The nurture versus nature debate is perhaps the most classical philosophical concern in psychology. In the debate, nurture represents environmental aspects that influence human behavior, while nature represents genetic variables that determine a person’s behavior. Plato argues that a significant number of things happen naturally without the interference of the environment (Zaky, 2016). Proponents of this perspective maintain that human behavior and attributes are due to evolution. In this case, genetic qualities inherited from parents determine the individual variations that make each person unique (Jelenkovic et al., 2020). Nativists like Sigmund Freud in his theory of aggression as an inborn drive, Thanatos, maintained that human actions are inspired by death and life instincts (Zaky, 2016). Freud also maintained that human beings have an innate wish for death, death instincts, which promote destructive behavior (Zaky, 2016). The aim is to discuss human instincts pertaining to the fundamental need for pleasure, existence, and reproduction in this particular case.
Children inherit from their parents’ attributes like susceptibility to given illnesses, skin color, weight, and height, which are dictated by the genetic makeup of individuals. Such genetic makeup is common among blood relatives and, therefore, appears to have a similar genetic combination. Furthermore, other personality, behavioral, and mental characteristics reflect genetic combinations passed down from close blood relatives (Jelenkovic et al., 2020). According to Eric Turkheimer, there are three laws that underpin behavior genetics (Zaky, 2016). The first law asserts that all the behaviors of human beings are hereditary (Zaky, 2016). Turkheimer’s second law postulates that the impact of growing up in the same family is insignificant compared to the genes’ impact. The third law maintains that a considerable part of human variations in behavioral attributes is not considered by the influence of families or genes (Jelenkovic et al., 2020). However, Turkheimer maintains that genetic makeup constitutes only half of human behavior.
Jelenkovic, A., Sund, R., Yokoyama, Y., Latvala, A., Sugawara, M., Tanaka, M., Matsumoto, S., Freitas, D. L., Maia, J. A., Knafo-Noam, A., Mankuta, D., Abramson, L., Ji, F., Ning, F., Pang, Z., Rebato, E., Saudino, K. J., Cutler, T. L., Hopper, J. L., … Silventoinen, K. (2020). Genetic and environmental influences on human height from infancy through adulthood at different levels of parental education. Scientific Reports, 10(1). Web.
Zaky, A. E. (2016). Adolescence; a crucial transitional stage in human life. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior, 04(06). Web.