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The debate between nature vs nurture is one of the longest and most heated ones in the history of psychology. The terms “nature” and “nurture” refer to the roles of environment and heredity in the development of a human psyche. Since the early stages of psychology scholars have divided into ones who believe human behavioural mechanisms are mainly influenced by genetic predisposition, and others, who are convinced that people’s behaviour is based on the things they are taught from a young age.
The main statement of naturalists is that personality is natural. According to this large group of psychologists, personality is built by the evolutionary process, where humans inherit behavioural patterns from a set of genes, which means that genes are the one thing that controls the way they behave. These scholars also believe that a human personality, its traits and behavioural processes remain mostly unchanged during the course of life due to the fact that they are inherited, rather than brought up in a person. With age humans can emphasize certain traits of their personality and conceal others, but the overall personality order remains largely intact.
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The opposing field is the nurture enthusiast, another large group of scholars who believe that the source of a human personality is nurture, rather than inheritance. According to those scientists, a person is born with a blank slate of mind, and the various sources influence the development of a human personality, shaping its form throughout a person’s life. The most major sources of influence are prenatal and parental impact, although peer influence, the increasing role of medial, socio-economic conditions and marketing efforts are also known to be largely responsible for the shaping of a human personality.
A lot of psychological terms have been linked to the debate between nurture and nature, namely – intelligence, personality, perception, and many others. There is strong evidence in favour of both of these theories, which is why the definitive answer has not been found by the psychology community yet. At the moment an equal number of scholars believe in the nature vs. nurture sources of personality growth, and are waiting for future research of this topic.
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