The Influence of Nurture on Human Behavior

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The behavior, feelings, and thoughts of a human being is a complex entity that is thought to be influenced by so many things, and in my stance, nurture impacts human behavior to the highest degree. An individual’s mind controls how they act and thus their behavior. Usually, the mind is occupied by things one learns from the environment. The mind and the heart work in coordination to influence how one behaves. Ordinarily, what in the heart and mind is what is sieved from the immediate surrounding of an individual. A study by one of the philosophers revealed that human beings are born with nothing and in a blank state of mind. Therefore, how they behave, act, and conduct themselves is a product of the environment. Hence, nurture is the most influencing factor on human behavior, feelings, and thoughts (Hart et al, 2021). Other elements add up to the prominent role played by the environment on an individual. This paper presents the research finding on nurture as a significant influence on human behavior.

The Influence of Nurture on Human Behavior, Thoughts, and Feelings

Nurture entails the factors within the environment that impact how people feel, think, and behave. It includes the aspects in which one was raised, the nobles, the family background, culture, schooling, among other issues surrounding an individual (Wertz et al., 2019). In psychology, behaviorism is one of the schools placed on the raising side. One of the researches carried out on Bonobos to note their social education revealed that chimpanzees learn through observation. As chimpanzees and humans belong to the same family, people can also learn through observing things in the environment. The study, therefore, concluded that the environment, or rather nurture, can influence how humans feel and behave.

In support of the study on monkeys, which are likened to human beings, the social learning theory suggests that humans also learn through observation. After observing things in their environment, they tend to emulate them, which in the long run influence their behavior, feelings, and thoughts. In the research carried out by Morehouse in one of the states in Canada, the results also leaned to nurture as an influence on human behavior and feelings (Laszloffy & Davis, 2019). In the study, they used grizzly bears and subjected them to different treatments to observe the influence of nature and nurture in conflict conduct. At the end of the study, results supported the proposition developed on collective learning. When conflict behavior odds in the environment were withdrawn, the fight was noted to seize among the bears as opposed to natural factors. Therefore, the study also concluded that nurture significantly impacts human conduct and feeling as opposed to aspects of heredity.

The pragmatism concept also shows how human behavior is impacted by the socialization they have undergone. It demonstrates how socialization shapes an individual’s deeds, thoughts, and altitude from birth and throughout life (Laszloffy & Davis, 2019). When kids are born, they are blank and innocent. However, as they grow in the hands of their parents, peers, and tutors, they tend to emulate what they observe from them and begin behaving just like them. Though the theory notes that a child is born with some hereditary traits, it adds that the genetic characteristics are reshaped by what youngsters learn in the environment. For the occasion, the theory notes that no single human was born a criminal. But as people grow, factors within the environment can shape them into criminals. The process of being a criminal was learned slowly by slowly through the process of socialization.

Consequently, this theory notes that criminal behavior or other negative behavior learned from the environment through socialization can be tamed through punishment. Psychology has shown that when undesirable behavior is punished, an individual is likely to leave the behavior. Change to desirable behavior can also be achieved by rewarding the desired behavior. Observation and imitation are the significant ways people learn and adjust their behaviors (Luetz et al., 2020). For instance, a kid may note a grownup being kind and sharing what they have with others. The liberal adult gets commendations and also gains respect from their nobles. A youngster observing this kind of act may emulate and then shape their behavior to develop generous qualities in the long run.

Operant conditioning theory also supports nurture as the most significant influence of human conduct, feelings, and attitude. B.F Skinner has proved how human conduct, feelings, and thoughts can be reformed through inducement (Luetz et al., 2020). He argued that given behaviors might exist in an individual or community without notice. The undesirable behavior remains unknown despite their existence due to their consequences. For the occasion, some individuals can be robbers, but the results of robbing make them choose to behave accordingly.

Consequently, the motivation theory makes people work harder to accrue the benefits associated with work. Sigmund, in this theory, notes that human beings are lazy. However, the rewards one gets after working make one go the extra mile to get their pay. Probably without motivation, no one would bother working (Michaelsen & Esch, 2021). Therefore, the benefit got after work makes them change their lazy behavior and become hard working. Nurture as an influence on human behavior is also seen in armed forces. When faced with a situation, they tend to behave, think and act just like they learned during their training. Those recruited in the armed forces are from varying upbringings, but they behave uniformly due to training.

Small children also demonstrate how human conduct can be influenced through nurture. The small child who has not yet joined school tends to behave as they have learned from their parents or caregivers. After they have gone to school, their tutors instill different things that shape their behaviors. Therefore, learners are left with no option rather than changing their behavior so that they can suit their changing environment.

In school, tutors teach children what to do while in school. Those who do not adjust to what the teacher advised are punished. On the other hand, those who change as per the teachers’ advice are rewarded. The punishment and rewards are given to contribute to desired behavior while in school. The motivated child notes that good behavior in school is beneficial, and they adopt it as their behavior. The punished child as well takes the rewards given to a well-behaved child as a challenge and tries to adjust their conduct, anticipating reward when next given. Nonetheless, human behavior is a complex factor that has been researched widely. Some other researchers have shown us that human behavior is influenced by nature (Leahey, 2015). For the occasion, a child born of depressed parents is likely to suffer from depression later in life. This is due to genes inherited from their parent that can never be changed.

In addition, the behavior that one develops by virtue of their gender is also a natural factor. A girl who has socialized with boys in her life will never behave like boys simply because she does not have the same genes as boys. Being a man or a woman and conducting like one is developed before birth, and no matter the exposure, some things cannot be changed. Some gender attributes are so unique and cannot be easily altered. Another study on genetic influence suggested that inherited genes play a role in siblings’ personalities (Leahey, 2015). He said that even after the death of a given family member, a child born in the same family might exhibit the very same behavior that was portrayed by a deceased family member. This is because genes are passed from one generation to another in a family, and succeeding generations will exhibit similar behaviors as their fathers due to shared biological factors.


Human behavior is influenced by several factors, including nature and nurture. In as much nurture influences significantly, other factors such as nature contributes to human behavior, thought, and feelings. Each of the behavior factors plays an essential role in shaping an individual to behave accordingly. Through nature as a factor of influence, a given behavior is developed, which are crucial in our survival as a human. Moreover, nurture as a factor shapes individuals instilling desirable factors that will enhance our well-being as well as those of others. As studies have shown, nature factors are traits an individual is born with, and they run down their family without much adjustment. On the other hand, nurture factors are traits an individual develops from the environment as they grow up. The nurture factors are the most dominant as far as the influence of human behavior is concerned. The main reason is that people keep changing their environment and they have to behave accordingly in order for the suit in a different environment.


Laszloffy, T. A., & Davis, S. D. (2019). Nurturing Nature: Exploring Ecological Self‐of‐the‐Therapist Issues. Journal of marital and family therapy, 45(1), 176-185. Web.

Leahey, T. H. (2015). A history of psychology: From antiquity to modernity. Routledge.

Luetz, J. M., Margus, R., & Prickett, B. (2020). Human behavior change for sustainable development: perspectives informed by psychology and neuroscience. Quality Education, 419-434. Web.

Michaelsen, M. M., & Esch, T. (2021). Motivation and reward mechanisms in health behavior change processes. Brain Research, 1757, 147309.

Wertz, J., Belsky, J., Moffitt, T. E., Belsky, D. W., Harrington, H., Avinun, R., & Caspi, A. (2019). Genetics of nurture: A test of the hypothesis that parents’ genetics predict their observed caregiving. Developmental Psychology, 55(7), 1461.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Influence of Nurture on Human Behavior." March 5, 2023.