The Nature and Nurture of Child Development

The concept of nature vs nurture has been around since the 80s and was created by a gentleman named Francis Galton. Nature states that DNA and genetics will determine what kind of personality a person may have. Whereas the nurture side would say we are born with our minds as a blank slate. In my opinion I agree more with nature because we do learn a lot of what we know from looking at someone in our past. The pros and cons of nature vs nurture explore the controversary between what our physical genetics are and our thought process of behavior.

I am going to explain how intelligence and personality differ between nature and nurture. The overall I’m hoping will come across as leaning more toward the nature side.

Nature states that DNA and Genetics define who we are as humans. “DNA would say that a parent’s child will look a lot like them but not identical.” (king, Laura 2017) Children will always get some of their genes from parents like hair, eyes, and the nose.

For example: “But where did you get your thrill-seeking personality and talent for singing? Did you learn these from your parents or was it predetermined by your genes?” powell, k. (2017, November 27) While it’s clear that physical characteristics are hereditary, the genetic waters get a bit misleading when it comes to an individual’s behavior, intelligence, and personality.” On the other hand of the spectrum people would argue that kids who grew up in the house could have more personality traits from their parents.

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You would think that Intelligence plays a huge role in nature because you would look to their parents to see where they get their intelligence. Some people might argue that a child’s intelligence would stem from their parents if they grew up in the house. This study shows that it plays a big part in how you develop “Research on intelligence has moved beyond the nature-versus-nurture issue to investigate how rather than how much. My team, for example, has discovered that the genetic influence on IQ becomes more pronounced during development.” (Plomin, Robert ,2009) What we learn as children sticks with us for a lifetime but we always learn more as we explore the world.

“When your looking at personality as far as nature goes you might see that the person suffers from shyness or aggression that cannot be explained because neither of that child’s parents exhibited that trait.” (King, Laura 2017) One example I have “my best friends personality is very introverted and I know it was from how she was hurt but not from her parents she let it determine her personality for a long time and rule her life.” (Mummer, Megan) Now I would also love to tell you that recently she turned it around for the better and is doing very well.

Also, the people that believe that genetics play a role in homosexuality would assume that the child would be homosexual, because of the parents are. Sometimes if a child is raised by homosexual parents then maybe you could say that they may feel obligated to be the same. But in my opinion even if your raised that way you always have a choice to change how your living.

Now, that I have explained why I support nature I will tell you why I oppose nurture. The “notion that our minds as a blank slate effect our personality” (King, Laura 2017), I do not believe in. John Locke believed that all of our experiences would be affected by things we learned and not from our genes at all. He believed that we could affected by anything at any time which I partially agree with but I do not believe that “just anything” will affect a person.

Next, just like if you looked at intelligence for nurture, you would assume that their life experiences would developed their brains overtime. For example, “a researcher would look at their education background to see how they succeeded through teaching”?, they would assume that if the child payed attention in their classes that they would do well in their life. This would also state that if you looked at the child and their parents you would not see similarities between them.

In most cases you would be able to see personality traits between a parent in a child. This states that they would not get one trait from their parents making them a blank slate. Nurture says that they would develop their personality from going out, hearing, and seeing but not being told what’s right or wrong by word of mouth by their parents. I feel like if I had no personality from my parents I would not be nice or as outgoing as I am today. My parents taught me a lot but, I also realize that I definitely did learn a lot on my own.

I also wanted to share with you a piece of my childhood in comparison to my adult hood. I feel that my personality when I was younger was very shy and I did not want to talk to people or be interactive to make friends. I was open for anyone to happen to take a shot at my personality and now that I look back I realize that was horrible. As I got older my parents did teach me to overcome different situations to help me. Now that I’m an adult I feel that I have the ability to interact and engage with anyone because of what I learned from my parents. I learned that I went through a lot of learning curves and needed to learn a little slower then other kids to know what I was being taught. But it has made me very successful in the long run. As an adult I feel that I have learned to pick things up fairly quickly after learning and can read something and understand exactly what the meaning would be.

For example, in today’s society hardly anyone accepts both these extremes. There are many facts on both sides so it is hard to say why nature is so much different then nurture. In an article, this is said “so instead of asking whether child development is down to nature or nurture the question has been reformulated to how much?”. (McLeod, Saul 2015) Francis Galton felt that the intellectual ability was inherited and learned which caused people to question which side they would be on. This type of view has caused a lot of research into the type of intelligence testing we do on any given person.

The nature versus nurture debate has been controversial for many years. The debate has always been based on the way we might have been raised or the environment we were raised in. many scientists have come up with millions of solutions to this debate but people still go on discussing it. This topic discusses the differences in physical and behavioral traits in people over time. Most people would belief that nature effects a person abilities and traits while the nurture side of it is their maturity and knowledge. The scientist will debate over this for times to come and still may never come to a conclusion about the debate between nature and nurture.

In conclusion, we as people may never know how nature and nurture will affect our future. Scientist however will always see differences in these categories. I would stick by my decision of being more toward nature even if the statists of the information changed over time. Comparing personality and intelligence may have small differences but after doing this research I see now that there are a lot of ways that they are different. Knowing that I was able to make a personal connection to what happen to my friend and nature helped me understand why I could not do more to help her with it. I do believe that the pros and cons might be equal between the two types in the end. Even though scientists have come to great and credible conclusions there is still no official conclusion to which it is nature or nurture.


  1. ORIGINS. (2018). Nature vs Nurture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 May 2018].
  2. Your Dictionary. (2018). Nature vs. Nurture Examples. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 May 2018].
  3. powell, k. (2017, November 27). nature vs nurture. Retrieved from Intelligence: More Nature Than Nurture? (2007, October 17). Retrieved May 1, 2018, from
  4. Plomin, R. (2013, December 30). The Nature of Intelligence. Retrieved from
  5. King, L. A. (2017). The science of psychology: An appreciative view. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

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The Nature and Nurture of Child Development. (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from

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