Cognitive Development: Nature vs. Nurture

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kimcage15
Words 736
Pages 3
Cognitive Development: Nature vs. Nurture
PSYC 1000
Lifespan Development Paper
Capella University
February 2014

INTRODUCTION Cognitive development is an area of study in psychology and neuroscience that is focused on adolescence's development as it pertains to how they process information, their intellectual resources, sensory skills, language learning, and other characteristics of the development of their brain and thought processes in comparison to view of an adult(Coon et al., 2013). In other words, cognitive development is the materialization of the capability to reflect and comprehend. The main debate in cognitive development is nature versus nurture; this debate asks the question if cognitive development is primarily controlled by a person's inherent traits ("nature"), or as a result of their own personal happenings in life ("nurture") (Coon and Mitterer., 2013). Basically, do people act a certain way because of predisposed genetics, or because they were taught to act that way? Research has shown that the nature aspect of genetics is essential throughout psychology. Through different processes, scientists can isolate explicit genes although it has been demonstrated that it is tremendously hard to locate these genes; this is probably because a lot of the genes are complex and every one of them has an exceptionally small reaction. The study on nurture has shown that the environmental stimulus in behavior commonly makes kids within the same household different.
RELATED RESEARCH The review of the literature for this study focuses on two articles. According to the first article, Contemporary Research on Parenting: A Case For Nature and Nurture, (Collins et al., 2000), genetics is approximately less than fifty percent of the irregularity in the manner in which an adolescent behaves. It is a very important part in the most basic…...

Similar Documents

Nature vs Nurture

...Describe the basic elements of the nature-nurture controversy. The amount of influence that genes have on personality verses the influence of learning experiences is not only related to genetics but also psychology. The debate of nature- nurture controversy has been studied for over 130 years and is still being researched. “After studying many prominent English families, Galton concluded that intelligence is inherited- that nature, not nurture, is responsible for intelligence” (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2005, p. 278). Nature refers to an individual’s innate qualities. Genes is considered nature, the physical and personality traits determined by ones genes will always stay the same. The coding of genes determines an individual’s traits such as eye color, hair color, and height. Nurture refers to personal experiences. This refers to ones childhood and how they were raised. This debate will always be controversial. An individual’s traits are predetermined by their genes but life experiences are what shape a person. There have been many research studies completed regarding this debate with no conclusive results. Discuss what is controversial in the nature- nurture debate. Nature versus nurture is one of the most frequently debated issues among psychologists. The term was created by a British researcher Sir Francis Galton who studied the role of genes in intelligence. The debate is about the importance of an individual’s inherited qualities versus personal experiences in......

Words: 863 - Pages: 4

The Nature Versus Nurture of Cognitive Development

...The Nature Versus Nurture of Cognitive Development The brain is the central control for the human body; it receives, organizes, and responds to all stimuli that are detected outside and within the body. However, what makes the human brain superior to all other organisms is its ability to carry out cognitive processes of which less complex organisms are not capable. As Myer states, “cognition refers to all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating” (176). In order for the brain to achieve the ability of cognition, its development must begin in the prenatal stage of life. The anatomy of the brain, environmental influences, and genetics are crucial factors that influence cognitive development. The brain has been classified not only as the control for physical processes but also the control center of the mind. As neuroscientists continue to make discoveries about how the brain develops and how it works, they have begun to understand the effect the brain has on cognitive development (Meadows 316). The brain is made up of neurons. These neurons are the part of the brain that is responsible for cognition. As Meadows states, “neurons are large as body cells go, with a cell body that has many filaments of tissue protruding from it, called the dendrites. One protrusion is longer that the others, and this is called the axon (328). The brain is composed of a network of neurons made of thousands of fibers that join up with each other to...

Words: 1655 - Pages: 7

Nature vs. Nurture

...Nature vs. Nurture Over the years there has been a pretty big debate over nature verses nurture and which one plays the larger role in human development and how they act. Nature is the genetics or hereditary influences of a person; basically nature is the genes you are born with that can’t be changed. Nurture is experiential or environmental influences that you develop over time after you are born, such as how your parents raise you which gives you a large variety to how you will act as you develop. The question is which one of these two determines what kind of person you are. Im going to try to give a better idea of the difference in nature and nurture. Lots of people believe nature plays the larger part. A person’s genes can determine whether a person is predisposed to a disease or illness for example people who are born with genetic disorder such as Down syndrome have trouble with information processing. Their mental hardware, which are cognitive structures including different memories where information is stored, and their mental software, which are organized sets of cognitive processes that enable people to complete specific takes like reading sentences, playing video games, or hitting a baseball. These things will ultimately effect the way they grow up and the way they see and do things. A person who is affected with those types of diseases shows how nature can directly effect the development of an individual. A new technique called developmental genetic......

Words: 970 - Pages: 4

Nature vs Nurture

...Since the beginning of recorded time one has been told that ‘you have your mothers eyes’ or ‘You’re tall like your father’ and it has been accepted that humans inherit their appearance traits from their parents, however where does one get their talent for hockey, their intelligence, or their habits; does one learn these from their environment or were they programmed by genetics? Well this brings to light the age old debate of nature vs. nurture. The Nature and Nurture debate stems into many areas that make humans what they are, with one of those factors being their religion, and when examining religion it is found that nurture trumps nature in shaping the beliefs of oneself. Since the Ancient Egyptians and even before (Mesopotamians) religion and spirituality have existed, there has been a consensual acceptance that there is a God, and when one closes their eyes for the last time, they become one with God, or in some cases; the devil or the ‘netherworld’. Through those times and the times of the Catholic church according to world renowned psychologist Dr Olivera Petrovich; “Religion has become the natural state-it is now hard wired by families into babies brains, it is atheism that is learned”. She bases the mantra of religion being parental based on a study of four hundred B.C. children of different faiths, and many aged four-six Japanese children. When asking all of these children about their faith they all without any guidance from their parents say they believe in......

Words: 759 - Pages: 4

Nature vs Nurture

...The Impact of Nature and Nurture on Human Life Name School September 24, 2013 Introduction Most educated people have probably heard of the terms nature and nurture before. The thing most people do not realize is how big an impact each of these makes on all of us. This paper will discuss the impact that nature and nurture have on human development. Nature and nurture are two words used to describe the development of humans. There has been an on going debate in psychology to whether heredity or the environment most impacts human psychological development. Many believe that they go hand in hand because one affects the other. Nature is a word used to describe the genes given to each child by their parents. Nurture is described as how children are affected by their surrounding environment. This paper will discuss the topics of how development may be different depending on where you live, the effect of nature and nurture on stress, behavioral genetics, give a summary of the points and then a conclusion. Environment Ones environment impacts nurture. The type of environment one is in can include anything from what type of house to what city, and even what country is lived in. A person who grew up in a big city will have a very different nurture than someone who grew up in the Amish lifestyle. Not that one or the other is better; they are just completely different environments. An article by Carol McNamara explains how a combination of nature and nurture are how......

Words: 1101 - Pages: 5

Nature vs Nurture

...Nature vs. Nurture On the great debate of Nature vs. Nurture I was once the firm believer that one’s identity was shaped through social variables (nurture). Upon further research on the topic my opinion has changed and I believe that biological and social variables both help to shape ones identity and personality. When we are born we all have male or female predispositions. Hormones are released which in turn increase those male or female behaviors (Nature) shaping our gender identity. There was study on a boy Bruce Reimer who had suffered genital mutilation while undergoing a circumcision procedure at 6 months of age. His parents then decided for Bruce to undergo “gender-reassignment” as they were told that gender was determined by environmental variables. Bruce now became Brenda and was raised as a female. While growing Brenda still exhibited male qualities, dismissing “female” toys, trying to use male restrooms, attempt to urinate standing up (despite the fact that Brenda did not have male anatomy). Her brother had even suggested the only difference between them was that Brenda had long hair, and he had short. Although Brenda’s parents had done everything to shape Brenda’s gender identity into female, Brenda still rejected the feminine identity. Brenda’s parents informed her of the gender- reassignment surgery, and at 14 years of age Brenda cut off all of her hair and started living life as “David”. David was able to restore his male identity and live his life out until he...

Words: 454 - Pages: 2

Nature vs Nurture

...The psychological debate of nature vs. nurture is one that has been deliberated and refuted for many years. This debate is so controversial because although it is fact that genetic makeup does play a major role in developing a person, the nurture and environment in which a person is brought up in is also an important factor. The nature vs. nurture issue dates back to Ancient Greeks, through the times of Aristotle and John Locke, with each philosopher projecting their own individual thoughts on the matter. Although nature depicts the development of a person in terms of their appearance and certain personality traits, nature and the setting and situations in which a person grows up is more important in explaining the development of a person because ultimately a person is an overall reflection of the environment of which they were brought up in. Each person comes from different backgrounds, religions, and environments, which are all external factors that play a large role in the development of an individual. Diet, stress, prenatal nutrition, peer pressure, and television are just some of the more specific environmental factors that can affect a person. Clearly, there are many more aspects of the nurture debate that contribute to the argument that a person’s upbringing is what will influence their development. For example, NBC reported that in a study where teenagers played violent video games and non violent video games, the violent video games were......

Words: 614 - Pages: 3

Epigenetics-vs-Nature-vs-Nurture

...Epigentics vs Nature vs Nurture Santina Wood ENG101 Argosy University 03/4/2014 Instructor Benjamin Atkins Epigenetics -vs- Nature -vs- Nurture The nature vs nurture debate is still ongoing, and within this debate, the world of science and psychology are faced with two new questions. Today we find some researchers asking; "Is development predetermined at birth, by hereditary factors, or do experience and other environ -mental factors affect it?", and "Can the two work together in shaping human development and behavior?" Developmental psychologists still attempt to find the answers to these questions in order to discover the sources of growth in children's cognitive, language, and social skills. Most developmental psychologists believe that nature and nurture combine to influence biological factors playing a stronger role in some aspects, such as physical development, and environmental factors playing a stronger role in others, such as moral development. They are also beginning to acknowledge the role of a variable combination of both inborn factors and social experiences when explaining children's behavior. Scientists and Psychologists have a name for such an occurrence; epigenetics/epigenesis. In this essay, I will be presenting to my audience information on this highly, and sometimes heated debate, as well as the reasons as to why the belief of this dual influence called epigenetics is becoming more fact than theory. For...

Words: 1643 - Pages: 7

Nature vs. Nurture

...Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology PSYCH 101 Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology What makes you think, feel, and behave the way you do? Were you born predisposed to live the life you are currently living, or were you born a blank canvas upon which your experiences gave shape and expression to the person you are today? These are the types of questions the Nature vs. Nurture debate has posed and scientists have probed for over a century. In this paper we will look at some of the aspects of this debate the scientific community does not attend to, or dismisses, the origin and history of this debate, the essential characteristics around which this issue is debated, and where scientists are today in understanding this issue. What are your thoughts on the Nature vs. Nurture argument? Sir Galton wrote in his book English Men of Science (1874), “Nature is all that a man brings with him into the world; nurture is every influence that affects him after his birth,” (p. 12). I have been led to believe that our biology (nature), our environment (nurture), and our cognitive abilities all interplay and influence our resulting personality and other existing traits. We are, as Myers (2012) continuously asserts, biopsychosocial beings (p.124). These aspects of our existence work in accord to actuate the developmental potential written into our genetic code. Where I think there is a deficiency in the theories proffered, in attempt to answer the Nature vs. Nurture...

Words: 1666 - Pages: 7

Nature vs Nurture

...Nature vs. Nurture There is an issue that has been conferred upon by philosophers in the past and still so by scientists today. This issue is whether heredity or environment plays a greater role in the determining or shaping of an individual's behavior. It is known as the nature versus nurture debate. Numerous generations before us have deliberated on the reasons behind the development of human behavior. There have been many theories formulated to explain why humans behave the way they do. The surviving theories for behavior derive from physiological and sociological explanations. However, the two explanations have not always been compatible with each other. The famous nature vs. nurture debate over human behavior resulted from conflicting views between proponents of the physiological (nature) and sociological (nurture) explanations. Throughout history, research has swayed popularity back and forth between the theories. Yet, theorists have broken down the line separating nature and nurture. As of today, people utilize both explanations to explore human behavior. Way before our time, early philosophers endeavored to understand the human behavior. As early as 350 BC, such philosophers as Plato and Aristotle tried to understand behavior. The question of nature or nurture as the primary drive can be traced to these times. Plato believed behavior and knowledge was due to innate factors. Author Fiona Cowie states, "The claim that the character of our mental furniture is......

Words: 1605 - Pages: 7

Nurture vs Nature

...long tried to determine which factors have the biggest influence on determining who we become. Two of the most debated factors have been Nature vs. Nurture. Were we born the way we are because of our genes, or did we become who we are because of our environment or social interactions? Nature and Nurture have both had influences on my adult physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development. Nature Nature can be defined as our genetic make-up. We inherit physical traits such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, skin color and facial shape. This code is passed on from generation to generation. My son is the greatest example of this heritability. People often refer to him as my mini-me. He resembles me in almost every way. He has the same physical traits as I do, but they are packed into his smaller frame. Our cognitive development may also be determined by our genetics. Intelligence and/or developmental disabilities are often passed down from generation to generation. The most significant trait that I inherited from my mother that influenced my cognitive development is her intelligence. My mother and I both have similar intelligence and we both assimilate and process information in the same way. Nurture Nurture can be defined as different environmental factors and/or social influences that have potential impacts on our development. My mother made sacrifices and selected a safe community where her family could live and receive a good education. I had the......

Words: 451 - Pages: 2

Nature vs. Nurture

...Homosexuality, Nature vs. Nurture Western Governors University Homosexuality, Nature vs. Nurture Nature versus nurture is one of the most enduring debates in the psychology world today. These debates have been studied and reviewed for many years, with only hypotheses formed, no clear conclusions have been met. In the middle of the debates is human behavior, whether they are learned or inherited remains unanswered. Intelligence, ability, or even personality remains under scrutiny whether these traits are learned or predetermined by specific genes. Physical characteristics can be contributed to hereditary, i.e. eye color or hair color. When referring to nature, it is assumed that what and who we are, as humans, comes in a natural state or inherited. In other words, we are going to be who we are without the influence on how we were raised and matured in our environment. On the other hand, nurture is viewed as what or who we are as a result of our influences and our environment or surroundings. Homosexuality is one of the hottest topics today. One of the reasons for the popularity is the current debate on same sex marriage, along with homosexual human rights campaigns going on in today’s public arena. More so either this “behavior” is by choice or predetermined by genes. The Studies One of the best research in this area is on identical twins. Howard Gruber,  the director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies at Rutgers University in Newark, reviewed and quoted......

Words: 1245 - Pages: 5

Nature vs Nurture

...2014 Nature vs Nurture The nature vs nurture debate has been a raging topic for decades now. It has caused much controversy in justifying human characteristics, especially concerning the defense of criminal behavior. Many people believe that our actions and conduct comes from the genes we possess, and that we are born with a higher likelihood to act in certain ways. Others believe that our behavior is a result of our childhood, and how we are brought up. Extensive research has been done on the nature vs nurture debate. Although both nature and nurture ultimately affect one’s behavioral characteristics, it seems nurture has a much greater impact. So, is our behavior affected by our heredity and genes, or by the environment we grow up in? What is nature? “Nature is your genes. The physical and personality traits determined by your genes stay the same irrespective of where you were born and raised” ("Nature vs Nurture." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 3 Dec 2014). Taking in the consideration of I.Q., studies prove that genetics has a great effect. Adopted siblings have no more similar of an I.Q. than strangers, while blood related siblings have an I.Q. correlation of .6. Twins especially, having an I.Q. correlation of .86 (Nancy,L. Same-Age Unrelated Siblings: A Unique Test of Within-Family Environmental Influences on IQ Similarity. Journal of Educational Psychology. 1997 June; 89(2): 381-390.) DeNoto, 1 Nature vs Nurture The nature vs nurture......

Words: 1495 - Pages: 6

Nature vs Nurture

...NATURE V.S. NURTURE The Nature vs. Nurture debate is one of the oldest and most commonly debated psychological conflicts around. Arguments from both sides on this subject are hard to dispute. Whether it is in our DNA or it was predisposition it’s hard to agree or disagree with either stand-point being that they both offer interesting and intriguing views that are insightful, informative and unfortunately unfounded. With that being said it’s still an argument that will continue to stand the test of time and continually be debated for centuries down the road until a definitive explanation can be fathomed. Nature vs. Nurture is a phrase for the long-standing controversy as to the relative influences of genetics versus the environment in the development of personality traits. Nature is represented by instincts and genetic influences and nurture by social influences and environment. The Nature part of this debate is influenced by the idea that we get our traits and characteristics from our DNA and nowhere else. It is easy to ascertain and prove that we get our physical traits such as eye color, hair color, height and otherphysical traits from DNA. The unknown is whether we get our more abstract traits from DNA like character, intelligence, sexuality and preferences to likes or dislikes. The Nurture side of this is debatea agrees that genetic influence is a key factor in the abstract physical traits but nothing more. It also goes on saying that the environment that......

Words: 762 - Pages: 4

Nature vs. Nurture

...Running head: NATURE VS. NURTURE/CULTURE The Ongoing Debate of Nature vs. Nurture/Culture Psychology 3520 Social Psychology Abstract In compiling information from our class text and a variety of journals in the Capella library, I have come up with some interest notions on the age old controversy of nature vs. nurture. Biologists declare nature as an innate trait given to all human being (e.g., reflexes and primary needs). Which makes us consider, is this all there is to human development? Is there something else at work? Are there other factors that play a key role in our development? At this turn we must consider nurture/culture. We as human beings are born into societies with all sorts of set norms, social structures and attitudes that manipulate the way in which we develop. The question we will be looking at is which one of these, nature or nurture has the most significant role in our overall development. Or is there yet still something else to add to the pot. Some say there are dimensions that intersect and work in conjunction with one another to form who we are as humans being. Viktor Frankl (1967) noted that the person lives in three interpenetrating dimensions: soma (the physical body), psyche (the emotions and intellect), and the noëtic (the soul). The noëtic dimension includes free will, responsibility, choice, spirituality, and the unique meaning capacity of Homo sapiens. Is it time to reinvent the wheel: Nature, Nurture and Noetic? Introduction......

Words: 1537 - Pages: 7