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Influences of Nature and Nurture Essay

Heredity and environmental influences have been discussed by researchers as how much nature and nurture can affect the baby’s development for centuries. John Locke (1700) “rejected” that babies were miniatures of adults and he affirmed that baby’s mind is a “blank slate”. Also, he believed that our knowledge came to us by our senses (Interaction between nature and nurture, p. 10). As Charles Darwin (1859) says in the “Theory of Evolution”, the development of behaviour is heredity.

According to what he said, most of our personal characteristics are determined by our genetic structure, which means our genes decide our sex, colour of skin, eyes and hair and also our body size, everything inherited from our ancestors. The embryo starts to develop when it is inside its mother’s body yet, and it happens according to some natural behaviour, such as moving, turning and kicking and then, when we born, the motor development also depends to the genetic influence, as seen in all children, they all have the same sequence of motor behaviours, which has been inherited genetically.

These behaviours consists in rolling over, sitting, stand up, crawling and walking. Meanwhile, children go through the sequence of motor behaviours at different rates, it depends how do they are influenced environmentally (Interaction between nature and nurture, p11). Williams James (1960) concluded that babies come to the world as a “buzzing”, blooming confusion” (Capacities of the newborn, p12), but nowadays studies have shown that babies come to the world prepared to learn about everything, which means they are born with all the requirements and tools required by the external world, necessary for receiving external information.

For example, the babies’ vision is not good when they birth, it starts to improve when they are six months old and then becomes perfect as an adult within two years. In fact, if they find something difficult, they pause and they are very attracted to faces too. Research has shown that babies like faces because of the curved lines, high contrast, movements, etc.

Also, they have proved as well that after two months old, babies start to look into the people eyes, nose and mouth ( Hait, Bergman, & Moore, 1997). However, John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner (1930) concluded that human nature is malleable, which means that child can be transformed into any kind of adult, regardless of his or her heredity. Watson said that he could bring any child up in, conducting them to be any type of specialist that he wants.

In addition, psychologists also believe that nurture can influence the children’s development as well as psychiatric illnesses can be influenced by both genetic and environmental determinants. Indeed, the maturational process can be interfered if the mother contracts some types of illnesses during the first three months of gestation or using drugs in the same period, babies may be born with physical problems.

On the other hand, environmental influences are really important for development’s behaviours. Studies have shown that some practices or simulation can accelerate the process of behaviours. Exemplifying, a group of babies who were given practice in the first two months of life began walking five to seven weeks earlier than others and babies who had more attention from adults, start talking much earlier than those who not have enough interactive (kagan, i979).

Curiously, babies can hear, taste and smell from their birth, distinguishing and selecting what they prefer for themselves and then, after six months, they start to put in practice what they have learned previously. In conclusion, nature and nurture are both indispensable for children’s development behaviours. This combination will determine the person’s personality later. References: * Nolen-Hoeksema S. (1996) Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology. London: Cengage Learning; * (Kagan, 1979 in Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996).


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