from the way they are socialized within the immediate social or cultural environment. In other words, such behaviors are conditioned by the cultural values encouraged by the immediate society.

In conclusion, nature vs. nurture debate still remains controversial. However, all agree that nature and nurture play a crucial role in determining an individual’s behavior. Nature is associated with heredity roles in determining the individuals characteristics where as nurture is associated with the role of socio-cultural environment in determining the individuals behavior.

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IvyPanda. (2023, October 29). Nature Vs Nurture.

"Nature Vs Nurture." IvyPanda , 29 Oct. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Nature Vs Nurture'. 29 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Nature Vs Nurture." October 29, 2023.

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IvyPanda . "Nature Vs Nurture." October 29, 2023.

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21 Nature vs Nurture Examples

nature vs nurture examples and definition

The nature vs. nurture debate is the long-standing argument over whether heredity (nature) or environment (nurture) plays a greater role in developing human characteristics and behaviors. 

Nature refers to the biological characteristics we are born with, including genetic predispositions toward certain traits. In contrast, nurture includes external influences that shape us, such as culture, relationships, and everyday experiences.

For example, when it comes to personality development, some people believe that genetics play a stronger role than environmental factors; this would be considered a nature-focused perspective. 

Others may view the environment as more important. In this case, a nurturing upbringing could help individuals develop their personalities. Therefore, both sides can have valid arguments for their respective positions in the debate.

The Nature Perspective

In the context of the nature vs. nurture debate, nature refers to biological heredity and genetic predispositions inherited by individuals from their parents at birth. 

Buheji (2018) states that:

“in the “nature vs. nurture” debate, nature refers to an individual’s innate qualities (nativism)” (p. 221).

This includes physical characteristics such as eye color, facial features, personality traits, and behavioral tendencies.

Genes determine the unique physical characteristics of each individual while also influencing psychological and social behavior.

Some research implies that roughly 50% of an individual’s personality and disposition are pre-determined by genetics (Bouchard & Loehlin, 2001).

However, Krueger and colleagues (2008) state that the interplay between gene-environment interactions has a consequential effect on one’s character traits. Hence, the heritability of personality isn’t always precisely 50%.

So, nature is the hereditary and genetic characteristics pre-determined at birth and influence a person’s behavior.

The Nurture Perspective

Nurture, in the context of the nature vs. nurture debate, is used to describe environmental factors that influence an individual’s development. 

According to Coon and Mitterer (2014), nurture:

“…refers to the sum of all external conditions that affect a person” (p. 100).

This includes a variety of influences such as parenting style, educational experiences, cultural background, and exposure to different environmental conditions over time.

While “nurture” may naturally invoke ideas of childhood and parental care, environmental components and life experience can shape human mental, emotional, and physical health throughout their lives (Harsha et al., 2020).

For example, lifestyle choices have been found to impact a person’s risk for developing certain diseases and their level of immunity against illness. 

Furthermore, addiction susceptibility can be impacted by environmental factors such as peer group that has been observed throughout an individual’s life (Ducci & Goldman, 2012).

Simply, nurture is an umbrella term for any environmental influences that shape the development of a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. 

Examples of Nature vs Nurture

Nature examples.

  • Eye color : A person’s eye color is determined by their genetic makeup and inherited from their parents.
  • Height : As with eye color, height is a physical trait that is determined by a person’s genes and largely determines an individual’s adult height.
  • Risk of D iseases : A person’s risk for developing certain diseases can be partially attributed to their genetic predisposition for that illness and influenced by lifestyle factors and personal environment.
  • Immune S ystem F unctionality : Genetic predisposition plays an important role in determining an individual’s resistance to disease through the strength of their immune system. However, lifestyle choices can also influence this trait over time (e.g., diet and exercise).
  • Hair Color: Hair color is determined by genetic factors. Recessive genes, like the red hair gene, generally have to be present in both parents for the recessive gene to become dominant.
  • Balding: Going bald is an inherited trait. Some groups – such as male British Anglo-Saxons – are more likely to go bald in their 30s than the average.
  • Adrenaline response : An individual’s ability to react quickly in dangerous situations—their “fight or flight” response—tends to be innate in all of us.

Nurture Examples

  • Ethics and Parenting style : An individual’s upbringing and the parenting style they are exposed to can shape their behavior, emotional reactions, and psychological outlook throughout life.
  • Linguistic Determinism Theory : In this theory, the language we are taught as a child will determine the ways we think and interact with the world. It goes some way to explaining how people of differing language groups may have differing values and belief systems .
  • Values and Cultural background : Depending on their cultural background, different individuals may be exposed to different values and belief systems, which can impact their attitudes toward certain issues or topics/ideas/beliefs.
  • Anxiety and Exposure to T rauma : Experiences with violence or traumatic events can have long-term effects on an individual’s psychology which could manifest outwardly as symptoms of anxiety or difficulty coping under pressure in later stages of life.
  • Positivity and Social E nvironment : The people an individual interacts with can either positively or negatively affect their development. Individuals need to surround themselves with positive influences while avoiding those that might lead them down the wrong path in life.
  • Relationship E xperiences and Sense of Security : Positive relationships throughout a person’s life will tend to improve outlook and well-being. In contrast, unhealthy relationships could leave long-term psychological damage that might need professional help before it can be addressed adequately by an individual suffering firsthand.

Nature and Nurture Examples

  • Personality traits: The role of genetics (nature) in determining personality traits, such as extraversion or conscientiousness is balanced against the influence of upbringing and life experiences (nurture).
  • Aggression: There is debate over whether aggressive behavior is primarily influenced by genetic factors (nature) or by environmental factors, such as upbringing, social learning , and exposure to violence (nurture).
  • Athletic ability: The role of genetics (nature) determines a lot of our natural talent in sports but the importance of training, motivation, and exposure to physical activity (nurture) takes us the rest of the way.
  • Musical talent: Musical ability may be affected by genetic predisposition (nature) but also environmental factors, such as exposure to music at a young age, education, and practice (nurture).
  • Attachment styles: It is debatable whether a person’s attachment style (secure, anxious, or avoidant) is impacted by genetics (nature) versus the influence of early childhood experiences and caregiver relationships (nurture).
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence: The capacity for empathy and emotional intelligence is debatably determined by both genetics (nature) and the result of upbringing, social exposure, and life experiences (nurture).
  • Spiritual beliefs: Theological determinism holds that god has pre-selected his chosen people who will be true believers (nature) while others think that belief in god is a choice and we must raise our children to maintain a belief in god (nurture).
  • Learning styles: In the 1980s, there was extensive debate over whether preferred learning styles, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, are determined by genetic factors (nature) or influenced by educational experiences and personal development (nurture). Today, most education theorists believe that learning preferences are based on nurture over nature.
  • Addiction susceptibility : Scientists have identified genes related to addiction susceptibility, even though this trait is also heavily influenced by the environment (Ducci & Goldman, 2012).
  • Intelligence : Education can significantly impact traits such as intelligence levels and knowledge base, with certain experiences inspiring curiosity or creativity in individuals later in life.

Origins of Nature vs. Nurture Debate

The debate surrounding the extent to which human development is influenced by nature (heredity) or nurture (environmental factors) has been around since ancient times.

Plato, the renowned Greek philosopher, argued that beneficial traits in humans were attributable to both nature and nurture. He believed people could adapt to external occurrences throughout their lifetime (Englander, 2010).

However, his mentor Socrates leaned more towards genetics as the primary factor of human development – a notion known as Nativism, which was coined by both philosophers together.

In the late 1800s, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and Sir Francis Galton’s article “Hereditary Talent and Character” sparked a resurgence in interest in this topic (Galton, 1865)

So, Galton (1865) suggested hereditary influences to be at least as important as the environment when determining an individual’s outcomes in life.

The debate continued through subsequent decades, with psychologist John B. Watson’s revolutionary suggestion that environment—what he called “nurture”—was more important than hereditary factors or biology (Herrnstein, 1998).

In recent years, researchers have realized that both internal (genetic) and external (environmental) factors play a role in how individuals develop physically and psychologically. 

As such, most experts now subscribe to an approach that looks at how both genetic inheritance and environmental influences work together throughout life to shape each person’s unique character traits and behaviors.

The Role of Epigenetics in the Nature vs. Nurture Debate

Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression caused by environmental factors, such as diet and exposure to toxins, without altering the underlying sequences of DNA .

It is an emerging field of research that has been gaining prominence in recent years as scientists try to uncover how and to what extent the environment can shape genetic expression (Harvard University, 2019).

Epigenetic influences are now considered a significant factor in the nature vs. nurture debate, particularly in how individuals develop physically and psychologically throughout life. 

Evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms can be used to modulate gene expression depending on the environment, thus having a direct influence on an individual’s characteristics and behaviors (Harvard University, 2019).

This means that while both genetics and environment may play a role in determining an individual’s outcomes in life, epigenetics provides an additional layer of complexity by allowing environmental factors to interact with gene expression.

Nature vs. nurture is a decades-old debate that continues to be studied in various fields. 

Nativists state that genetics play a major role in determining characteristics and behaviors. For example, a person may have inherited certain traits from their family. 

However, empiricists suggest that external factors, such as upbringing and lifestyle choices, can also have a significant influence.

From ancient philosophers to modern-day scientists, this debate has gone through various iterations and continues to evolve today with the introduction of epigenetics. 

More recently, epigenetics have emerged as a key factor in the debate. Its  mechanisms can be used to modulate gene expression depending on the environment, thus having a direct influence on an individual.

So, it appears that both nature and nurture are important factors in determining an individual’s outcomes in life. 

Bouchard, T. J., & Loehlin, J. C. (2001). Genes, evolution, and personality.  Behavior Genetics ,  31 (3), 243–273.

Buheji, M. (2018).  Understanding the power of resilience economy . Mohamed Buheji.

Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2014).  Psychology: A journey . Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Ducci, F., & Goldman, D. (2012). The genetic basis of addictive disorders.  Psychiatric Clinics of North America ,  35 (2), 495–519.

Englander, M. (2010).  The nature and nurture of learners . AuthorHouse.

Galton, F. (1865).  Hereditary talent and character . University of Bristol Library.

Harsha, N., Ziq, L., Lynch, M. A., & Giacaman, R. (2020). Assessment of parental nurturing and associated social, economic, and political factors among children in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territory.  BMC Pediatrics ,  20 (1).

Harvard University. (2019).  What is epigenetics? The answer to the nature vs. nurture debate . Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University; Harvard University.

Herrnstein, R. J. (1998). Nature as nurture: Behaviorism and the instinct doctrine.  Behavior and Philosophy ,  26 (1/2), 73–107.

Krueger, R. F., South, S., Johnson, W., & Iacono, W. (2008). The heritability of personality is not always 50%: Gene-environment interactions and correlations between personality and parenting.  Journal of Personality ,  76 (6), 1485–1522.

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Home — Essay Samples — Psychology — Nature Versus Nurture — The Nature vs Nurture Debate


The Nature Vs Nurture Debate

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Published: Jan 29, 2024

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Table of contents

Nature argument, nurture argument, interactionist perspective, criticisms and limitations of the debate.

  • One of the most compelling examples of genetic influences on behavior is the study of identical twins. Identical twins share the same genes and were commonly separated at birth, yet they often display remarkable similarities in personality traits, interests, and even medical conditions.
  • Genetic factors can lead to the onset of psychological disorders such as Autism and Schizophrenia.
  • Evolution and natural selection have created inherited traits such as physical characteristics that enable humans to adapt to their environments.
  • Early childhood experiences can heavily influence an individual’s cognitive development. Studies have shown that a nurturing environment positively contributes to intellectual development and conversely, poverty and violence negatively impact cognitive development.
  • Socialization is a critical environmental factor that shapes one's personality. Cultural norms also deeply influence one's way of thinking, behavior, and personal identity.
  • Environmental factors can heavily impact behavior, such as peer pressure and negative societal influences leading to adverse outcomes.
  • Genetic factors and environmental factors have both been shown to interact to influence behavior, gene-environment interaction being critical scientific evidence of this.
  • Epigenetics, the study of how environmental factors can activate or suppress certain genes, can have impacts on both personality and physical health.
  • Plomin, R. (2018). Genetics and life events: The importance of childhood environments for recruitment into ‘nature’s experiments’. Psychological Review, 125(5), 778-791.
  • Reiss, D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Hetherington, E. M., & Plomin, R. (2000). The relationship code: Deciphering genetic and social influences on adolescent development. Harvard University Press.
  • Jablonka, E., & Raz, G. (2009). Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Prevalence , Mechanisms, and Implications for the Study of Heredity and Evolution. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 84(2), 131–176.

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The Nature vs. Nurture Debate

Genetic and Environmental Influences and How They Interact

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

nature vs nurture essay hook

Verywell / Joshua Seong

  • Definitions
  • Interaction
  • Contemporary Views

Nature refers to how genetics influence an individual's personality, whereas nurture refers to how their environment (including relationships and experiences) impacts their development. Whether nature or nurture plays a bigger role in personality and development is one of the oldest philosophical debates within the field of psychology .

Learn how each is defined, along with why the issue of nature vs. nurture continues to arise. We also share a few examples of when arguments on this topic typically occur, how the two factors interact with each other, and contemporary views that exist in the debate of nature vs. nurture as it stands today.

Nature and Nurture Defined

To better understand the nature vs. nurture argument, it helps to know what each of these terms means.

  • Nature refers largely to our genetics . It includes the genes we are born with and other hereditary factors that can impact how our personality is formed and influence the way that we develop from childhood through adulthood.
  • Nurture encompasses the environmental factors that impact who we are. This includes our early childhood experiences, the way we were raised , our social relationships, and the surrounding culture.

A few biologically determined characteristics include genetic diseases, eye color, hair color, and skin color. Other characteristics are tied to environmental influences, such as how a person behaves, which can be influenced by parenting styles and learned experiences.

For example, one child might learn through observation and reinforcement to say please and thank you. Another child might learn to behave aggressively by observing older children engage in violent behavior on the playground.

The Debate of Nature vs. Nurture

The nature vs. nurture debate centers on the contributions of genetics and environmental factors to human development. Some philosophers, such as Plato and Descartes, suggested that certain factors are inborn or occur naturally regardless of environmental influences.

Advocates of this point of view believe that all of our characteristics and behaviors are the result of evolution. They contend that genetic traits are handed down from parents to their children and influence the individual differences that make each person unique.

Other well-known thinkers, such as John Locke, believed in what is known as tabula rasa which suggests that the mind begins as a blank slate . According to this notion, everything that we are is determined by our experiences.

Behaviorism is a good example of a theory rooted in this belief as behaviorists feel that all actions and behaviors are the results of conditioning. Theorists such as John B. Watson believed that people could be trained to do and become anything, regardless of their genetic background.

People with extreme views are called nativists and empiricists. Nativists take the position that all or most behaviors and characteristics are the result of inheritance. Empiricists take the position that all or most behaviors and characteristics result from learning.

Examples of Nature vs. Nurture

One example of when the argument of nature vs. nurture arises is when a person achieves a high level of academic success . Did they do so because they are genetically predisposed to elevated levels of intelligence, or is their success a result of an enriched environment?

The argument of nature vs. nurture can also be made when it comes to why a person behaves in a certain way. If a man abuses his wife and kids, for instance, is it because he was born with violent tendencies, or is violence something he learned by observing others in his life when growing up?

Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology

Throughout the history of psychology , the debate of nature vs. nurture has continued to stir up controversy. Eugenics, for example, was a movement heavily influenced by the nativist approach.

Psychologist Francis Galton coined the terms 'nature versus nurture' and 'eugenics' and believed that intelligence resulted from genetics. Galton also felt that intelligent individuals should be encouraged to marry and have many children, while less intelligent individuals should be discouraged from reproducing.

The value placed on nature vs. nurture can even vary between the different branches of psychology , with some branches taking a more one-sided approach. In biopsychology , for example, researchers conduct studies exploring how neurotransmitters influence behavior, emphasizing the role of nature.

In social psychology , on the other hand, researchers might conduct studies looking at how external factors such as peer pressure and social media influence behaviors, stressing the importance of nurture. Behaviorism is another branch that focuses on the impact of the environment on behavior.

Nature vs. Nurture in Child Development

Some psychological theories of child development place more emphasis on nature and others focus more on nurture. An example of a nativist theory involving child development is Chomsky's concept of a language acquisition device (LAD). According to this theory, all children are born with an instinctive mental capacity that allows them to both learn and produce language.

An example of an empiricist child development theory is Albert Bandura's social learning theory . This theory says that people learn by observing the behavior of others. In his famous Bobo doll experiment , Bandura demonstrated that children could learn aggressive behaviors simply by observing another person acting aggressively.

Nature vs. Nurture in Personality Development

There is also some argument as to whether nature or nurture plays a bigger role in the development of one's personality. The answer to this question varies depending on which personality development theory you use.

According to behavioral theories, our personality is a result of the interactions we have with our environment, while biological theories suggest that personality is largely inherited. Then there are psychodynamic theories of personality that emphasize the impact of both.

Nature vs. Nurture in Mental Illness Development

One could argue that either nature or nurture contributes to mental health development. Some causes of mental illness fall on the nature side of the debate, including changes to or imbalances with chemicals in the brain. Genetics can also contribute to mental illness development, increasing one's risk of a certain disorder or disease.

Mental disorders with some type of genetic component include autism , attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder , major depression , and schizophrenia .

Other explanations for mental illness are environmental. This includes being exposed to environmental toxins, such as drugs or alcohol, while still in utero. Certain life experiences can also influence mental illness development, such as witnessing a traumatic event, leading to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Nature vs. Nurture in Mental Health Therapy

Different types of mental health treatment can also rely more heavily on either nature or nurture in their treatment approach. One of the goals of many types of therapy is to uncover any life experiences that may have contributed to mental illness development (nurture).

However, genetics (nature) can play a role in treatment as well. For instance, research indicates that a person's genetic makeup can impact how their body responds to antidepressants. Taking this into consideration is important for getting that person the help they need.

Interaction Between Nature and Nurture

Which is stronger: nature or nurture? Many researchers consider the interaction between heredity and environment—nature with nurture as opposed to nature versus nurture—to be the most important influencing factor of all.

For example, perfect pitch is the ability to detect the pitch of a musical tone without any reference. Researchers have found that this ability tends to run in families and might be tied to a single gene. However, they've also discovered that possessing the gene is not enough as musical training during early childhood is needed for this inherited ability to manifest itself.

Height is another example of a trait influenced by an interaction between nature and nurture. A child might inherit the genes for height. However, if they grow up in a deprived environment where proper nourishment isn't received, they might never attain the height they could have had if they'd grown up in a healthier environment.

A newer field of study that aims to learn more about the interaction between genes and environment is epigenetics . Epigenetics seeks to explain how environment can impact the way in which genes are expressed.

Some characteristics are biologically determined, such as eye color, hair color, and skin color. Other things, like life expectancy and height, have a strong biological component but are also influenced by environmental factors and lifestyle.

Contemporary Views of Nature vs. Nurture

Most experts recognize that neither nature nor nurture is stronger than the other. Instead, both factors play a critical role in who we are and who we become. Not only that but nature and nurture interact with each other in important ways all throughout our lifespan.

As a result, many in this field are interested in seeing how genes modulate environmental influences and vice versa. At the same time, this debate of nature vs. nurture still rages on in some areas, such as in the origins of homosexuality and influences on intelligence .

While a few people take the extreme nativist or radical empiricist approach, the reality is that there is not a simple way to disentangle the multitude of forces that exist in personality and human development. Instead, these influences include genetic factors, environmental factors, and how each intermingles with the other.

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National Institutes of Health. Common genetic factors found in 5 mental disorders .

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By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Nature vs. Nurture Debate In Psychology

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

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Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

On This Page:

The nature vs. nurture debate in psychology concerns the relative importance of an individual’s innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. While early theories favored one factor over the other, contemporary views recognize a complex interplay between genes and environment in shaping behavior and development.

Key Takeaways

  • Nature is what we think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors.
  • Nurture is generally taken as the influence of external factors after conception, e.g., the product of exposure, life experiences, and learning on an individual.
  • Behavioral genetics has enabled psychology to quantify the relative contribution of nature and nurture concerning specific psychological traits.
  • Instead of defending extreme nativist or nurturist views, most psychological researchers are now interested in investigating how nature and nurture interact in a host of qualitatively different ways.
  • For example, epigenetics is an emerging area of research that shows how environmental influences affect the expression of genes.
The nature-nurture debate is concerned with the relative contribution that both influences make to human behavior, such as personality, cognitive traits, temperament and psychopathology.

Examples of Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. nurture in child development.

In child development, the nature vs. nurture debate is evident in the study of language acquisition . Researchers like Chomsky (1957) argue that humans are born with an innate capacity for language (nature), known as universal grammar, suggesting that genetics play a significant role in language development.

Conversely, the behaviorist perspective, exemplified by Skinner (1957), emphasizes the role of environmental reinforcement and learning (nurture) in language acquisition.

Twin studies have provided valuable insights into this debate, demonstrating that identical twins raised apart may share linguistic similarities despite different environments, suggesting a strong genetic influence (Bouchard, 1979)

However, environmental factors, such as exposure to language-rich environments, also play a crucial role in language development, highlighting the intricate interplay between nature and nurture in child development.

Nature vs. Nurture in Personality Development

The nature vs. nurture debate in personality psychology centers on the origins of personality traits. Twin studies have shown that identical twins reared apart tend to have more similar personalities than fraternal twins, indicating a genetic component to personality (Bouchard, 1994).

However, environmental factors, such as parenting styles, cultural influences, and life experiences, also shape personality.

For example, research by Caspi et al. (2003) demonstrated that a particular gene (MAOA) can interact with childhood maltreatment to increase the risk of aggressive behavior in adulthood.

This highlights that genetic predispositions and environmental factors contribute to personality development, and their interaction is complex and multifaceted.

Nature vs. Nurture in Mental Illness Development

The nature vs. nurture debate in mental health explores the etiology of depression. Genetic studies have identified specific genes associated with an increased vulnerability to depression, indicating a genetic component (Sullivan et al., 2000).

However, environmental factors, such as adverse life events and chronic stress during childhood, also play a significant role in the development of depressive disorders (Dube et al.., 2002; Keller et al., 2007)

The diathesis-stress model posits that individuals inherit a genetic predisposition (diathesis) to a disorder, which is then activated or exacerbated by environmental stressors (Monroe & Simons, 1991).

This model illustrates how nature and nurture interact to influence mental health outcomes.

Nature vs. Nurture of Intelligence

The nature vs. nurture debate in intelligence examines the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to cognitive abilities.

Intelligence is highly heritable, with about 50% of variance in IQ attributed to genetic factors, based on studies of twins, adoptees, and families (Plomin & Spinath, 2004).

Heritability of intelligence increases with age, from about 20% in infancy to as high as 80% in adulthood, suggesting amplifying effects of genes over time.

However, environmental influences, such as access to quality education and stimulating environments, also significantly impact intelligence.

Shared environmental influences like family background are more influential in childhood, whereas non-shared experiences are more important later in life.

Research by Flynn (1987) showed that average IQ scores have increased over generations, suggesting that environmental improvements, known as the Flynn effect , can lead to substantial gains in cognitive abilities.

Molecular genetics provides tools to identify specific genes and understand their pathways and interactions. However, progress has been slow for complex traits like intelligence. Identified genes have small effect sizes (Plomin & Spinath, 2004).

Overall, intelligence results from complex interplay between genes and environment over development. Molecular genetics offers promise to clarify these mechanisms. The nature vs nurture debate is outdated – both play key roles.

Nativism (Extreme Nature Position)

It has long been known that certain physical characteristics are biologically determined by genetic inheritance.

Color of eyes, straight or curly hair, pigmentation of the skin, and certain diseases (such as Huntingdon’s chorea) are all a function of the genes we inherit.

eye color genetics

These facts have led many to speculate as to whether psychological characteristics such as behavioral tendencies, personality attributes, and mental abilities are also “wired in” before we are even born.

Those who adopt an extreme hereditary position are known as nativists.  Their basic assumption is that the characteristics of the human species as a whole are a product of evolution and that individual differences are due to each person’s unique genetic code.

In general, the earlier a particular ability appears, the more likely it is to be under the influence of genetic factors. Estimates of genetic influence are called heritability.

Examples of extreme nature positions in psychology include Chomsky (1965), who proposed language is gained through the use of an innate language acquisition device. Another example of nature is Freud’s theory of aggression as being an innate drive (called Thanatos).

Characteristics and differences that are not observable at birth, but which emerge later in life, are regarded as the product of maturation. That is to say, we all have an inner “biological clock” which switches on (or off) types of behavior in a pre-programmed way.

The classic example of the way this affects our physical development are the bodily changes that occur in early adolescence at puberty.

However, nativists also argue that maturation governs the emergence of attachment in infancy , language acquisition , and even cognitive development .

Empiricism (Extreme Nurture Position)

At the other end of the spectrum are the environmentalists – also known as empiricists (not to be confused with the other empirical/scientific  approach ).

Their basic assumption is that at birth, the human mind is a tabula rasa (a blank slate) and that this is gradually “filled” as a result of experience (e.g., behaviorism ).

From this point of view, psychological characteristics and behavioral differences that emerge through infancy and childhood are the results of learning.  It is how you are brought up (nurture) that governs the psychologically significant aspects of child development and the concept of maturation applies only to the biological.

For example, Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory states that aggression is learned from the environment through observation and imitation. This is seen in his famous bobo doll experiment (Bandura, 1961).

bobo doll experiment

Also, Skinner (1957) believed that language is learned from other people via behavior-shaping techniques.

Evidence for Nature

  • Biological Approach
  • Biology of Gender
  • Medical Model

Freud (1905) stated that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality.

He thought that parenting is of primary importance to a child’s development , and the family as the most important feature of nurture was a common theme throughout twentieth-century psychology (which was dominated by environmentalists’ theories).

Behavioral Genetics

Researchers in the field of behavioral genetics study variation in behavior as it is affected by genes, which are the units of heredity passed down from parents to offspring.

“We now know that DNA differences are the major systematic source of psychological differences between us. Environmental effects are important but what we have learned in recent years is that they are mostly random – unsystematic and unstable – which means that we cannot do much about them.” Plomin (2018, xii)

Behavioral genetics has enabled psychology to quantify the relative contribution of nature and nurture with regard to specific psychological traits. One way to do this is to study relatives who share the same genes (nature) but a different environment (nurture). Adoption acts as a natural experiment which allows researchers to do this.

Empirical studies have consistently shown that adoptive children show greater resemblance to their biological parents, rather than their adoptive, or environmental parents (Plomin & DeFries, 1983; 1985).

Another way of studying heredity is by comparing the behavior of twins, who can either be identical (sharing the same genes) or non-identical (sharing 50% of genes). Like adoption studies, twin studies support the first rule of behavior genetics; that psychological traits are extremely heritable, about 50% on average.

The Twins in Early Development Study (TEDS) revealed correlations between twins on a range of behavioral traits, such as personality (empathy and hyperactivity) and components of reading such as phonetics (Haworth, Davis, Plomin, 2013; Oliver & Plomin, 2007; Trouton, Spinath, & Plomin, 2002).


Jenson (1969) found that the average I.Q. scores of black Americans were significantly lower than whites he went on to argue that genetic factors were mainly responsible – even going so far as to suggest that intelligence is 80% inherited.

The storm of controversy that developed around Jenson’s claims was not mainly due to logical and empirical weaknesses in his argument. It was more to do with the social and political implications that are often drawn from research that claims to demonstrate natural inequalities between social groups.

For many environmentalists, there is a barely disguised right-wing agenda behind the work of the behavioral geneticists.  In their view, part of the difference in the I.Q. scores of different ethnic groups are due to inbuilt biases in the methods of testing.

More fundamentally, they believe that differences in intellectual ability are a product of social inequalities in access to material resources and opportunities.  To put it simply children brought up in the ghetto tend to score lower on tests because they are denied the same life chances as more privileged members of society.

Now we can see why the nature-nurture debate has become such a hotly contested issue.  What begins as an attempt to understand the causes of behavioral differences often develops into a politically motivated dispute about distributive justice and power in society.

What’s more, this doesn’t only apply to the debate over I.Q.  It is equally relevant to the psychology of sex and gender , where the question of how much of the (alleged) differences in male and female behavior is due to biology and how much to culture is just as controversial.

Polygenic Inheritance

Rather than the presence or absence of single genes being the determining factor that accounts for psychological traits, behavioral genetics has demonstrated that multiple genes – often thousands, collectively contribute to specific behaviors.

Thus, psychological traits follow a polygenic mode of inheritance (as opposed to being determined by a single gene). Depression is a good example of a polygenic trait, which is thought to be influenced by around 1000 genes (Plomin, 2018).

This means a person with a lower number of these genes (under 500) would have a lower risk of experiencing depression than someone with a higher number.

The Nature of Nurture

Nurture assumes that correlations between environmental factors and psychological outcomes are caused environmentally. For example, how much parents read with their children and how well children learn to read appear to be related. Other examples include environmental stress and its effect on depression.

However, behavioral genetics argues that what look like environmental effects are to a large extent really a reflection of genetic differences (Plomin & Bergeman, 1991).

People select, modify and create environments correlated with their genetic disposition. This means that what sometimes appears to be an environmental influence (nurture) is a genetic influence (nature).

So, children that are genetically predisposed to be competent readers, will be happy to listen to their parents read them stories, and be more likely to encourage this interaction.

Interaction Effects

However, in recent years there has been a growing realization that the question of “how much” behavior is due to heredity and “how much” to the environment may itself be the wrong question.

Take intelligence as an example. Like almost all types of human behavior, it is a complex, many-sided phenomenon which reveals itself (or not!) in a great variety of ways.

The “how much” question assumes that psychological traits can all be expressed numerically and that the issue can be resolved in a quantitative manner.

Heritability statistics revealed by behavioral genetic studies have been criticized as meaningless, mainly because biologists have established that genes cannot influence development independently of environmental factors; genetic and nongenetic factors always cooperate to build traits. The reality is that nature and culture interact in a host of qualitatively different ways (Gottlieb, 2007; Johnston & Edwards, 2002).

Instead of defending extreme nativist or nurturist views, most psychological researchers are now interested in investigating how nature and nurture interact.

For example, in psychopathology , this means that both a genetic predisposition and an appropriate environmental trigger are required for a mental disorder to develop. For example, epigenetics state that environmental influences affect the expression of genes.


What is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the term used to describe inheritance by mechanisms other than through the DNA sequence of genes. For example, features of a person’s physical and social environment can effect which genes are switched-on, or “expressed”, rather than the DNA sequence of the genes themselves.

Stressors and memories can be passed through small RNA molecules to multiple generations of offspring in ways that meaningfully affect their behavior.

One such example is what is known as the Dutch Hunger Winter, during last year of the Second World War. What they found was that children who were in the womb during the famine experienced a life-long increase in their chances of developing various health problems compared to children conceived after the famine.

Epigenetic effects can sometimes be passed from one generation to the next, although the effects only seem to last for a few generations. There is some evidence that the effects of the Dutch Hunger Winter affected grandchildren of women who were pregnant during the famine.

Therefore, it makes more sense to say that the difference between two people’s behavior is mostly due to hereditary factors or mostly due to environmental factors.

This realization is especially important given the recent advances in genetics, such as polygenic testing.  The Human Genome Project, for example, has stimulated enormous interest in tracing types of behavior to particular strands of DNA located on specific chromosomes.

If these advances are not to be abused, then there will need to be a more general understanding of the fact that biology interacts with both the cultural context and the personal choices that people make about how they want to live their lives.

There is no neat and simple way of unraveling these qualitatively different and reciprocal influences on human behavior.

Epigenetics: Licking Rat Pups

Michael Meaney and his colleagues at McGill University in Montreal, Canada conducted the landmark epigenetic study on mother rats licking and grooming their pups.

This research found that the amount of licking and grooming received by rat pups during their early life could alter their epigenetic marks and influence their stress responses in adulthood.

Pups that received high levels of maternal care (i.e., more licking and grooming) had a reduced stress response compared to those that received low levels of maternal care.

Meaney’s work with rat maternal behavior and its epigenetic effects has provided significant insights into the understanding of early-life experiences, gene expression, and adult behavior.

It underscores the importance of the early-life environment and its long-term impacts on an individual’s mental health and stress resilience.

Epigenetics: The Agouti Mouse Study

Waterland and Jirtle’s 2003 study on the Agouti mouse is another foundational work in the field of epigenetics that demonstrated how nutritional factors during early development can result in epigenetic changes that have long-lasting effects on phenotype.

In this study, they focused on a specific gene in mice called the Agouti viable yellow (A^vy) gene. Mice with this gene can express a range of coat colors, from yellow to mottled to brown.

This variation in coat color is related to the methylation status of the A^vy gene: higher methylation is associated with the brown coat, and lower methylation with the yellow coat.

Importantly, the coat color is also associated with health outcomes, with yellow mice being more prone to obesity, diabetes, and tumorigenesis compared to brown mice.

Waterland and Jirtle set out to investigate whether maternal diet, specifically supplementation with methyl donors like folic acid, choline, betaine, and vitamin B12, during pregnancy could influence the methylation status of the A^vy gene in offspring.

Key findings from the study include:

Dietary Influence : When pregnant mice were fed a diet supplemented with methyl donors, their offspring had an increased likelihood of having the brown coat color. This indicated that the supplemented diet led to an increased methylation of the A^vy gene.

Health Outcomes : Along with the coat color change, these mice also had reduced risks of obesity and other health issues associated with the yellow phenotype.

Transgenerational Effects : The study showed that nutritional interventions could have effects that extend beyond the individual, affecting the phenotype of the offspring.

The implications of this research are profound. It highlights how maternal nutrition during critical developmental periods can have lasting effects on offspring through epigenetic modifications, potentially affecting health outcomes much later in life.

The study also offers insights into how dietary and environmental factors might contribute to disease susceptibility in humans.

Bandura, A. Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through the imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology , 63, 575-582

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory . Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Bouchard, T. J. (1994). Genes, Environment, and Personality. Science, 264 (5166), 1700-1701.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment. Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Loss . New York: Basic Books.

Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H., … & Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene.  Science ,  301 (5631), 386-389.

Chomsky, N. (1957). Syntactic structures. Mouton de Gruyter.

Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax . MIT Press.

Dube, S. R., Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Edwards, V. J., & Croft, J. B. (2002). Adverse childhood experiences and personal alcohol abuse as an adult.  Addictive Behaviors ,  27 (5), 713-725.

Flynn, J. R. (1987). Massive IQ gains in 14 nations: What IQ tests really measure.  Psychological Bulletin ,  101 (2), 171.

Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality . Se, 7.

Galton, F. (1883). Inquiries into human faculty and its development . London: J.M. Dent & Co.

Gottlieb, G. (2007). Probabilistic epigenesis.   Developmental Science, 10 , 1–11.

Haworth, C. M., Davis, O. S., & Plomin, R. (2013). Twins Early Development Study (TEDS): a genetically sensitive investigation of cognitive and behavioral development from childhood to young adulthood . Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16(1) , 117-125.

Jensen, A. R. (1969). How much can we boost I.Q. and scholastic achievement? Harvard Educational Review, 33 , 1-123.

Johnston, T. D., & Edwards, L. (2002). Genes, interactions, and the development of behavior . Psychological Review , 109, 26–34.

Keller, M. C., Neale, M. C., & Kendler, K. S. (2007). Association of different adverse life events with distinct patterns of depressive symptoms.  American Journal of Psychiatry ,  164 (10), 1521-1529.

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Oliver, B. R., & Plomin, R. (2007). Twins” Early Development Study (TEDS): A multivariate, longitudinal genetic investigation of language, cognition and behavior problems from childhood through adolescence . Twin Research and Human Genetics, 10(1) , 96-105.

Petrill, S. A., Plomin, R., Berg, S., Johansson, B., Pedersen, N. L., Ahern, F., & McClearn, G. E. (1998). The genetic and environmental relationship between general and specific cognitive abilities in twins age 80 and older.  Psychological Science ,  9 (3), 183-189.

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Plomin, R. (2018). Blueprint: How DNA makes us who we are . MIT Press.

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Further Information

  • Genetic & Environmental Influences on Human Psychological Differences

Evidence for Nurture

  • Classical Conditioning
  • Little Albert Experiment
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Behaviorism
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory
  • Social Roles
  • Attachment Styles
  • The Hidden Links Between Mental Disorders
  • Visual Cliff Experiment
  • Behavioral Genetics, Genetics, and Epigenetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Is Epigenetics Inherited?
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Bowlby’s Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis
  • So is it nature not nurture after all?

Evidence for an Interaction

  • Genes, Interactions, and the Development of Behavior
  • Agouti Mouse Study
  • Biological Psychology

What does nature refer to in the nature vs. nurture debate?

In the nature vs. nurture debate, “nature” refers to the influence of genetics, innate qualities, and biological factors on human development, behavior, and traits. It emphasizes the role of hereditary factors in shaping who we are.

What does nurture refer to in the nature vs. nurture debate?

In the nature vs. nurture debate, “nurture” refers to the influence of the environment, upbringing, experiences, and social factors on human development, behavior, and traits. It emphasizes the role of external factors in shaping who we are.

Why is it important to determine the contribution of heredity (nature) and environment (nurture) in human development?

Determining the contribution of heredity and environment in human development is crucial for understanding the complex interplay between genetic factors and environmental influences. It helps identify the relative significance of each factor, informing interventions, policies, and strategies to optimize human potential and address developmental challenges.

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What Are Nature vs. Nurture Examples?

How is nature defined, how is nurture defined, the nature vs. nurture debate, nature vs. nurture examples, what is empiricism (extreme nurture position), contemporary views of nature vs. nurture.

Nature vs. nurture is an age-old debate about whether genetics (nature) plays a bigger role in determining a person's characteristics than lived experience and environmental factors (nurture). The term "nature vs. nature" was coined by English naturalist Charles Darwin's younger half-cousin, anthropologist Francis Galton, around 1875.

In psychology, the extreme nature position (nativism) proposes that intelligence and personality traits are inherited and determined only by genetics.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the extreme nurture position (empiricism) asserts that the mind is a blank slate at birth; external factors like education and upbringing determine who someone becomes in adulthood and how their mind works. Both of these extreme positions have shortcomings and are antiquated.

This article explores the difference between nature and nurture. It gives nature vs. nurture examples and explains why outdated views of nativism and empiricism don't jibe with contemporary views. 

Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

In the context of nature vs. nurture, "nature" refers to genetics and heritable factors that are passed down to children from their biological parents.

Genes and hereditary factors determine many aspects of someone’s physical appearance and other individual characteristics, such as a genetically inherited predisposition for certain personality traits.

Scientists estimate that 20% to 60% percent of temperament is determined by genetics and that many (possibly thousands) of common gene variations combine to influence individual characteristics of temperament.

However, the impact of gene-environment (or nature-nurture) interactions on someone's traits is interwoven. Environmental factors also play a role in temperament by influencing gene activity. For example, in children raised in an adverse environment (such as child abuse or violence), genes that increase the risk of impulsive temperamental characteristics may be activated (turned on).

Trying to measure "nature vs. nurture" scientifically is challenging. It's impossible to know precisely where the influence of genes and environment begin or end.

How Are Inherited Traits Measured?

“Heritability”   describes the influence that genes have on human characteristics and traits. It's measured on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. Very strong heritable traits like someone's eye color are ranked a 1.0.

Traits that have nothing to do with genetics, like speaking with a regional accent ranks a zero. Most human characteristics score between a 0.30 and 0.60 on the heritability scale, which reflects a blend of genetics (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors.

Thousands of years ago, ancient Greek philosophers like Plato believed that "innate knowledge" is present in our minds at birth. Every parent knows that babies are born with innate characteristics. Anecdotally, it may seem like a kid's "Big 5" personality traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness) were predetermined before birth.

What is the "Big 5" personality traits

The Big 5 personality traits is a theory that describes the five basic dimensions of personality. It was developed in 1949 by D. W. Fiske and later expanded upon by other researchers and is used as a framework to study people's behavior.

From a "nature" perspective, the fact that every child has innate traits at birth supports Plato's philosophical ideas about innatism. However, personality isn't set in stone. Environmental "nurture" factors can change someone's predominant personality traits over time. For example, exposure to the chemical lead during childhood may alter personality.

In 2014, a meta-analysis of genetic and environmental influences on personality development across the human lifespan found that people change with age. Personality traits are relatively stable during early childhood but often change dramatically during adolescence and young adulthood.

It's impossible to know exactly how much "nurture" changes personality as people get older. In 2019, a study of how stable personality traits are from age 16 to 66 found that people's Big 5 traits are both stable and malleable (able to be molded). During the 50-year span from high school to retirement, some traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness tend to increase, while others appear to be set in stone.

Nurture refers to all of the external or environmental factors that affect human development such as how someone is raised, socioeconomic status, early childhood experiences, education, and daily habits.

Although the word "nurture" may conjure up images of babies and young children being cared for by loving parents, environmental factors and life experiences have an impact on our psychological and physical well-being across the human life span. In adulthood, "nurturing" oneself by making healthy lifestyle choices can offset certain genetic predispositions.

For example, a May 2022 study found that people with a high genetic risk of developing the brain disorder Alzheimer's disease can lower their odds of developing dementia (a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social abilities enough to affect daily life) by adopting these seven healthy habits in midlife:

  • Staying active
  • Healthy eating
  • Losing weight
  • Not smoking
  • Reducing blood sugar
  • Controlling cholesterol
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure

The nature vs. nurture debate centers around whether individual differences in behavioral traits and personality are caused primarily by nature or nurture. Early philosophers believed the genetic traits passed from parents to their children influence individual differences and traits. Other well-known philosophers believed the mind begins as a blank slate and that everything we are is determined by our experiences.

While early theories favored one factor over the other, experts today recognize there is a complex interaction between genetics and the environment and that both nature and nurture play a critical role in shaping who we are.

Eye color and skin pigmentation are examples of "nature" because they are present at birth and determined by inherited genes. Developmental delays due to toxins (such as exposure to lead as a child or exposure to drugs in utero) are examples of "nurture" because the environment can negatively impact learning and intelligence.

In Child Development

The nature vs. nurture debate in child development is apparent when studying language development. Nature theorists believe genetics plays a significant role in language development and that children are born with an instinctive ability that allows them to both learn and produce language.

Nurture theorists would argue that language develops by listening and imitating adults and other children.

In addition, nurture theorists believe people learn by observing the behavior of others. For example, contemporary psychologist Albert Bandura's social learning theory suggests that aggression is learned through observation and imitation.

In Psychology

In psychology, the nature vs. nurture beliefs vary depending on the branch of psychology.

  • Biopsychology:  Researchers analyze how the brain, neurotransmitters, and other aspects of our biology influence our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. emphasizing the role of nature.
  • Social psychology: Researchers study how external factors such as peer pressure and social media influence behaviors, emphasizing the importance of nurture.
  • Behaviorism: This theory of learning is based on the idea that our actions are shaped by our interactions with our environment.

In Personality Development

Whether nature or nurture plays a bigger role in personality development depends on different personality development theories.

  • Behavioral theories: Our personality is a result of the interactions we have with our environment, such as parenting styles, cultural influences, and life experiences.
  • Biological theories: Personality is mostly inherited which is demonstrated by a study in the 1990s that concluded identical twins reared apart tend to have more similar personalities than fraternal twins.
  • Psychodynamic theories: Personality development involves both genetic predispositions and environmental factors and their interaction is complex.

In Mental Illness

Both nature and nurture can contribute to mental illness development.

For example, at least five mental health disorders are associated with some type of genetic component ( autism ,  attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ,  bipolar disorder , major depression, and  schizophrenia ).

Other explanations for mental illness are environmental, such as:

  • Being exposed to drugs or alcohol in utero 
  • Witnessing a traumatic event, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Adverse life events and chronic stress during childhood

In Mental Health Therapy

Mental health treatment can involve both nature and nurture. For example, a therapist may explore life experiences that may have contributed to mental illness development (nurture) as well as family history of mental illness (nature).

At the same time, research indicates that a person's genetic makeup may impact how their body responds to antidepressants. Taking this into consideration is important for finding the right treatment for each individual.

 What Is Nativism (Extreme Nature Position)?

Innatism emphasizes nature's role in shaping our minds and personality traits before birth. Nativism takes this one step further and proposes that all of people's mental and physical characteristics are inherited and predetermined at birth.

In its extreme form, concepts of nativism gave way to the early 20th century's racially-biased eugenics movement. Thankfully, "selective breeding," which is the idea that only certain people should reproduce in order to create chosen characteristics in offspring, and eugenics, arranged breeding, lost momentum during World War II. At that time, the Nazis' ethnic cleansing (killing people based on their ethnic or religious associations) atrocities were exposed.

Philosopher John Locke's tabula rasa theory from 1689 directly opposes the idea that we are born with innate knowledge. "Tabula rasa" means "blank slate" and implies that our minds do not have innate knowledge at birth.

Locke was an empiricist who believed that all the knowledge we gain in life comes from sensory experiences (using their senses to understand the world), education, and day-to-day encounters after being born.

Today, looking at nature vs. nature in black-and-white terms is considered a misguided dichotomy (two-part system). There are so many shades of gray where nature and nurture overlap. It's impossible to tease out how inherited traits and learned behaviors shape someone's unique characteristics or influence how their mind works.

The influences of nature and nurture in psychology are impossible to unravel. For example, imagine someone growing up in a household with an alcoholic parent who has frequent rage attacks. If that child goes on to develop a substance use disorder and has trouble with emotion regulation in adulthood, it's impossible to know precisely how much genetics (nature) or adverse childhood experiences (nurture) affected that individual's personality traits or issues with alcoholism.

Epigenetics Blurs the Line Between Nature and Nurture

"Epigenetics " means "on top of" genetics. It refers to external factors and experiences that turn genes "on" or "off." Epigenetic mechanisms alter DNA's physical structure in utero (in the womb) and across the human lifespan.

Epigenetics blurs the line between nature and nurture because it says that even after birth, our genetic material isn't set in stone; environmental factors can modify genes during one's lifetime. For example, cannabis exposure during critical windows of development can increase someone's risk of neuropsychiatric disease via epigenetic mechanisms.

Nature vs. nurture is a framework used to examine how genetics (nature) and environmental factors (nurture) influence human development and personality traits.

However, nature vs. nurture isn't a black-and-white issue; there are many shades of gray where the influence of nature and nurture overlap. It's impossible to disentangle how nature and nurture overlap; they are inextricably intertwined. In most cases, nature and nurture combine to make us who we are. 

Waller JC. Commentary: the birth of the twin study--a commentary on francis galton’s “the history of twins.”   International Journal of Epidemiology . 2012;41(4):913-917. doi:10.1093/ije/dys100

The New York Times. " Major Personality Study Finds That Traits Are Mostly Inherited ."

Medline Plus. Is temperament determined by genetics?

Feldman MW, Ramachandran S. Missing compared to what? Revisiting heritability, genes and culture .  Phil Trans R Soc B . 2018;373(1743):20170064. doi:10.1098/rstb.2017.0064

Winch C. Innatism, concept formation, concept mastery and formal education: innatism, concept formation and formal education .  Journal of Philosophy of Education . 2015;49(4):539-556. doi:10.1111/1467-9752.12121

Briley DA, Tucker-Drob EM. Genetic and environmental continuity in personality development: A meta-analysis .  Psychological Bulletin . 2014;140(5):1303-1331. doi:10.1037/a0037091

Damian RI, Spengler M, Sutu A, Roberts BW. Sixteen going on sixty-six: A longitudinal study of personality stability and change across 50 years .  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology . 2019;117(3):674-695. doi:10.1037/pspp0000210

Tin A, Bressler J, Simino J, et al. Genetic risk, midlife life’s simple 7, and incident dementia in the atherosclerosis risk in communities study .  Neurology . Published online May 25, 2022. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000200520 

Levitt M. Perceptions of nature, nurture and behaviour .  Life Sci Soc Policy . 2013;9(1):13. doi:10.1186/2195-7819-9-13

Ross EJ, Graham DL, Money KM, Stanwood GD. Developmental consequences of fetal exposure to drugs: what we know and what we still must learn . Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 Jan;40(1):61-87. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.14

World Health Organization. Lead poisoning .

Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models .  The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1961; 63 (3), 575–582 doi:10.1037/h0045925

Krapfl JE.  Behaviorism and society .  Behav Anal.  2016;39(1):123-9. doi:10.1007/s40614-016-0063-8

Bouchard TJ Jr, Lykken DT, McGue M, Segal NL, Tellegen A. Sources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart . Science. 1990 Oct 12;250(4978):223-8. doi: 10.1126/science.2218526

National Institutes of Health.  Common genetic factors found in 5 mental disorders .

Franke HA. Toxic Stress: Effects, Prevention and Treatment . Children (Basel). 2014 Nov 3;1(3):390-402. doi: 10.3390/children1030390

Pain O, Hodgson K, Trubetskoy V, et al.  Identifying the common genetic basis of antidepressant response .  Biol Psychiatry Global Open Sci . 2022;2(2):115-126. doi:10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.07.008

National Human Genome Research Institute. Eugenics and Scientific Racism .

OLL. The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes .

Toraño EG, García MG, Fernández-Morera JL, Niño-García P, Fernández AF. The impact of external factors on the epigenome:  in utero  and over lifetime .  BioMed Research International . 2016;2016:1-17. doi:10.1155/2016/2568635

Smith A, Kaufman F, Sandy MS, Cardenas A. Cannabis exposure during critical windows of development: epigenetic and molecular pathways implicated in neuropsychiatric disease .  Curr Envir Health Rpt . 2020;7(3):325-342. doi:10.1007/s40572-020-00275-4

By Christopher Bergland Christopher Bergland is a retired ultra-endurance athlete turned medical writer and science reporter. 

Nature Vs Nurture Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on nature vs nurture.

The topic of nature vs nurture is always a great topic of debate among people. There are great men who did work hard to achieve great heights . But still, they are some people who didn’t work that hard yet still managed to be successful.

Nature Vs Nurture Essay

In other words, it is a debate between hard work and talent. In the grooming of a person, the nurturing is essential. However, still, there are some individuals who were never born in a great environment . Yet by their sense of knowledge and intellectualism created a special place in the hearts of people.

Nature has given us many things in life and one of them is talents. Either we are born as the only individual in our family or it is in our genes. Furthermore, nature plays a vital role in deciding the future of a child. Many singers in this era are born with beautiful voices. They did not need any nurturing. Their talent took them to heights they couldn’t even imagine.

For instance, some of the great legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishor Kumar had soulful voices. Also, they were the ones who sang from their childhood days. They started their careers and became successful at a very early age. Moreover, they did not get much teaching but still are the legends of all time.

Apart from singing, there are other talents that nature has given us. Various scientists like Albert Einstein , Isaac Newton , Galileo Galilei, started their work in their teenage years. They had amazing intellectualism, because of which they got recognition in their entire world. Furthermore, these scientists did not get any mentoring. They did everything on their own. Because they had extraordinary intelligence and ambition in life.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

On the other hand, the nurturing of a person is important. Because hard work beats talent. With proper mentoring and practice, a person can achieve success in life. If a person has an environment in which everybody is in the same profession and are successful in it.

Then there is a great chance that the person will land up in the same profession and will achieve heights. Because in that environment he will get proper nurturing.

Furthermore, he will also be able to perform better over the years. “ Hard work always pays off ”. This idiom is always true and nobody can deny that. If a person has true dedication then it can beat talent. Various singers, dancers, musicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs did work really hard for years.

And because of that, they got recognition in the entire world. In these categories, musicians are who achieved heights only with their hard work and constant practice.

It is true that there are no shortcuts to success. Various known legends like Bob Dylon. Lou Reed, Elvis Persley, Michael Jackson worked hard throughout their lives. As a result, they were some of the great personalities in the entire world.

Q1. What is the meaning of nurture?

A1. Nurture means the way a person grooms himself. This is done in order to achieve success. Nurturing is essential in a person’s life because it can be a way a person can cross the barrier and do something great. Moreover nurture also means the mentoring and care a person is getting in an environment.

Q2. What is the difference between Nature and Nurture?

A2. The main difference between nature and nurture is, nature is the talent a person inherits from his parents or is God gifted. While nurturing is hard work and mentoring of a person in a particular field. So that he may excel in that field.

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Nature Vs Nurture Essay: A Guide And Introduction

nature vs nurture essay hook

The nature vs nurture is a debate which has been prevalent since the dawn of medical advancements. It is an argument between human psychology and biology. It presents both sides of the debate by giving argumentative points on nature are well as Nurture and who has a dominant influence on a persons’ behaviour.

In this article, you will learn about the meaning of both the terms in details and why it is such a significant topic in a person’s personal life as well as academic. In this article, you will also learn about how to write an impressive Nature vs nurture essay.

Explanation and background Before you get into writing a nature vs nurture it is necessary that you completely understand both sides around which the whole debate is built.

Nature Vs Nurture Essay

Nature:  These are the aspects of our being which we do not pick by ourselves. These are mostly the physical and psychological factors of one’s body which he or she inherits from their biological parents. These factors are built in our genes and are passed down in a person’s nature of being through their parents and ancestors.

Nurture:  Nurture consists of all the behavioural aspects which we acquire throughout our life. It is a major evolutionary measure and is supported by many important theories including Darwin’s theory of evolution. These factors may include the changes brought upon a person’s physical or behaviour through their childhood experiences, how and where they are raised, their nourishment, social and cultural environment etc.

Biology, psychology, behaviourism and philosophy these are the three main fields of academics which have a major influence on the history of this debate. All of them try to put their statements of arguments or in support of one of the two i.e. Nature vs Nurture. Some believe that the nature and pre-wiring of a person’s body plays a major role in determining their physical and behavioural attributes, whereas some say that the genes and inheritance of a person has a lesser influence and that their choices and past experiences: voluntary or involuntary have a major part in deciding a person’s physical and mental abilities.

Although it is not possible to determine where and how this debate started and came to be as a huge topic as we know it today. But some people believe that it has its roots set deep beginning in the ancient period as some great philosophers such as Descartes and Plato stated that few aspects of human beings do not influence their upbringing and environment over them. Whereas in the early 1900s, John Watson; who is regarded as the father of behaviourism by many, put forth the theory of behaviourism. This states that the behavioural characteristics of a human being are acquired through their conditioning. This theory prevailed in the beginning but with time discoveries and scientific evidence came to light and this theory was countered by many biologists and philosophers.

Effects:  To understand this better let us discuss some features and influences of both nature and nurture.

Health and Diseases:  Disease transfer is an important deciding point in this debate. There are many diseases which a child or offspring inherits from its parents. These disease or health issues are inbuilt in their genes and are present in at least one of the two parents. They are caused due to DNA abnormality. These genetic issues include Down syndrome, Sickle cell anaemia, Huntington’s disease, Patterned baldness, Thalassemia, Cystic Fibrosis and many more.

Mental Health:  Mental health is an issue which is influenced by both natures as well as nurture. But many studies have revealed that nurture has more part to play in the conditioning of a person’s mental well-being. For example, the various psychological issues which are caused by the surrounding environment and the upbringing of a person are Depression, Bi-polar disorder, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, ADHD, Eating Disorders.

Parental Influence: Temperament:  The temperament of a child is significantly influenced by observing the people around them and their daily surrounding and environment. If a child is around arguments and shootings for a major part of their upbringing, this influences them in such a way that they have anger issues in their adolescence.

Behavioural Inheritance:  There are some behavioural characteristics which we inherit from our parents. To find more evidence on these studies has been performed on twin siblings. It was observed that it if one of the siblings develops or acquires a certain trait or condition, there is a 50% probability that the other twin will develop that trait as well.

Applications of Nature vs Nurture

Through the years as science and technology advanced, discoveries were being made continuously all over the world. This led to setting strong foundations on both sides of the debates. It has spread to such an extent that it now a debate of whose theory is more correct. Nature vs Nurture has become a technique of analysis using which we can determine and predict the behaviours a being. All the conflicting fields have come together to utilize their knowledge and strong point to study and evaluate various aspects and issues and why they work as such.

The nature vs nurture approach of analysis can be applied on a topic or a subject to study how their behaviours came to being and how are they influenced. It gives an insight into how the particular issue came to being and using them, how we can predict the future behaviours and act accordingly.

By making slight changes in our analysis approach we study a different aspect of the subject with new results, which give us an option to use this method of analysis in various fields of psychology as well as biology and philosophy. For example, most of the studies include both approaches in their study, whereas in many cases of psychological therapies, different discoveries may be observed by adopting a more nurture based analysis approach or nature-based approach.

Writing a nature vs nurture essay

Now that you have understood what the whole debacle is all about. Now you can start to write your nature vs nurture essay.

The thing that sets this essay topic apart is that, despite being a debate, a nature vs nurture essay can be categorised as both argumentative and persuasive essay. Depending upon the topic or subject of study and the findings of your analysis, the there format of the essay can be determined, either it will be in an argumentative essay style or a persuasive essay style. In both, the case, nature vs nurture essay proves to be a great way to say your point of view on a particular topic and show off your analytical skills.

Tips to keep in mind Here are a few tips you must keep in mind while writing a nature vs nurture essay:

Nature Vs Nurture Essay

  • Select your Topic Carefully:  The topic of your selection will determine what type of analysis you will be performing. Pick a topic which you are most comfortable with so that you have plenty of pre-existing knowledge on it. A good topic will ease your thought process, as ideas and questions will come to you rather than you finding questions through your research.
  • Find reliable sources:  This is very important as not all sources will give the correct information. Look for credible information and sources to support your claims more easily.
  • Include case studies:  Including case studies and their results increases the conviction level of your essay. The main aspect of nature vs nurture essay is persuasion, thus is very necessary to provide evidence which backs up your thesis or statements.
  • Support your Claims:  While  writing the essay  in an argumentative style, pick a side which you think has more claim and support it throughout the essay.
  • Look for examples:  Go through multiple examples of writings which are similar to your topic. This gives you an idea about how you should build the format of your essay.
  • Do thorough research:  No matter which topic you choose, if it’s a known topic or if an unknown subject is assigned to you. You must always do your thorough research so that you get all the information you will be requiring in your essay. By doing prior research you identify the points which need the most emphasis in the essay to support your claims and to follow a clear flow of thought.
  • Your analysis should be decisive and backed by references.
  • Keep your target audience in mind while writing the essay.

Structure of Nature vs Nurture Essay

The main structure of nature vs nurture essay is the same as any other essay. It consists of an introduction, the body of the essay and a conclusion.

  • Introduction-  Introduce the topic to the reader. Explain in brief about the whole nature vs nurture debate and how you are going to use it to analyse your subject. Provide an intriguing thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
  • Body-  This is where you go in-depth about the issue or the subject of your study. Use multiple paragraphs to explain your topics. Make sure you follow a single topic throughout the paragraph.
  • Conclusion-  Mention the thesis statement in the conclusion. Summarise all the ideas and points presented by you in the essay. Provide the results or findings of your analysis and suggest some outcomes. Give an ending statement which is a conclusion of the essay. This statement should intrigue the reader such that they have something to think about after completing the essay.

Nature Vs Nurture Essay

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Get the Overall Guidance on Nature Vs Nurture Essay with Top 50+ Ideas

Jul 6, 2022 | Essay Help | 0 comments

Get the Overall Guidance on Nature Vs Nurture Essay with Top 50+ Ideas

Students often find Nature Vs nurture essays are complicated. If you are one of them, this blog is for you. It is a fact that the nature and nurture essay has been a debate among people for a very long. They are still confused about whether nature and nurture have to do with the environment one is born in or something that was inherited. Don’t worry. This blog will discuss all the points so you can clear your queries. Also, you will find some mindboggling examples of nature vs nurture.

Table of Contents

What is a Nature Essay?

What is a Nature Essay?

An individual’s genetic background, which determines their personality and physical characteristics, depends entirely on nature. According to the “nature principle,” a person’s biological traits are passed down through their family tree’s genetic composition. Characteristics like height, weight, susceptibility to certain diseases, and skin tone are inherited and influenced by an individual’s genetic makeup. Also, follow the blog to learn more about the IXL answers hack .

To put it simply, nature is the component of who we are that we do not choose for ourselves. Most of these are aspects of a person’s physical and mental makeup that they receive from their biological parents. These characteristics are ingrained in our DNA and are passed on through parents and ancestors in the essence of a person. Meanwhile, you can follow the blog to learn some interesting demonstration speech ideas .

When the teacher asks students to compose nature essays, they must focus on topics covering a person’s inheritance behavior. Some of the nature essay examples are—

  • Impact of natural disasters on the environment.
  • Influence of climate change.

What is a Nurture Essay?

What is a Nurture Essay?

Nurture means the society in which we live and the environment in which we are raised may impact how we are raised and how we think and behave. It refers to a person’s early years, upbringing, and educational experiences. All the behavioral traits we pick up throughout our lives are considered part of our nurture. It is a significant evolutionary indicator, and many essential theories support it, including Darwin’s theory of evolution. One of the best ways to know How to write a claim is by reading our step-by-step guide, as mentioned here.

These variables may include adjustments made to a person’s physical characteristics or behavior due to their early experiences, upbringing, diet, social and cultural surroundings, etc. Some of the examples of nurture essays are as follows—-

  • Importance of personality traits.
  • Child development.

What is the Nature Vs Nurture Debate?

What is the Nature Vs Nurture Debate?

The nature vs nurture argument appears to have been going on forever. People have always desired to know how we might improve as a society, which explains its appeal and importance. No matter what it is, an apparent response would make our lives much more straightforward. Since the debate covers a wide range of topics, there is still no definitive solution. The knowledge that this is one of the most contentious subjects for academic papers frequently demotivates students. They can even inquire, “Why would individuals quarrel about something that hasn’t been fully resolved for such a long time?

To be clear, the discussion plays a vital role in advancement on all sides. Nobody anticipates you making another progress in this area while you are still in college. The main goal of nature vs nurture essays is to introduce you to the subject and extend your perspective. But even at this point in your schooling, who says you can’t learn anything useful for yourself and your fellow students? The concept should inspire you to write a top-notch nature vs nurture essay and help you receive a good mark. Meanwhile, you can read the blog on CPM Homework Help to learn more about expert services.

What is the Importance of Nature Vs Nurture Essay?

What is the Importance of Nature Vs Nurture Essay?

A psychological argument called “nature vs nurture” asks whether our environment or genes significantly influence how we grow, develop, and behave. When you are born, you didn’t have any preferences or personality quirks; it’s only as you get older that you become an actual person. Many argue in favor of nurture, which is the idea that how you are raised and your environment influences who you become and that your personality changes as you mature.

However, on the other hand, other people argue that nature rules your biological factors, and your complete genetic makeup determines who you are. Although both sides have good arguments, there can be no clear resolution to the nature vs nurture debate since it is difficult to distinguish between the two completely. But with the nature versus nurture debate in essay writing, people can develop their perception in several ways. And read here about mediator vs moderator .

Most people now concur that biological science and the environment are interdependent. For any quality to appear, both are necessary. It is illogical to think of them individually since they are interconnected and interact in a complicated way. But, if you want to uncomplicate the process of exam, here is the best way to know, ‘ how to cram for a test ’.

How to Write a Nature Vs Nurture Debate Essay?

How to Write a Nature Vs Nurture Debate Essay?

The format of your essay or paper is the same as every other essay’s or document’s format. You’ll start with an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs that each feature details connected to that thesis, and a conclusion that summarises your arguments and may suggest more reading or research for the reader.

Before starting your own, you should read a few examples of academic essays and papers on the subject. This argument between nature and nurture is a fascinating and developing subject. Additionally, researching the topic for an article may be quite instructive.  Click here and about what is a number sentence …

Before composing an essay, a writer must first arrange their ideas and thoughts in a way that makes sense. One frequently feels overburdened by opinions about a particular subject, especially while writing an essay. Please go through the paragraph below to learn more about writing the nature vs nurture essay.

Choose your Topic With Care — 

What kind of analysis you do will depend on the subject you choose. 

Pick a good subject you are most familiar with to have a wealth of prior information. Finding ideas and questions on an excellent topic for the nurture vs. nature essay will be easier because you won’t have to search for them in your study.

Find credible sources — 

It’s essential since not all sources will provide accurate information. Look for reliable sources of information to make your arguments more convincing.

Follow a logic-based format —

Without a proper format, the reader may be confused. We’re referring to a logical structure like this. It’s essential to capture the reader’s attention. Additionally, provide your thesis statement before describing the subject and elaborating on its significance. The nature vs nurture essay is based on facts and evidence.

Give your thesis statement —

This one is the most crucial skill you must develop while learning how to begin a nature vs nurture essay. It summarizes your concept in a single, clear statement. You’ll be demonstrating the idea throughout the rest of the article.

Back up your claims —

Please choose a side you believe has a stronger case and support it throughout the essay while writing it argumentatively.

Provide examples —

Examine several writing samples that are related to your theme. It offers you a concept of how to construct the structure of your essay. Also, explore controversial topics for teenagers to get speech ideas.

There aren’t many ways to begin an essay about nature vs nurture. It follows the same format: a hook, a topic description with some background information, thesis assertions, and examples. Although it appears straightforward, the pattern provides countless ways to express yourself. But, some students struggle to write the nurture vs. nature essay. Instead of avoiding the task in the situation, hiring an expert will be a wise decision. Meanwhile, if you are looking for some exciting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics , click here.

What outline should students follow for the nature vs nurture essay?

What outline should students follow for the nature vs nurture essay?

The nature vs nurture essay outline is a plan for working on and arranging the relevant data. You may follow a path for your articles and essays if you use a strategy. The outline aids in keeping you focused on the vital details, ensuring that you did not overlook any crucial information in the text. If you’ve never created one before, outlining can confuse you. However, composing a flawless essay will be much simpler if you know how to create one.

Introduction —

Like any other academic writing piece, your essay must have a solid basis. Your essay’s introduction serves as its framework. Your paper will be flawless if it has a decent and ideal introduction and vice versa. Describe the subject to the reader. Briefly describe the nature vs nurture debate examples and how you plan to use it to evaluate your topic. Finish the introduction with an appealing thesis statement. An introduction of a nature vs nurture argumentative essay includes—

It serves as the introduction’s first sentence. It accomplishes the goal of drawing the reader’s focus to the information.

Background Details —

Here, you give some background data about the subject. The history should answer the following queries: “What, Who, Where, Why.”

Statement of the thesis —

The focus of your essay is on the final phase of your introduction. It introduces the primary argument for the subject to the readers.

Body Paragraphs —

The essay’s body in the next section will be prepared after the opening paragraphs. Given that it contains all of the assertions and supporting evidence, this essay section must be well-structured.

You must express your claim in writing essays like argumentative essays. The central argument or assertion serves as the framework for the whole article.

The nature versus nurture essay requires more than just a claim. The writer’s goal is to persuade readers to agree with their position. You must provide proof and supporting facts to do this.

Conclusion —

A conclusion serves as the concluding stage of the outline’s writing process. It’s time to finish your essay now that the introductory and body paragraphs have been properly organized. A conclusion’s influence is frequently underrated. Your entire paper will be wasted if the decision is ambiguous, abrupt, or poor. An argumentative essay nature vs nurture is concluded with the following ideas:

  • Stating your thesis once more.
  • Summarising key points.
  • Making suggestions to the readers on a course of action.

To develop wholesome and reliable arguments, you must constantly study the essay topic and chosen issue. To make your essay influential and trustworthy, collect facts and reliable material.

Some of the points you need to look at are as follows —

  • Perform your study before beginning the essay. You can produce high-quality material because of this.
  • Create an introduction for the article.
  • Unless the subject is technical, try to avoid using jargon.
  • Wherever feasible, write in points.
  • Divide the information into manageable portions.
  • Use facts such as dates, names, and numbers.
  • An essay should have a conclusion.
  • Check the article for grammatical or factual flaws and fix them as you go. This blog will let you explore what is a GED.

What are some of the Nature Vs Nurture Essay Topics?

What are some of the Nature Vs Nurture Essay Topics?

The nature vs nurture essay first appears to be simple. But a narrow perspective on the issue might cost you points, so presenting a whole picture of the controversy is critical. Here are a few more topics you can follow as nature vs nurture essay examples — 

  • An overview and examination of the effects of nurture and nature on child development.
  • The impact of environmental factors on a child’s personality and story.
  • Do our attitudes and moods arise from our genes or how we develop as people?
  • Can unpredictable behavior occur without a special relationship with the environment?
  • Who or what drives ideas and feelings?
  • Does the development of different behaviors in children have more to do with nature or nurture?
  • Why do the traits children inherit from their parents seem overridden by nature and nurture?
  • How the child’s physical and mental health is affected by nature and nurture?
  • Trauma recovery: nature vs nurture.
  • Does one’s surroundings aid in overcoming anxiety, stress, and depression?
  • Are jails and prisons necessary? A debate between nature and nurture.
  • Who is accountable for acts of bullying?
  • Does psychology play a role in enhanced performance?
  • The Difference Between Nature and Nurture in Behavioral and Personality Development.
  • The Disparities Between Boys and Girls as a Result of Nature and Nurture.
  • Nature and Nurture’s Part in Human Homosexuality.
  • Effects of parenting on a child’s sexual orientation
  • What chances are there of having a “gay gene” at birth?
  • Is homosexuality typically induced or started?
  • Does homosexuality have genetic roots?
  • relationship between psychological growth and homosexuality
  • Do environmental factors influence sexuality?
  • The Frankenstein story’s theme of nature against nurture.
  • The area of psychology that studies nature and nurture.
  • Physical and mental health: the roles of nature and nurture.
  • Nature vs Nurture Debate on Alcoholism.
  • Children’s learning and nature versus nurture.
  • Should people use mobile phones while driving?
  • Has the internet improved society?
  • Should children receive immunizations before attending school?
  • Would universal coverage improve access to healthcare?
  • Should schools require students to take art classes?
  • Should art, including music, be available for free online?
  • Helmets for skateboarders ought to be required.
  • The needy should receive nourishment from us.
  • Parenting education should be made mandatory for teens.
  • Etiquette should be taught in schools.
  • Laws requiring school uniforms are unlawful.
  • The time that teens go to bed should be up to them.
  • There should be constraints on free speech.
  • Everyone should be required to recycle.
  • There are restrictions on religious freedom.
  • What effects on children do nature and nurture have?
  • What Sets Entrepreneurs Apart From Non-Entrepreneurs In Terms Of Nature And Nurture.
  • Violence’s Roots: Nature vs Nurture.
  • Socialization And Gender: Nature Or Nurture?
  • How are the Pies Affected by Nature and Nurture in Adolescence and Adulthood?
  • Twin Studies’ Importance in the Nature vs Nurture Debate.
  • The Nature vs Nurture Debate In Science And Culture.
  • The query of whether serial killers are the result of nature or nurture.

This guide should enable you to develop excellent nature vs nurture essay themes and produce a top-notch essay. Are you looking for further guidance or qualified writing assistance? Forget about the age-old issue of “How to create a complete essay,” and seek the help of professional writers if you are still confused about how to tackle nature or nurture writing assignments. To learn more about assignment help online services, click here. You can lessen your academic load and raise your scores with their assistance.

Numerous trustworthy essay writing services are there to assist you with your academics. Not only will our essay writers help you choose a topic, but they will also write your essay. Don’t worry about acquiring a unique essay with no plagiarism if you choose them. For more essay topic ideas, especially if you’re looking to explore a wide range of subjects, check out our comprehensive list of Research Paper Topics for additional inspiration and guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sets nature and nurture apart from one another.

The significant distinction between nature and nurture is that nature refers to the skill that a person is born with or receives as a gift from God. At the same time, nurturing entails exerting effort and guiding a person in a specific profession so that he might succeed in it.

What are the thesis statement in the contrasting nature and nurture essay?

The thesis statement refers to the position you decide to take throughout the essay. It will include information that logical arguments will support your paper. You can see that this section serves as the final paragraph of your introduction by examining several essay samples.

Can professionals assist with writing an essay on nature vs nurture?

The experts provide students worldwide with online assignment assistance, homework help, and project aid services. You only need to give the project specifications and the deadline; the experts will take care of the rest.

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Nature vs. Nurture

Reviewed by Psychology Today Staff

The expression “nature vs. nurture” describes the question of how much a person's characteristics are formed by either “nature” or “nurture.” “Nature” means innate biological factors (namely genetics ), while “nurture” can refer to upbringing or life experience more generally.

Traditionally, “nature vs. nurture” has been framed as a debate between those who argue for the dominance of one source of influence or the other, but contemporary experts acknowledge that both “nature” and “nurture” play a role in psychological development and interact in complex ways.

  • The Meaning of Nature vs. Nurture
  • The Nature-vs.-Nurture Debate
  • Identifying Genetic and Environmental Factors

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The wording of the phrase “nature vs. nurture” makes it seem as though human individuality— personality traits, intelligence , preferences, and other characteristics—must be based on either the genes people are born with or the environment in which they grew up. The reality, as scientists have shown, is more complicated, and both these and other factors can help account for the many ways in which individuals differ from each other.

The words “nature” and “nurture” themselves can be misleading. Today, “ genetics ” and “environment” are frequently used in their place—with one’s environment including a broader range of experiences than just the nurturing received from parents or caregivers. Further, nature and nurture (or genetics and environment) do not simply compete to influence a person, but often interact with each other; “nature and nurture” work together. Finally, individual differences do not entirely come down to a person’s genetic code or developmental environment—to some extent, they emerge due to messiness in the process of development as well.

A person’s biological nature can affect a person’s experience of the environment. For example, a person with a genetic disposition toward a particular trait, such as aggressiveness, may be more likely to have particular life experiences (including, perhaps, receiving negative reactions from parents or others). Or, a person who grows up with an inclination toward warmth and sociability may seek out and elicit more positive social responses from peers. These life experiences could, in turn, reinforce an individual’s initial tendencies. Nurture or life experience more generally may also modify the effects of nature—for example, by expanding or limiting the extent to which a naturally bright child receives encouragement, access to quality education , and opportunities for achievement.

Epigenetics—the science of modifications in how genes are expressed— illustrates the complex interplay between “nature” and “nurture.” An individual’s environment, including factors such as early-life adversity, may result in changes in the way that parts of a person’s genetic code are “read.” While these epigenetic changes do not override the important influence of genes in general, they do constitute additional ways in which that influence is filtered through “nurture” or the environment.

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Theorists and researchers have long battled over whether individual traits and abilities are inborn or are instead forged by experiences after birth. The debate has had broad implications: The real or perceived sources of a person’s strengths and vulnerabilities matter for fields such as education, philosophy , psychiatry , and clinical psychology. Today’s consensus—that individual differences result from a combination of inherited and non-genetic factors—strikes a more nuanced middle path between nature- or nurture-focused extremes.

The debate about nature and nurture has roots that stretch back at least thousands of years, to Ancient Greek theorizing about the causes of personality. During the modern era, theories emphasizing the role of either learning and experience or biological nature have risen and fallen in prominence—with genetics gaining increasing acknowledgment as an important (though not exclusive) influence on individual differences in the later 20th century and beyond.

“Nature versus nurture” was used by English scientist Francis Galton. In 1874, he published the book English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture , arguing that inherited factors were responsible for intelligence and other characteristics.

Genetic determinism emphasizes the importance of an individual’s nature in development. It is the view that genetics is largely or totally responsible for an individual’s psychological characteristics and behavior. The term “biological determinism” is often used synonymously.

The blank slate (or “tabula rasa”) view of the mind emphasizes the importance of nurture and the environment. Notably described by English philosopher John Locke in the 1600s, it proposed that individuals are born with a mind like an unmarked chalkboard and that its contents are based on experience and learning. In the 20th century, major branches of psychology proposed a primary role for nurture and experience , rather than nature, in development, including Freudian psychoanalysis and behaviorism.

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Modern scientific methods have allowed researchers to advance further in understanding the complex relationships between genetics, life experience, and psychological characteristics, including mental health conditions and personality traits. Overall, the findings of contemporary studies underscore that with some exceptions—such as rare diseases caused by mutations in a single gene—no one factor, genetic or environmental, solely determines how a characteristic develops.

Scientists use multiple approaches to estimate how important genetics are for any given trait, but one of the most influential is the twin study. While identical (or monozygotic) twins share the same genetic code, fraternal (or dizygotic) twins share about 50 percent of the same genes, like typical siblings. Scientists are able to estimate the degree to which the variation in a particular trait, like extraversion , is explained by genetics in part by analyzing how similar identical twins are on that trait, compared to fraternal twins. ( These studies do have limitations, and estimates based on one population may not closely reflect all other populations.) 

It’s hard to call either “nature” or “nurture,” genes or the environment, more important to human psychology. The impact of one set of factors or the other depends on the characteristic, with some being more strongly related to one’s genes —for instance, autism appears to be more heritable than depression . But in general, psychological traits are shaped by a balance of interacting genetic and non-genetic influences.

Both genes and environmental factors can contribute to a person developing mental illness. Research finds that a major part of the variation in the risk for psychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia can be attributed to genetic differences. But not all of that risk is genetic, and life experiences, such as early-life abuse or neglect, may also affect risk of mental illness (and some individuals, based on their genetics, are likely more susceptible to environmental effects than others).

Like other psychological characteristics, personality is partly heritable. Research suggests less than half of the difference between people on measures of personality traits can be attributed to genes (one recent overall estimate is 40 percent). Non-genetic factors appear to be responsible for an equal or greater portion of personality differences between individuals. Some theorize that the social roles people adopt and invest in as they mature are among the more important non-genetic factors in personality development.

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There is a roadmap for supporting highly sensitive children, who are wired to register and react to experiences more intensely.

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Skinner and Chomsky on Nature vs. Nurture

Introduction, cognitive development, nature and nature debates and the case, chomsky’s theory, skinner’s theory.

Today, much information about improving child development exists, but most discussions focus on the differences between nature and nurture. Childhood is a critical period because many biological, emotional, and psychological changes occur, affecting human abilities and skills. There are theories to support and oppose both positions in the nature-nurture debate. In this paper, attention will be paid to the peculiarities of cognitive development, addressing Genie’s case, a feral child isolated during the first 13,7 years of her life. The impact of inborn qualities and the environment on cognition and socialization cannot be ignored, and there are two efficient theories to indicate both positions. Burrhus Frederic Skinner proposes the theory of operant conditioning that explains environmental (nurture) influences, and Noam Chomsky introduces the theory of language acquisition as a part of universal grammar to underline biological (nature) influences. The connection between language and cognition determines the quality of child development, proving the worth of the chosen theories. The analysis of the nurture and nature characteristics through Skinner’s and Chomsky’s ideas allows understanding of the specifics of cognitive development in Genie’s example.

The development of cognitive skills in children is a critical topic in psychology and health care. People want to improve individual abilities, enhance critical thinking, remember information, use experiences, and strengthen communication. Children have to develop their cognitive skills in terms of thinking, reasoning, and understanding, and the first several years of life represent a serious period with multiple changes (MAL-ED Network Investigators, 2018). It is important for parents and other caregivers not to miss a moment when children need some help and support and to take a step in their progress and combine thought processes. Many factors predetermine cognitive development, including family status, parental education, and methods of cooperation (Yang et al., 2021). If professional recommendations and guidelines are followed, mental and physical changes are impossible to stop. However, when parental neglect or other challenges occur, certain cognitive problems interrupt the development process in childhood, and additional help and investigations may be required.

Child development is a complex concept in psychology, and multiple discussions are raised to prove the importance of nature and nurture. On the one hand, theorists and scientists believe that genetic predisposition plays an important role in cognitive development because this biological makeup defines human abilities (Sravanti, 2017). On the other hand, there is a thought that the physical environment, meaning nurture, also identifies the level of stability in child development (Sravanti, 2017). Both arguments are strong enough to discuss their connection and impact on human relationships and interactions. Gene expression cannot be neglected because it is something people are not able to control. At the same time, the environment affects people in a variety of ways, showing what is desirable, forbidden, or unwanted. Sometimes, nurture questions natural characteristics, and modifying the environment is necessary to support children and contribute to their cognitive development (Sravanti, 2017; Yang et al., 2021). Naturalists and environmentalists analyze cognitive development in childhood, and their theories reveal the role of internal and external factors.

Genie’s case should be mentioned to learn the relationship between nature and nurture in cognitive development. In the 1970s, the world was shocked by the existence of a wild (feral) child who lived in Los Angeles. The girl was a victim of domestic abuse, suffering from parent neglect during her first 13 years. Not many facts could be found about the true reasons for her father kept the child in the dark, closed room for such a long period. Still, it was known that neither communication nor cooperation was done with Genie, which negatively affected her cognitive, psychological, and physical skills. When the girl was rescued, many professionals were involved in her rehabilitation processes, including physicians, linguists, psychologists, and social workers. Her vocabulary was weak, and she did not understand most things and people’s requests. Little is known about her progress, but her language development and communication have significantly improved.

Cognitive development may depend on human biology, and implementing a naturalistic theory is a solid argument in this perspective. In the middle of the 1900s, Chomsky introduced his theory of language acquisition, according to which children have an inborn quality of being biologically encoded with a universal grammar (Sobecks, 2020). It means that the child’s brain has certain language-learning mechanisms, and this skill is not obtained with time but remains present since birth. The idea of innateness underlines the importance of being biologically determined to learn and understand the world. The core element of this theory is a language acquisition device (LAD) that is a normal part of human development to explain the child’s predisposition to learn languages (Sobecks, 2020). Still, it does not mean that a child born in a particular country, e.g., the United States, is born with some specifics of American English. Chomsky says about common language principles with the LAD, meaning some qualities are inborn and serve as biological evidence (Sobecks, 2020). This approach supports the impact of nature on a child’s cognitive development and the possibility to speak words and create sentences with time.

In Genie’s case, the girl did not get a chance to develop her language and cognitive skills in childhood. However, Chomsky’s theory proves that it is possible to use the LAD and restore the innate ability to learn the language (Sobecks, 2020). Nativists like Chomsky believe in inborn language capacity, which explains why it was possible for specialists to work with Genie and develop her cognition to the best possible extent. Genetics plays an important role in understanding what a person can or cannot do, and language development is a skill that should not be defined through the prism of learning alone. Although a critical period of acquiring language was missed in Genie’s situation, the fact that she was born with the LAD exists. Thus, attention to her biological factors helped the experts to achieve positive outcomes and improve the quality of the girl’s life with time.

The criticism of naturalistic theories was introduced by many behaviorists who specified the role of the environment in the cognitive development of children. There are many examples of how external factors define human decisions and abilities, and the work of Skinner focuses on such conditions. This theorist opposes certain mental processes and genetic predispositions but investigates observable behaviors that show what individuals can or cannot do. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning introduces a method of learning through punishment and reward to demonstrate how an understanding of consequences affects human behavior (Overskeid, 2018). From Skinner’s point of view, a child develops cognitive or other abilities through learning the consequences and repetitions. Behavioral changes results are related to stimuli adults introduce to children, which means that the environment is crucial in the child’s cognitive development. Although environmental determination is not the only reason to explain behavior, prediction and control are vital in children’s growth (Overskeid, 2018). In other words, when a child experiences positive or negative emotions related to a specific event, cognitive abilities are developed or diminished respectfully.

The case of Genie proves the effectiveness of Skinner’s theory from some points. For example, the father punishes the child for making sounds or disobedience and rewards for silence and order. As a result, the girl did not speak, was calm, and moved slowly not to attract someone’s attention. Behaviorists might not reject the impact of genetics, but the environment is the factor that prevails over all biological issues. Each inborn quality could be changed, improved, or even removed under certain conditions. Genie’s life was unfavorable for her cognitive development, and the changes offered by other people, who were not her family members, were enough to prove how critical the impact of the environment was.

It is hard or even impossible to take one particular side in the debate about nature vs. nurture in child development. The arguments introduced by Skinner for behaviorism and Chomsky for naturalism are both valid and can be approved through the prism of Genie’s case about child abuse in childhood. Heritability explains differences in people and proves how some skills may be inborn. The environment also plays an important role in cognitive development because children learn how to behave, think, make decisions, and use sources. Their critical thinking abilities, language mechanisms, and cooperation depend not only on the people or subjects around them but on genetics. Chomsky and Skinner have strong and clear points in the nature-nurture debate. This project serves as a good example of how the environment can affect genetic predisposition to enhance or challenge cognitive development in childhood.

MAL-ED Network Investigators. (2018). Early childhood cognitive development is affected by interactions among illness, diet, enteropathogens and the home environment: Findings from the MAL-ED birth cohort study. BMJ Global Health, 3 (4). Web.

Overskeid, G. (2018). Do we need the environment to explain operant behavior? Frontiers in Psychology, 9 . Web.

Sobecks, B. (2020). Language acquisition device and the origin of language. Brain Matters, 2 (1), 9-11.

Sravanti, L. (2017). Nurture nature . Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 59 (3), 385. Web.

Yang, Q., Yang, J., Zheng, L., Song, W., & Yi, L. (2021). Impact of home parenting environment on cognitive and psychomotor development in children under 5 years old: A meta-analysis . Frontiers in Pediatrics, 9 . Web.

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One-And-Done Guide To A-Grade Worthy Essays On Nature

Haiden Malecot

Table of Contents

Worthy Essays On Nature

At least once in your life from elementary school you will find yourself having to talk or having to write about the inspiring relationship between man and nature that has been there since us humans started walking this planet.

You better be inspired and get a feel for it before you start gnawing at your pen. You’ll see that this topic, apart from being so ubiquitous and beloved by teachers of all kinds and calibers, is rather fun to explore and write about.

Essays on nature: how to structure?

The topic of essays on nature is blissfully broad unless narrowed down by your teacher’s specifications. Not that we will break any major news saying that you should start your essay with a catchy introduction.

Do not underestimate the importance of that short introductory piece : written well, it will set the right tone to your essay, make your own voice heard and make that first impression on your readers.

The contextual diversity stems from the very definition of nature. Quoting Merriam Webster , nature can be defined as

  • The inherent character or basic constitution … of a person or thing.
  • A creative and controlling force in the universe.
  • Natural scenery.

We have picked here only the most distinct definitions that would send your essay in three different directions, but you certainly get the drift.

As often as not, tasking students with an essay on nature, an educator expects a charming piece on scenic beauty with lots of descriptive passages.

But before you knock yourself out waxing lyrical on that breathtaking view from the mountain top that opened itself to your eyes as you were hitchhiking with your family during your Colorado trip, let not a premature sigh of relief escape your lips: there is more depth to it than may initially seem.

Depending on what the actual topic at hand is, you should:

  • Make a concise presentation of the topic.
  • Outline the problems you are going to solve in your essay.
  • Introduce a clear thesis statement.

Normally, you are not expected to come up with any laboriously picked and analyzed sources of information other than your own experiences with nature that inspired you into deep contemplations, profound emotions and filled other spiritual gaps in your perception of the world.

However, a good quote here and there is a must – just to show that you are familiar with the background and the efforts your fellow-writers have made in the field.

Proceed to the core of your writing, speaking about the moments when the presence of nature in your life overpowered you, the thoughts and ideas this feeling sparkled in you, and the impact it has had on your way of thinking and living.

Remember that drawing unexpected parallels is a mark of genius. How about you compare natural phenomena to the way you express your own emotions? What in the way you express your feelings through beaming, smiling – or tears and yelling – can be paralleled to weather changes?

…Go full-on allegorical!

Writing about nature, we suggest that you pick such tried-and-true fellow-writers as Henry David Thoreau , who is commonly referred to as “the godfather of American nature writing,” as an environmental educator and a travel/naturalist writer Heidi Zillie put it, and a harbinger of all go-green enthusiasts.

Speaking of environmentalists: as far as the cornerstone idea of your essay is concerned, it would score you a lot of points to jump on the naturalist bandwagon and make a strong call to protect natural resources.

The use of nature essay examples

Depending on what your primary focus in the essay is, you should pick a specific set of arguments to back up the viewpoints you express in your writing.

While describing and processing the imprint that nature sceneries have had on you is not about debating, since it is a purely subjective description of your own emotions, you still can present your feelings as contradictory and conflicting.

For instance, speak about the impact a sunny spell has on you when you are happy as opposed to when you are depressed. By contrasting your own emotions, sunshine from a clear blue sky can make you feel worse – although it can do the opposite and pick you up.

Um… or not?

Provide arguments to support both stances and illustrate with an example from your life.

Don’t be afraid to channel your inner Hemingway; we mean, the topic is pretty corny in its nature – bad pun intended!

What to write in essays on human nature?

Essays on human nature open up new horizons still.

Here once again it would be great to make a reference to Thoreau who advocated for

“the importance of leaving nature undisturbed, the need for all humans to have contact with nature, and the relationship between humans and other living things”

Speak about the contradictory nature of humans: we are part of nature, but we constantly seek to outsmart it.

What do we get as benefits, and are they compared to the damage we do the environment in the process?

One thing is for sure, and it is that it is human nature to defy mother nature, and our own nature whilst at it.

For centuries, from the earliest forms of human life on Earth, man has been trying to interpret, explain and even control nature and its phenomena, it is not by chance that the first explanations of meteorological phenomena that is rain can already be found in the first primitive men.

The wind, the sun, the snow, which, however, lacking any logical or scientific connection , gave an answer through the omnipotent presence of gods who controlled these temporal impacts.

But not only that, being peoples who based their entire survival on agriculture, they introduced the first songs and dances of the rain, of the sun, and in doing so they were convinced that the gods could hear them and that they could control and “send” what could be used to harvest to be prosperous.

nature vs nurture essay hook

Essays on nature vs. nurture

Merriam-Webster defines nurture as

– as opposed to those predetermined by genes, or nature.

The debates about to what extension we are influenced by our genetics that is nature, and to what – by environmental factors.

The supporters of the “nature” camp study the behavioral development in twins to prove their point, and we suggest you get the most out of citing some of them.

On the other side of the equation, scientists prove that there is a link between the events in our lives and our bodily functions; some events or actions can actually make us pass on genes to our offspring, like for instance substance abusing or smoking.

A study like this one under the supervision of Dr. Linda J. Luecken proves some meaningful connections between our biography facts and health condition.

Nature vs. nurture essay topics

Here are some of the most fruitful and inspiring topics for an essay on nature versus nurture you can dig into because every essay topic needs to be narrowed down for you to be able to make a clear and logical presentation of your standpoint:

  • Nature vs. Nurture In Personal Development.
  • Nature Vs. Nurture In Children.
  • The Nurture Assumption.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: From Elizabethan Times Till Now.
  • Frankenstein: Nature vs. Nurture.
  • Nature vs. Nurture Debate.
  • Nature vs. Nurture In Medicine.
  • Intelligence Quotient.
  • Nature vs. Nurture From A Psychological Standpoint.
  • Human Nature.
  • Obligate vs. Facultative Adaptations.
  • Social Pre-Wiring.
  • Heritability Of Intelligence.
  • Nature vs. Nurture in Genomics.
  • Personality Traits: Nature Or Nurture?
  • The Fallacy Of Nature vs. Nurture.
  • Darwinian Ethics In Nature Vs. Nurture Debate.
  • Biological Determinism.
  • Stability And Change In Nature Vs. Nurture Discourse.
  • The Nature And Nurture Of Genius.

Bottom line

Science is progressing with increasingly surprising innovations and technologies day by day, but people in some way continue to not fully grasp the benefits nature offers.

Exemplary is the case of houses built at the foot of Vesuvius, an area considered to be at risk of eruptions.

There are laws that prevent building in those areas, but at the same time in those areas, you always see more architectures, houses, and buildings that endanger human life.

Then the question arises of who is to blame in the end, and the necessary answer is that man, as in many things, is the main cause of own flaws!

…You get the drift?

Got questions or feel a bit lost? You don’t have to do this on your own; there is expertly help to get you all set for a maximal educational outcome!

Speaking of that… How about trying an expert help right now? Any topic, tightest deadline, complete safety! Click the button below to save your evening!

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  • Nature vs Nurture Essay

Writing that nature VS nurture essay

The main difference between nature and nurture types of character-forming is the source of influences, nature - genetic or hereditary, nurture - environmental. An example of the debate could be whether obesity is passed genetically from parent to child or promoted by society.

Table of contents

What is nature vs. nurture, taking a stand (or not), writing the nature vs. nurture essay.

To define nature vs. nurture, both medical scientists and psychologists must be involved. It involves a debate, actually, related to the influence of heredity and environmental experiences on the ultimate adult personality that one has. But it can also go beyond personality and behaviors. For example, suppose, through heredity, an individual may have certain physical characteristics. But, because of malnutrition or a contracted disease, those characteristics are not as heredity would have programmed them. The nature vs. nature argument generally revolves around psychological characteristics , however.

Nature vs Nurture essay infographic

Sample Nature vs Nurture Essay


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In this great debate, there are those who state that nature is predominant and those who state that upbringing and environment are . There is also a relative middle ground, known as epigenetics that attempts to reconcile the two. Basically, it argues that environmental factors can turn genes on or off or otherwise modify them. Thus, the genetic predisposition toward addiction can be modified (or even turned off) by upbringing and environment.

Best nature vs nurture essay topics

  • Nature vs. nurture and criminal behavior
  • Nature vs. nurture and addiction
  • Nature vs. nurture and intelligence
  • The role of epigenetics in the nature vs. nurture debate
  • Nature vs. nurture in gender identification/homosexuality

Your essay or paper format is no different than that of any other essay or paper. You will begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement, body paragraphs which all include points related to that thesis and a conclusion that wraps up your points and perhaps points the reader in new directions for discussion or research.

Prior to writing your essay, you will want to take a look at some examples of scholarly essays and papers on the subject.

It’s an interesting and evolving topic, this debate between nature and nurture. And writing an essay on the subject can be quite enlightening.

External links

  • Levitt M. Perceptions of nature, nurture and behaviour.  Life Sciences, Society and Policy . 2013;9(1). doi:10.1186/2195-7819-9-13
  • Mcleod S. Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology. Published February 5, 2007.
  • Francis D. Beyond Nature vs. Nurture. The Scientist Magazine®. Published October 2011. Accessed November 20, 2019.
  • Nature Versus Nurture: How Are Our Personalities Formed? ThoughtCo. Published 2019.
  • Nature vs Nurture - The Debate Examined - Difference and Comparison | Diffen. Published 2012.

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nature vs nurture essay hook

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  1. Nature Vs Nurture

    Nature Vs Nurture - 561 Words | Essay Example > Free Essays > Psychology > Behavior Nature Vs Nurture Essay Exclusively available on IvyPanda Updated: Oct 29th, 2023 Nature is the influence of genetics or hereditary factors in determining the individual's behavior.

  2. 21 Nature vs Nurture Examples (2024)

    Buheji (2018) states that: "in the "nature vs. nurture" debate, nature refers to an individual's innate qualities (nativism)" (p. 221). This includes physical characteristics such as eye color, facial features, personality traits, and behavioral tendencies. Genes determine the unique physical characteristics of each individual while ...

  3. The Nature vs Nurture Debate: [Essay Example], 603 words

    Published: Jan 29, 2024 Table of contents The nature vs nurture debate has long been an ongoing discussion in psychology as to which factors have a greater impact on human development, whether it is genetic factors or environmental factors.

  4. Nature vs. Nurture: Genetic and Environmental Influences

    Nature refers to how genetics influence an individual's personality, whereas nurture refers to how their environment (including relationships and experiences) impacts their development. Whether nature or nurture plays a bigger role in personality and development is one of the oldest philosophical debates within the field of psychology .

  5. 8 Nature vs. Nurture Articles to Support Your Persuasive Essay

    Pro-Nature Article 1: Nature vs. Nurture: New Science Stirs Debate This article, and its related video, discusses how biology and environment interact with each other to help influence a person's development. It divides people into two categories-orchids and dandelions.

  6. Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology

    The nature vs. nurture debate in psychology concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits.

  7. Nature vs. Nurture: Meaning, Examples, and Debate

    Nativism. Nature vs. nurture is an age-old debate about whether genetics (nature) plays a bigger role in determining a person's characteristics than lived experience and environmental factors (nurture). The term "nature vs. nature" was coined by English naturalist Charles Darwin's younger half-cousin, anthropologist Francis Galton, around 1875.

  8. Nature Vs Nurture Essay for Students and Children

    A1. Nurture means the way a person grooms himself. This is done in order to achieve success. Nurturing is essential in a person's life because it can be a way a person can cross the barrier and do something great. Moreover nurture also means the mentoring and care a person is getting in an environment. Q2.

  9. Nature and Nurture as an Enduring Tension in the History of Psychology

    The "Middle Ground" Perspective on Nature-Nurture. Twenty-first-century psychology textbooks often state that the nature-nurture debates have been resolved, and the tension relaxed, because we have moved on from emphasizing nature or nurture to appreciating that development necessarily involves both nature and nurture. In this middle-ground position, one asks how nature and nurture ...

  10. Nature Vs Nurture Essay: A Guide And Introduction

    Some believe that the nature and pre-wiring of a person's body plays a major role in determining their physical and behavioural attributes, whereas some say that the genes and inheritance of a person has a lesser influence and that their choices and past experiences: voluntary or involuntary have a major part in deciding a person's physical and ...

  11. Top 50+ Nature Vs Nurture Essay Topics and Examples

    The nature vs nurture essay first appears to be simple. But a narrow perspective on the issue might cost you points, so presenting a whole picture of the controversy is critical. Here are a few more topics you can follow as nature vs nurture essay examples — An overview and examination of the effects of nurture and nature on child development.

  12. Nature vs. Nurture: The Enduring Debate in Human Behavior

    Here, nature refers to one's genetic characteristics and biological traits. Nurture, in contrast, implies various social factors - experience, environment, learning, and communication. Such theories as social learning demonstrate the role of nurture in establishing human character and changing it under the influence of one's surroundings.

  13. (PDF) Nature Versus Nurture: The Timeless Debate

    The basis of the nature versus nurture debate dates back to 500 B.C., when Hippocrates and Aristotle were both searching for a way to explain human behavior and animation of the body.

  14. Nature vs. Nurture

    The expression "nature vs. nurture" describes the question of how much a person's characteristics are formed by either "nature" or "nurture." "Nature" means innate biological factors...

  15. Skinner and Chomsky on Nature vs. Nurture

    The connection between language and cognition determines the quality of child development, proving the worth of the chosen theories. The analysis of the nurture and nature characteristics through Skinner's and Chomsky's ideas allows understanding of the specifics of cognitive development in Genie's example. Cut 15% OFF your first order.

  16. One-And-Done Guide To A-Grade Worthy Essays On Nature

    Essays on nature vs. nurture. Merriam-Webster defines nurture as. "the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism.". - as opposed to those predetermined by genes, or nature. The debates about to what extension we are influenced by our genetics that is nature, and to what - by ...

  17. Writing that nature VS nurture essay

    To define nature vs. nurture, both medical scientists and psychologists must be involved. It involves a debate, actually, related to the influence of heredity and environmental experiences on the ultimate adult personality that one has. But it can also go beyond personality and behaviors. For example, suppose, through heredity, an individual ...

  18. Free Nature vs Nurture Essay Example

    Introduction The nature versus nurture debate has existed for thousands of years. Although the phrase was coined in 1869 by Francis Galton, an English polymath, humans have wondered what determined a person's behavior and actions.

  19. Roles of Nature and Nurture in Childhood Obesity

    The one side is nature in which we can look towards children's specific genetic makeup, predetermined physiological range, genetic alterations, and advantageous gene selection to help explain childhood obesity. The other side is nurture in which we can look towards children's physical inactivity, sociodemographic features, and their diet to ...

  20. Nature Vs Nurture Essay Hook

    Nature Vs Nurture Essay Hook. We suggest our customers use the original top-level work we provide as a study aid and not as final papers to be submitted in class. Order your custom work and get straight A's. Check your email for notifications. Once your essay is complete, double-check it to see if it falls under your expectations and if ...

  21. Nature Vs Nurture Essay Hook

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