The Effects of Nature and Nurture on Shaping of Behavior

The Effects of Nature and Nurture on Shaping of Behavior
The nature/nurture investigation has been studied for many years by psychologists and it is a subject that is still in debate today. It brings up the question, how is our behaviour shaped, and the two sides of the answer are nature and nurture. Behaviour in the context of a human being can be described as; the way humans act and think in situations. What is meant by nature and nurture? Nature is the word used to describe the biological aspects that shape behaviour, for example genes. Nurture is the word used to describe the social aspects that shape behaviour, for example interaction with parents. This essay will cover both sides of the argument referring to psychological theory.
To start with the psychodynamic theory, this is defined, according to Dictionary.com as ?The interaction of various conscious and unconscious mental or emotional processes, especially as they influence personality, behaviour, and attitudes?. This is a theory used on the side of nature and was formed by a man called Sigmund Freud who is thought of as the founding father of psychoanalytical thought. As well as Freud, others in this field believe it is hidden psychodynamic forces, or unconscious activities that shape human behaviour and thought. Freud believed that to understand behaviour you must be able to look at this inner most element of a person. Another theory that relates to the nature side of the nature/nurture debate is the trait approach. The trait theory was founded by a colleague of Freud called Carl Jung. There are many detailed aspects to this theory but one main one is that Jung believed these traits to be ?inborn?. Many tests have been created over the years, theorists believe behaviour is shaped by opposites, for example: being either introvert (prefer the world inside yourself) or extrovert (prefer the outside world) would shape your behaviour. Others include: thinking or feeling and judging or perceiving. The trait theorists believe that these traits are built in us when we are born. A theory on the side of nature is the social learning theory. These theorists, that include Albert Bandura believed that people learn in a social environment. It is a theory that states in social situations people?s behaviour models the circumstances they are in. Bandura stated that this was done by ?environmental reinforcement?. For example, a person changing the way they look to fit in, and subsequently getting accepted by the group. The social learning theorists believe it is in situations such as the one mentioned which shapes behaviour. Since this subject first arose, there have been countless studies into each side. With one half saying behaviour is shaped from within and the other saying it is shaped by society, it could be a difficult subject to understand. Psychologists use all the theories relating to behaviour in order to help people learn about themselves. Behaviour will continue to change through time and the study of it will always be important.

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