The Nature-Nature Issue

The Nature-Nature Issue




The Nature-Nature Issue

1. The quest to solve how much of the behavior of an individual is from genetics and how much is from experience has no basis. This is because genetics and experience interact to form the human behavior. All behavior is a result of the relations between various factors. These factors include the genetic endowment of the organism, a produce of the individuals process of evolution and perception of an individual of the current situation he or she is experiencing. Evolution has a major influence on the collection of behavior-influencing genetic compositions available among all species. Experience adjusts the expression of the genetic plan of the person. These genes instigate an exclusive program of a development process that is neutral. Particular behaviors play an important role in the course of evolution. For instance, avoiding predation influences a species ability to impart its genetic composition to other generations.

The behavioral tendencies that are influenced by evolution are existent in human beings with little need for them to be aware of the origin of their evolution. Every tendency that is inherited is further transformed by experience. The effects of interactions arising from genes on the development of a person are inseparable and everyone is a product of these interactions. Different genes influence the overall outlook and behavior of an individual and this causes differences among individuals. The behavioral traits of every human being are vastly inheritable and are estimated at the range of 40-70 (John, 2011). A different family environment in which a person is raised has very little contribution to how diverse their behavioral traits will be. Other experiences have a major impact on the behavioral diversity. In addition, the personality’s interactions with his environment (experience) determine the development of their nervous system. The overall success of a person’s behavior is likely to influence their genes, which will be carried on to future generations.

2. It is important to separate the contributions of genetics and experience when measuring the development of differences among individuals. Some proportions of variations among people in attributes such as level of intelligence and IQ answer the question of which traits arise from differences in genes contrary to experiential differences. Every person carries genes, which are different. They are also raised differently by different family settings and surroundings. Experience can be influenced by an individual and they decide how much they can implement it in their life but genes are encoded in the human anatomy and cannot be influenced or controlled by the person. Genetic differences may encourage psychological differences through influence of an individual’s behavior (Ridley, 2003).

People with similar endowment genetically, have the tendency to look for the same environments and experiences. Research has been done over time to prove this. A study was undertaken on heritability estimates. The study was on heritability of the IQ of twins who were seven years of age. The study was set on the focus of heritability of mannerisms as a function of their social and economic status. The conclusions showed the twins from the families that were poor showed a low heritability IQ whereas those from rich families had a high heritability IQ (John, 2011). The genes and the experiences show the different impact they have on the personality differences among the children. Experiences outside the family surrounding have a significant contribution on their behavioral diversity. Consequently, when someone is raised in a different family setting, it has little influence on the diversity of his or her behavior.


Pinel, J. P. J. (2011). Biopsychology. Boston: Pearson, Allyn and Bacon.

Ridley, M. (2003). Nature via nurture: Genes, experience, and what makes us human. New York, N.Y: HarperCollins.

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