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Heredity or environment?


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#1 VickyS

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:43

I've recently been given an English Research assignment on the topic 'which do you think has a greater effect on a person: heredity or environment?' and just wanted to know what the general conscenses are and possibly the reason for this judgement.


#2 Guest_ID2_*

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:51

. . . conscenses . . .

"conscenses"???

What the hell are they??

Perhaps you're asking what the consensus is?

How about giving us the benefit of your own opinion first, (and the reasons for this judgement), before we do your homework for you?
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#3 5Horizons

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:01

"conscenses"???

What the hell are they??

Perhaps you're asking what the consensus is?

How about giving us the benefit of your own opinion first, (and the reasons for this judgement), before we do your homework for you?
.

Whoa, calm down. No need to get fired up over a small spelling error!

#4 primexx

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:13

nature vs nurture. we're not even allowed to write on that for university papers, because it's too broad a topic to get anywhere within one paper. what the hell is your english teacher smoking?

anyways, the answer to your overly broad topic: it depends on the specific trait, some are nature, some are nurture.

#5 kaptain chump

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:22

The professors usually like it if you show how it is both nature and nurture. Neither nature or nurture can be proven to have a greater effect than the other on the development of a person.

Try to write your opinion and develop your idea in the paper to go towards a 'both and...' rather than any one correct answer.

Now that's out of the way: My opinion is that the greatest effect on human development would have to be nurture/environment.

#6 vetLaura

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:50

nature vs nurture. we're not even allowed to write on that for university papers, because it's too broad a topic to get anywhere within one paper. what the hell is your english teacher smoking?

anyways, the answer to your overly broad topic: it depends on the specific trait, some are nature, some are nurture.


That's what I was thinking, although I tend to favour the view that most things are a mix of both.

The professors usually like it if you show how it is both nature and nurture. Neither nature or nurture can be proven to have a greater effect than the other on the development of a person.

Try to write your opinion and develop your idea in the paper to go towards a 'both and...' rather than any one correct answer.

Now that's out of the way: My opinion is that the greatest effect on human development would have to be nurture/environment.


+1, although I'd add in empirical evidence from twin studies etc to back it up somewhat. When you get higher up in academia they don't usually care for your personal opinion.

#7 Keito

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:55

Well, it also depends on what you're talking about - if you're talking about let's say, delinquent behaviour, my personal opinion is nurture is a bigger factor than nature

however if you're talking about talent for sports or state of mind, it's not really easy to distinguish it, because there's just too many possibilities.

Besides, we basically don't know what half of our genome does

#8 ramesees

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:58

Yeah I would have to agree that its a mix of nature and nurture.

No two people are born the same, and even within the same family with supposedly the same influences and environment, two or more kids will turn out differently due to their inherent traits and also, what they choose to influence them from outside the environment.

A massive topic no doubt, however, one that can be argued multiple ways by lots of different people.

As others have said, what are you opinions Vikita ?

#9 OP VickyS

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:31

I actually thought, both have a considerable influence on any individual. It does however vary depending on what trait in particular is being considered. Food preferences seem to be more environment based and the passion to sing is more hereditary. The environment nurtures, teaches and develops who you are as a person, not your genes. Heredity on the other hand does not influence a person’s personality or mind frame. Although it does determine our traits, its full potential cannot be known if we’re not in our right environment, as depending on this we can work with or against our traits.

It can be argued another way, as in neither can be a major influence in a person’s life. I’ve heard of numerous cases where children have grown up in very disturbed environments (e.g. alcoholic parents, slums) and are now successful entrepreneurs of the most fastest-growing businesses in the world. On the other hand children that are given everything on a silver platter with dozens of opportunities have ended up as drug addicts and are thrown into cells for murder attempts and so forth. Just because our environment is negative or positive it does not determine if we will be good or bad or fail or succeed in life, every person is a unique individual capable of making their own decisions and to ultimately chose the course of their own life.

#10 vetLaura

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:31

I actually thought, both have a considerable influence on any individual. It does however vary depending on what trait in particular is being considered. Food preferences seem to be more environment based and the passion to sing is more hereditary. The environment nurtures, teaches and develops who you are as a person, not your genes. Heredity on the other hand does not influence a person’s personality or mind frame. Although it does determine our traits, its full potential cannot be known if we’re not in our right environment, as depending on this we can work with or against our traits.

It can be argued another way, as in neither can be a major influence in a person’s life. I’ve heard of numerous cases where children have grown up in very disturbed environments (e.g. alcoholic parents, slums) and are now successful entrepreneurs of the most fastest-growing businesses in the world. On the other hand children that are given everything on a silver platter with dozens of opportunities have ended up as drug addicts and are thrown into cells for murder attempts and so forth. Just because our environment is negative or positive it does not determine if we will be good or bad or fail or succeed in life, every person is a unique individual capable of making their own decisions and to ultimately chose the course of their own life.



The first time I met my father I was 19. The similarities were scary. I know we have the common factor of my mother (they did have a four year relationship in which to influence each other) but I am more like him than her in attitude to things. I'd say there was definately a genetic element to those personality traits. It would also explain why I'm so different to all of my (half) siblings, and why my parents siblings vary, despite similar upbringing.

I think our environment interacts with our genes in a very complicated way. A negative environment can bring out some ambition and desire for something better when you grow up. A positive environment can encourage any lazy traits. Ultimately I think parenting and school friends have a huge influence over how you see the world. I mean, being rich doesn't make you a good parent and I'm sure even a beaten up drug addict mother can still love her children.

#11 +Bryan R.

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:00

I know it's getting old to hear it, but everyone is most definitely different in, what seems to me, near infinite ways. In the case of twins, it matters somewhat that they are twins, merely by the shared genetics. But we are only human and not capable of molding these twins in the exact same manner. Imagine one day you are a parent of such twins. Both twins are hungry you start to feed one before the other - you are only human and cannot physically feed them both at the same time. The one twin that is left out has to decide how he/she is going to deal with the situation. One decision at an infant age can being to mold how we think for the rest of our lives. But it all starts with a choice of how we want to look at the world. This is one miniscule example. Imagine later in life when a parent has to deal with adolescence - driving, smoking, sex. Those are the things that mold a person and give them the strength to be successful or the incompetence to be a drug addict. We as humans are more evolved and spectacular in the way each of us has the ability to choose how to react to environmental stimuli and we are in control (partly) of how we develop.

Edited by lord_xenos, 15 March 2008 - 11:07.


#12 OP VickyS

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:17

The guideline for this paper was to specifically focus on one of the influences (nature or nurture). I, however, constantly seem to find, MAP points for both as, nurture shapes what nature endows. Its put me into some tough debating as I’m not sure which one would enable a stronger paper. I like the idea of incorporating the example on twins, which undoubtably would exemplify the influence of heredity. What possible sub-headings could I put for this?

An example of what I thought could be the starting point to further elaboration are mentioned below. This will also be the basis of my thesis statement, however I think they are a little too broad and am trying to further break them down into more manageable topics.

Heredity:

- Physical traits?

- Behavioural traits?

- Intellectual, personal qualities, emotional traits?

#13 +Bant

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:07

Heredity has a huge impact on the way an individual will be treated as they develop into a person. Physical appearance and initial temperament have a lot to do with the kind of nurturing an individual gets right out of the womb. An ugly or poor tempered baby gets less positive attention than a cute or bubbly baby. A child that didn't get enough stimulation as a baby may have trouble learning at an age appropriate rate as they grow older... This could end a thousand ways, but you see what I'm getting at.

Nurture shapes what nature endows, but nature shapes (to varying degrees) the kind/quality of nurturing an individual will get as they develop.

Edited by Bant, 17 March 2008 - 06:16.


#14 Brodel

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:02

nature vs nurture. we're not even allowed to write on that for university papers, because it's too broad a topic to get anywhere within one paper. what the hell is your english teacher smoking?

anyways, the answer to your overly broad topic: it depends on the specific trait, some are nature, some are nurture.


You could say that about any paper really though. Nature v Nurture is a pretty common psychological debate that you (or at least I was) are often asked to write about in A-Level Psychology using case studies etc. It's a broad subject yes, and I don't think the teacher is expecting you to come up with a difinitive answer, but you can make a good argument for either.

#15 Guest_ID2_*

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:26

. . . 'which do you think has a greater effect on a person: heredity or environment?' . . .

For an individual, heredity has much more effect than one's environment.
You'll always be the result of your heredity, i.e. homo sapiens, and no matter how much you change the environment, you'll never change yourself into an alligator, an ostrich, or a cockroach.

However, considering the longer term, the species, and thousands of generations, obviously the environment shapes the organism, and in this way one's heredity is the inheritance of the sum result of all the many small ways in which, over the millenia, each individual ancestor has changed in response to the environment and successfully passed those changes on to future generations, i.e. you.

So the answer to the question is that the question is misleading because, the effect heredity has on you, heredity, (i.e. what you inherit), is the result of the effects of environment.
Therefore you cannot separate heredity from environment and ask which has the most effect on a person without considering the huge environment component of heredity.

Also, depending on how far you want to go into this thing, you might research studies on the various abilities of individuals to respond with constructive behavioural change, in response to changes in environment, relative to the four broad I.Q. ranges. This correlates with higher organisms' greater adaptivity to change, relative to those with more primitive brains which rely more on instinct, (inherited).

But in any case, your answer might need to be structured around the answer to one simple question: - is your teacher a creationist?
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