Nature and Nurture in Personal Development

 

Nature vs Nurture and its influence on personal life is a study that has had heavy and conclusive debates in the psychology field. The two have a correlation and effects on personal growth. Nature and nurture shape all aspects of human development. People and the experiences they share would not be the same without nature. Perennial controversies have on many occasions tended to evoke rancor amidst the concerns of biomedical scientists concerning nature and nurture roles and their influence on human development. The concept of genetic determination has been viewed widely as the primary mechanism that is responsible for determining and controlling the behavioral and physical traits of a person. Genetic determination mostly relates to the biological paternal and maternal components that collectively combine and influence the character and behavior of a person and form their biological destiny. Behavior, ideas, and feelings are innate and are learned from the various experiences we go through. Nature refers to all the hereditary factors that include genes and how they combine to influence our personal development. It includes their influence on our appearances as well as a person’s personality characteristics. On the other hand, nurture mainly refers to the environmental and social variables and how they influence personal development. It includes the persons we interact with, the childhood experiences and how we were brought up, the culture and the relationships we have in the society. 

Debates around human development in the field of psychology often focus on one factor against the other and mainly on how genetics and the biological factors influence our personality. The behaviorism component often debates on how a person’s behavior is affected by the environment. Historical debates on nature versus nurture took a one-sided approach depending on the school of thought. This paper will debate and articulate the similarities and differences between upbringing and quality and their influence on human development. The study will also explore the effects of nature and nurture on mental health and how they are used in therapies aimed at alleviating mental ill-health issues. It will also be well illustrated through the use of research study examples on the topic of discussion. The paper will utilize research journals and material from scholars and exploit their thoughts, ideas, and illustrations to explore the subject in detail. 

Nature vs Nurture Through Theories 

Ancient philosophers who include Plato have the notion that behavior and other personal characteristics are inborn however, some character traits are learned from the environment through interaction.  The Nativists, on the other hand, argue that the behavior and characteristics associated with it are a result of things that are inherited. It implied that persons could inherit positive and negative reactions. It implies that as people evolve, they are likely to adopt practices that are more distinct from their predecessors. The biological components that include the genetic traits that are inherited from parents have a significant and different influence on the person. Our experiences have a significant role in determining our personal development. The empiricist believes that most of the characters and behavior traits are acquired through a process of learning. Like behaviorists, the school of thought holds the view that ethics and actions are due to conditioning. According to this thought, persons can perform or be what they want if they are trained and conditioned and it pays no regard to a person’s genetic background. 

Secondly, the nurture theory holds the view that the influence of genetics over the traits that are considered to be abstract does exist. However, environmental factors hold the ideal origin and control of a person’s behavior. Environmental factors could include conditioning of a person by inducement to produce a new response, and that responds appropriately to a particular context or need. It may also be in the form of temptation and conditioning for a behavior to be altered mainly in cases where the action being portrayed is unlikely. In his argument, John Watson identifies environmental factors as the principal and dominant contributing influence on human behavior and characteristics. He argues that he could be able to train any child randomly chosen from a group to be what he intends them to be. He also contends that despite fraternal twins having similarities in characteristics, it is possible to have them exhibit different behaviors based on the environmental conditions they are raised in. From his argument, we can, therefore, conclude that environmental conditions have a significant influence on personal behavior as it plays a crucial role in shaping up a person’s development stages. 

People usually behave in a manner that depicts how they were socialized and the persons they interacted with. The societal values and norms that people ascribe to play a significant role in shaping the behavior of a person. The standards and rules are intended to condition a person to conform to a way of action or depict a character that is acceptable to that particular society. These rules and norms do differ and are specific to specific communities based on their intentions and how they are perceived and the cultural values and customs. It is heavily illustrated through persons who have committed a crime and are sentenced to serve a jail term. The jail term is aimed at conditioning their behavior to suit and strictly adhere to the accepted norms of a particular society. The person thus learns the new response from a new environment (Goetzel, 2018). It is a perfect illustration that behavior is acquired and can be modified to suit a particular function or situation. 

Nurture Vs Nurture and its Influence on Substance Abuse and Depression

Genetics have a specific authority in the development of cognitive abilities as revealed by studies conducted on twins who were brought up in different environments. The twins exhibited similar cognitive abilities levels despite the different environmental setup in which they were raised. Similarly, studies on cognitive ability levels of adopted children realized that they still did not have a similar IQ as the parents who raised them or the children of the parents they grew up with. It is noticed in companies when managers and product manufacturers end to improve the living and working conditions of their workers with the view that this will stimulate their intelligence and enhance production levels as well as efficiency.

In his study, Kinderman found out that most of the financial implications related to addressing mental illnesses were mostly due to the purchase of drugs. Persons paid the least attention to the identification of the causal factors and instead resolved to treat a symptom of a more serious issue. Some mental ill health issues are as a result of continual substance abuse like bhang. Youth are the most affected as they learn to abuse drugs from their peers and friends. They also have little or no knowledge of the effects the drugs have on their lives and mental health in particular. The over-consumption of bhang is believed to have devastating consequences to the brain and eventually permanently affect its normal functioning. Studies indicate that twenty-five percent of the reported mental illness cases among the youth is because of marihuana abuse (Kinderman, 2013). It could be well concluded that mental illness is highly influenced by nurture rather than nature. 

Nature and nurture have an influence on the use of drug use. Nature through the environmental conditions will dictate the use of a particular drug that would either make you feel better in the given environment. It could be due to some illness or condition that your body has to deal with. A person’s body may be reacting to a particular environmental condition like the cold that forces you to take a drug for it to function normally. On the other hand nurture conditions like peer group influence could contribute significantly to the use of particular drugs. It provides social conditions that a person has to perform to fit effectively in a particular click of friends (Schultz, 2016). The peer forces are a result of nurture that is a result of the environmental condition or situation a person finds themselves in. 

Depression and anxiety in many cases are as a result of unresolved issues that insert pressure in the mind. Depression is controlled both by nature and nurture as nature mainly influences the way things are to be whereas nurture is the strength components that aid in the resolution of disturbing situations. Nurture could be in terms of money, education, social support system and material things among others. Nature involves the superior beings and powers that persons have limited control in. signs of depression and anxiety are often manifested in the physical components but mainly affect the psychological components. The pressure exerted on the psychological aspects of the body affects the physical aspect of the body. Natural aspects that include cultivated drugs and nurture that include finances and the social components of the society could also cause depression and anxiety. 

 

Contrary, various studies were conducted on twins who have been separated after birth and have realized the importance of genetics in the development of a person and aspects of some characteristics. It includes sexual orientation as well as the religiosity of a particular person. The studies also revealed that the twins had a closer relationship to the twin than to those other persons they related with. Genetics thus plays a significant role in personality development. The studies indicate that the environment has minimal effect on the twins though it had an impact on their lives. 

 

Nature in association with the genetic disposition has been identified to be an essential factor in the development of a person’s mental health. Genetics are associated with hereditary diseases that include schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar. Bipolar is more likely to be inherited genetically if the family has a history of the condition. The development of mental illness like depression, anxiety, drug and substance abuse is however not entirely dependent on genetics. It is evident from research on identical twins that if one has schizophrenia, then the probability of the other twin getting or acquiring the condition is 50%. Studies have also revealed that James Fallon who during his research discovered was a psychopath says that the positive and nurturing environment that he grew up in enabled him to become a responsible and successful adult. The nurturing environment provided him with an opportunity that did not allow him to develop into a psychopath fully. 

In his study, James Fallon identified that therapy could be used as a remedy to identify stress causal factors and thus be able to arrest the situation before the setting in of mental illness. It can be applied through the use of a nature-based or nurture based approach at levels that are either biological or genetic. The nurture-based procedures are more applicable in addressing mental illness problems, which are as a result of beliefs and behavior. Therapy approaches to dealing with mental illness are heavily borrowed from the nurture and nature-based philosophies. They often seek to address the problems associated with the interaction between nature and nurture. The treatment to treat mental health-related issues using medication usually applies the nature-based approach whereas behavioral approach that is mainly applicable to address mental health issues related to how the person was brought up applies mostly the nurture-based approach. Cognitive psychological therapies, on the other hand, uses both nature-based and the nurture-based procedures. It, however, is dependent on particular therapists as some tend to apply approaches that are favorable to their belief and ideal practices. It is arrived at based on many factors that include the interaction of nature and nurture. 

It is also worth mentioning that most mental illness-related issues like depression, anxiety and drug and substance abuse, are a result of life events during childhood and adulthood. Studies placed genetics as second in ranking as the least cause of mental ill-health. Social inclusion and demographic factors were also ranked as possible causes of mental health issues.

Similarly, addiction in persons is not entirely related to genetics. These are learned behaviors that people acquire or are conditioned to as they grow up. It could be through the wrong association for persons who have acquired sinful, addictive habits and others could be as a result of denial and using the addictive habit to escape a condition that has presented itself. Alcohol addiction is mainly as a result of continual exposure to the product and not entirely to be related to genetic compositions. Recent studies have proved that families with a history of members having mental problems are not a genetic predictor of mental illness. It firmly holds to the foundation that nurture has a significant role in a person developing mental health-related issues. It is for this reason that counseling psychologists can use a variety of techniques to be able to avert future mental health. Persons, who exhibit depression symptoms are more likely to develop the mental illness if the stress contributing factors are not eliminated. 

Additionally, substance abuse is commonly associated with behavioral disorders that have a nurture foundation. Substance abuse could be a result of depression, trauma during delivery and childhood, loss of a loved parent and sexual or physical abuse. Such behaviors can activate the progression of mental illness if not detected at an early age or time. According to the American Institute of Stress (2017), about 30% of college students report suffering from strong anxiety caused by the overwhelming pressure in class and beyond. Some mention that they get lost in all the research they have to make for argumentative and other essays. Others find some topics not related to their discipline or simply disturbing. For someone, a necessity to debate in class is too scary. The problem often depends on personality. If your paper stresses you too much, do something, don’t get frustrated. Formulate your request online “someone write my essay” and receive expert paper writing help fast and customized just for you. It is better to pay for your papers online than to move from anxiety episodes to a full-range depression. 

Interaction of Nature and Nurture

Nature and nurture too many current scientists are inseparable as they hold to the view that environmental inputs are necessary to ignite the genetic compositions. The development of the ability to see is a perfect example hat behavioral components are essential in the necessitation of genetic functions. The current environmental context dictates and conditions a person to behave in a particular way. The development of regular sight is highly dependent on the exposure of a person to a visual stimulus. A person could be born with good eyesight but through association and habits be exposed to conditions that will damage his vision and render him or her visually impaired. It could be through disease or occupational accidents. However, biological genes often neglect some of the environmental stimuli. It is possible for instance for some lifelong smokers to never experience life-threatening illnesses as a result of the smoking behavior. It may be due to their genes having a stronger resistance towards the diseases. Environmental toxins could alter some genetic expressions. A child could go to school with limited knowledge of designing a motor vehicle engine but through exposure and continuous practice, it ends up developing a motor vehicle engine. It illustrates that genetics plays a little effect on the acquisition and learning of behavior and its characteristics. It is also worth realizing that some behaviors believed to have a connection with genetic composition have not been discovered to date. 

Conclusion

The paper explored the similarities and differences between nurture and nature and their influence on human development. Additionally, the paper investigated the effects of nature and nurture on mental health and how they are used in therapies aimed at alleviating mental ill-health issues.  Nature refers to all the hereditary factors that include genes and how they combine to influence our personal development. It includes their influence on our appearances as well as a person’s personality characteristics. On the other hand, nurture mainly refers to the environmental and social variables and how they influence personal development.  It is clear from the findings that nature and nurture shape all aspects of human development. The biological components that include the genetic traits that are acquired from parents have a significant and different influence on the person. The societal values and norms that people ascribe to play a significant role in shaping personal behavior. The standards and rules are intended to condition a person to conform to a way of practice or depict a character that is acceptable to that particular society. These rules and norms do differ and are specific to specific communities based on their intentions and how they are perceived and the cultural values and customs. The nurturing environment provided him with an opportunity that did not allow him to develop into a psychopath fully. Similarly, addiction in persons is not entirely related to genetics. These are learned behaviors that people acquire or are conditioned to as they grow up. People learn and adapt behavior from the environment they exist in. The current environmental context dictates and conditions a person to behave in a particular way. Inherited genes strongly influence mental capabilities, and behavior only is applied to modify it to suit specific intentions or needs. Intelligence can be enhanced by the introduction of a simulating behavior that tends to provide rewards for intelligence levels that are perceived as high. Genetics thus plays a significant role in personality development. The studies indicate that the environment has minimal effect on the twins though it had an impact on their lives. Nature in association with the genetic disposition is identified as an essential factor in the development of a person’s mental health. 

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