Nature Vs. Nurture Essay

378 WordsJul 12, 20082 Pages
Nature vs. Nurture From the mid to late 1800s to the early 1900s nature was the zeitgeist: This was the era of Mendel and Darwinism. Francis Galton argued that intelligence, or lack of, ran in families. He introduced “eugenics”, which will be spoken about by Denise, to speed up the process of natural selection. 1920s – 1930s Intelligence tests were re-analyzed and validity questioned. There was a great deal of backlash regarding the social consequences of eugenics. There were contradictions in evidence shifting the zeitgeist in favor of nurture. Evidence now seemed to support a closer link between social class having and intelligence. Psychologists bean to do more studies on the environmental factors. 1940s – early 1990s The Pendulum swings back to the middle. Social interventions were put into place with the idea that it was not the individual that was the problem, but social determinants. The pendulum swings back again to the nurture side of intelligence. In the 1960s with the School of the Behaviorism the dominant school of thought, the “tabula rasa” or blank state was in the lead. In 1994 Hernstein and Murray published a book titled “The Bell Curve”, provoking the nature vs. nurture debate once again. “The work’s main thesis is that an individual’s intelligence – no less than 40% and no more than 80% of which is inherited genetically from his or her parents- has more effect than socioeconomic background on future life experiences.” Manolakes (1997), p.235. They studied the correlation between IQ and socioeconomic success, a prestigious job, high annual income and educational attainment and found a positive correlation. Their view was that you were already genetically predisposed to a successful life or a life of failure. They did not agree with any of the social interventions stating that they are a “waste of time and money.” Interesting

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