Nature or Nurture: Which Impacts Human Behavior More?

The debate related to the more influential factor on human behavior has been holding for a long time. The nature-nurture dichotomy is an oversimplified strategy that identifies the human origins of development and behavior by utilizing two main principles (Honeycutt, 2019). According to this dichotomy, ‘nature’ refers to hereditary factors and functions related to human behavior, while nurture emphasizes experience and learned behavior. This division was prevalent during the 19th century and reached its peak in the first decades of the 20th century (Honeycutt, 2019). The 21st-century theory has found new begging by presenting ‘middle-ground interpretations’ based on empirical research. The studies related to this topic were made according to genetic observations and empirical surveys, including questionnaires and statistics (Levitt, 2013). The main problem associated with this debate is that it assumes only two possible options. Nevertheless, a specific position related to the nature-nurture dichotomy could be possessed. Considering factors such as experience, behavior, environment, and childhood, a clear distinction in behavior between genetically identical twins could be observed. So, although nurture seems more influential than nature, human behavior is more complex.

Before highlighting the advantages of nurture over nature, it is needed to highlight their role in human development. Honeycutt (2019) defines the relationship between two factors as an ultimate ground for growth. As nature represents initial knowledge, behavior, and genetic programming, nurture corresponds to the environment, learning, and cultural experience. The combination of these entities constructs epigenetic and physiological status, preferences, skills, and knowledge of humans (Honeycutt, 2019). Genes primarily emphasize biological constraints and preparedness. So, the study conducted by Galton revealed that the life history of the twins could be either very similar or very dissimilar (Honeycutt, 2019). Moreover, another research examined by Jensen supported the view that the difference in academic achievements between black and white students is mainly defined by racial features (Honeycutt, 2019). However, the findings of Levitt (2013) considerably weakened the position of these views. According to this study, almost all responders’ violent and aggressive behavior was related to the environment. So, the impact of parents, family, peers, and other relationships was a critical factor in predicting violent or criminal behavior among young children (Levitt, 2013). The core values and discipline set by parents appeared to be crucial in constructing human behavior.

Despite choosing a position, I understand this distribution is mistaken as the concept of human behavior is oversimplified and provides only two possible factors. Honeycutt claims that in the 21st century, two scenarios of this view could be observed. The first view is associated with finding the middle ground. According to this view, both nature and nurture have equal contributions to human development and behavior (Honeycutt, 2019)r. The second camp supports another idea that claims that the theory is fundamentally wrong and essential due to various factors that influence human behavior (Honeycutt, 2019). Despite the apparent notion that both genetic and environmental factors impact human development, this process is more complicated to identify only two factors as the main reasons for it.

To conclude, ignoring the fact that this debate is flawed, nurture is more influential in human behavior and development. Even though empirical data represent the dominance of nurture over nature in human behavior, it is vital to remember that human behavior and development are complex processes dependent on many factors.


Honeycutt, H. (2019). Nature and nurture are an enduring tension in the history of psychology. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology.

Levitt, M. (2013). Perceptions of nature, nurture and behavior. Life Sciences, Society and Policy, 9(13). Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Nature or Nurture: Which Impacts Human Behavior More?" September 17, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Nature or Nurture: Which Impacts Human Behavior More?" September 17, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Nature or Nurture: Which Impacts Human Behavior More?" September 17, 2023.