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Free Nature Nurture Essays and Papers - Free Essays, …
Today, the majority of experts believe that both nature and nurture influence behavior and development. However, the issue still rages on in many areas such as in the debate on the origins of homosexuality and . While few people take the extreme nativist or radical empiricist approach, researchers and experts still debate the degree to which biology and environment influence behavior.
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Throughout the , however, this debate has continued to stir up controversy. Eugenics, for example, was a movement heavily influenced by the nativist approach. Psychologist Francis Galton, a cousin of the naturalist Charles Darwin, coined both the terms nature versus nurture and eugenics and believed that intelligence was the result of genetics. Galton believed that intelligent individuals should be encouraged to marry and have many children, while less intelligent individuals should be discouraged from reproducing.
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An example of a nativist theory within psychology is Chomsky's concept of a language acquisition device (or LAD). According to this theory, all children are born with an instinctive mental capacity that allows them to both learn and produce language.
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A few examples of biologically determined characteristics (nature) include certain genetic diseases, eye color, hair color, and skin color. Other things like life expectancy and height have a strong biological component, but they are also influenced by environmental factors and lifestyle.
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For example, when a person achieves tremendous academic success, did they do so because they are genetically predisposed to be successful or is it a result of an enriched environment? If a man abuses his wife and kids, is it because he was born with violent tendencies or is it something he learned by observing his own parent's behavior?