Discuss the Nature-Nurture Debate in Relation to the Development of an Individual. Essay

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M1: Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the development of an individual.

The definition of learning through ‘nature’ is that things that we know which are innate. These things are biologically caused and genetically inherited. The definition of ‘nurture’ is the effect of the environment has on our learning. The nature-nurture debate is all about whether genetics (nature) or our environment (nurture) is responsible for our behaviour and development. Early theorists believed that our personality, intellect, behaviour and gender role were determined by our genes and therefore could not be changed. But an increasing amount of evidence has proved these theorists wrong, and our development as an individual is learnt through the environment we live in.

One developmental stage of an individual that psychologists have the nature-nurture debate about is the intelligence stage. The nature side of that intelligence is present at birth and we already have a set amount of intelligence. A psychologist called Alfred Binet had an idea that intelligence is innate and he devised the first IQ test to test the individual intelligence. This was supported by Cyril Burt’s research of raising non-identical twins separately, in different environments to see if their intelligence was the same/innate. Using the IQ test when they grew up not surrounding each other, Burt found that they had the same IQ. Proving that our intelligence was inherent, however the research was found to be inaccurate.
On the other hand, the nurture side of the discussion said that intelligence was learnt from the environment. Jean Piaget claimed that your intelligence is developed in stages as your brain matures and children are “little scientists “discovering their own knowledge via their environment.

Another developmental stage that the nurture-nurture debate comes up in is language. The nature side of it says that language is already learned and your brain just has to grown/mature to be...

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