Sociology- Nature Versus Nurture

1807 words 8 pages
Nature versus Nurture

The roles of nature (what we genetically inherit) and or nurture (what we learn) in making us what we are have long been argued. The idea that humans are determined by these two influences dates back to the ancient Greek philosopher Protagorus who in the fifth century BC compared physics (nature) and nomos (tradition). It is however difficult to unravel the separate influences of nature and nurture. If the children of musically talented parents are themselves musically talent, is it because of genetic inheritance (nature) or because of a musical environment at home where they grow up(nurture)? The nature versus nurture debate concentrates on the question of how far our behavior is determined by nature at birth or
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On the other hand, as the twentieth century began, the concept of instinct lost its strength. The idea that human behavior is determined by nurture or learning began to gain favor. For example Russian Psychologist Ivan Pavlov had shown that human beings like dogs can be trained or conditioned. American psychologist John Watson extended Pavlov’s experiment on dogs to human infants. For example Watson could make a little boy called Albert afraid of a white rat that had previously delighted him. He concluded that all emotions, and behaviors are learned through such associations and social environment make us who we are. He further added that learning by itself determines human personality. Although social scientists accepted the influence of biological factors they considered nurture to be more influence than heredity. Even the habits that seem very basic and essential to human nature also appear to depend on nurture i.e. socialization. Evidence of the far reaching significance of socialization comes both from case studies of children who are deprived from socialization and those rose in the mild. Since the fourteenth century there have been mor4e than 50 recorded cases of feral children (children supposedly raised by animals) one of the most famous is mild boy of Aveyron-Victor. In 1979 he was captured in the woods by hunter in Southern France. He was


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