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Kendra Cherry

Nature vs Nurture - Psychology Definition of the Week

By March 28, 2014

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nature or nurture

Definition: Is your behavior more influenced by genetics or environmental influences? Is your personality the result of traits you inherited or has it been shaped by your life experiences? These questions relate to one of the oldest issues in psychology known as the nature versus nurture debate. When looking at different aspects of human behavior, researchers often question the relative contributions of both genetics and environmental factors.

Some thinkers such as Plato and Descartes suggested that certain things are inborn and occur naturally regardless of environmental influences and life experiences. Other thinkers have suggested that the human mind is like a blank slate at birth and that all behaviors and knowledge are the result of experience.

Learn more about the nature versus nurture debate.

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Image courtesy Piotr Bizior

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