The Effects Of Nurture On Human Development

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In psychology, it has been long debated whether nature or nurture influence human behaviours more extensively. This has captured the interest of many psychologists as determining an answer can improve society. For instance, if it is proven that nurture significantly impacts human development greater than nature, children can be nurtured into abstaining from violence and drugs, resulting in a decrease of crime in society. Nurture refers to environmental factors, and thus the experiences and upbringing of people are studied to see how it affects human development. Jane Elliott’s and Philip Zimbardo’s experiments, and Genie are all exceptional examples of how nurture influences human behaviour and even physique. Conversely, nature refers to the…show more content…
There are also many statistics on genetically heritable traits that further support the nature perspective. By examining these experiments and studies, a possible answer can be reached. Jane Elliott’s exercise consisted of her third grade classroom, segregated into the blue eyed group and the brown eyed group. Elliott then established that the blue eyed group was more superior, stating that “the blue eyed people are the better people” and prohibited brown eyed people from playing with the blue eyed group (McDonald). Brown eyed people immediately felt angry and saddened whereas the blue eyed people felt delighted and arrogant (McDonald); by creating a superior and inferior relationship, the behaviors of the whole class changed immediately. Although some may argue that because they are children, they are easier to manipulate and influence, there is a similar experiment done on twenty four male, college students considered ‘normal’. In the Zimbardo Prison Study, the twenty four subjects were separated into two groups, prisoners and guards, and placed in a mock prison (McLeod). Shortly after the study began, the subjects became immersed in their roles as guards and prisoners. Guards,…show more content…
For example, it has been noted that genetics can possibly be influenced by its environment. According to Dr. Hager, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, “mothers could pass on information to their offspring about the environment in which they will be growing up, such as availability of resources. Thus, young may be better adapted to the environment when they know what to expect,” (“Nurture has greater effect than nature”). For instance, in WWII, mothers who experienced food deprivation during pregnancy had children who were more susceptible to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (Paul). This is due to the body adjusting itself to conserve energy for the expected barren environment when born. However, after WWII, the environment was abundant, unlike what a child’s body expected, and thus its ability to conserve food became a disadvantage. The child’s experiences in utero greatly affected how they developed. Another compelling case would be epigenetics. Epigenetics is a term describing any processes “that alters gene activity without changing the DNA sequence,” (Weinhold). In epigenetic studies, it has been noted that younger twins that share the same lifestyle have similar DNA patterns (Weinhold). However, older twins who spent less time with each other and possess different lifestyles have distinct DNA patterns, indicating that it is their environment that changed their

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