Nature vs. Nurture: What is Responsible for Our Behavior?

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What shapes human behavior and psychological makeup? Is it genetics, or one's environment? This is the Nature vs. Nurture "debate" that has been such a key idea in psychology. What is the reason for human actions? Does someone become a criminal because they were raised to, or were they inherently born to become one? The answer is both. The Nature vs. Nurture debate is essentially dead, because psychologists have identified both elements to be important in shaping human behavior. For example, I am not a criminal, nor have ever seriously considered committing a crime. Is that because I was born to resist criminal actions, or was it due to the way my parents raised me? I would agree with most psychologists that both of those are reasons for my lack of criminality. Over the summer, I had a real dank part-time job of being a valet for important and ritzy events. I would park wealthy peoples' expensive cars for them. Very cool job. However, what is to prevent me from driving off in a $200,000 Bentley? I would attribute it to two causes: nature and nurture. Nurture because: Both my parents are hard-working and have taught me that stealing is wrong. Also, they have raised me in the Catholic faith, which teaches to "do right" and "thou shall not steal". Nevertheless, while I am sitting in an all leather, tinted windows, decked-out Bentley, I am thinking "Hell yea I want this car!" For a brief moment I think "what would happen if I was to drive off? I would have about a five hour head-start. I could drive to California and sell the car for thousands." But those thoughts are hollow. I would never actually steal the car. I would think that it is morally wrong and I was BORN with enough sense to realize this would not be a smart decision. Most people born with at least an average intelligence would realize the consequences of stealing a car. While I may be able to escape and even sell it, I would be a wanted criminal, and eventually would be caught and wind up in jail. Even if I was never caught, The money would eventually run out, then I would have no source of income opposed to much more income over my career if I continue with schooling. Intelligence is the genetic, nature reason. Environment is the Nurture Reason.
This theory (that behavior is caused by both Nature and Nurture) can be applied to every person. We already discussed the Bogle family in class. A family of criminals. All children are born with similar genetics and raised in an abusive environment. Another example is Adam Sandler's character in the movie Billy Madison. He is born to a wealthy family and has everything he could ever need. However, he did not even pass grade school. Why? Due to nature and nurture. He was not born with high intelligence, however he was still very capable of passing grade school. His environment also played a roll. He was brought up in a very wealthy family, where he was spoiled and did not have to do anything for himself. Both contribute to the way he is. Here is a link showing the previous statement:

After talking about Nature vs. Nurture in class, and doing further research I would still like to know more. Does one have a bigger impact than the other does in different aspects of behavior? Thumbnail image for bentley_continental-5938.jpg

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This page contains a single entry by mamro004 published on September 30, 2011 9:53 PM.

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