The theories of nature versus nurture and determining which of the two is the best predictor of good or bad behavior has pricked curiosity about how heredity and experience contribute to intelligence. Every human has an innate blueprint of a specific temperament with gifts and talents as well as strengths and deficits that must be cultivated in order to experience optimal potential. When an individual becomes subject to counterproductive experiences and or environments, intellectual mediocrity, and social upheaval remains inevitable. According to Galliger “Temperament, which is reflected in a creature’s manner of behavior, is personality’s biological, enduring, and heritable aspect. It greatly contributes to but does not entirely explain personality, much an innate intelligence contributes to but cannot entirely explain ability” (p. 39). For this reason, it is plausible to think that a person’s experiences, ethnicity, gender, social class, or environment affects one’s socialization, and as a consequence affects one’s ability. Solidifying this notion, according to Galliger (1994) “ some of the most important, if indirect, insights into human temperament come from classical nature-nurture experiments in which generation of animals are selectively bred for particular traits and then closely monitored in different settings” (p.44).
It is rational to think that both nature and nurture share a part and space in an individual’s socialization. However, the notion of nurture warrants grave attention , as it is believable that every human is born with a specific intellectual capacity, but unless those intellectual genes and temperaments are cultivated with a positive impact, the innate talent will either remain dormant, disintegrate or worse, desimate any forward cognitive or social emotional potential. Gallagher (1994) “Although there’s not a single gene for inhibition, boldness, or aggressiveness, what scientist call gene-environment correlation means that people who inherit those biopsychological tendencies will gravitate toward the kinds of experiences that reinforce the traits” (p.49). Furthermore, energies that are not tapped and channeled in the proper direction for the purpose of upward mobility forfeit the opportunity to flourish in an area of gifting. Gallager (1994) asserts that when families are custodial and are not open to changing engrained patterns of parenting the notion of nothing interferes with children’s genetic proclivity , shapes the way in which custodians think and train or not train their children according, consequently causing the child’s biology to depict its inherited essence or become sagacious.
Nature versus nurture, we know, one of the oldest controversies in behavioral science has been conjectured by many that one notion or the other is the prominent predictor for individual functional outcomes. However, as research continues to evolve with new understanding Skunk ( connotes “Child study, proponents placed a fair amount of emphasis on the child’s emerging nature (heredity); however, because they also emphasized good teaching, the implication was that environment and hereditary influences interacted to affect development” (p.330). Conditioning Theorist consider both theories asserting that both theories hold significant value in its influence on human development and the notion of dismissing one theory over the other is not the most fruitful rationale of life’s functioning. “If we assume that development primarily is hereditary, then learning will proceed pretty much at its own rate and others cannot do much about it. If we assume that the environment makes a difference, then we can structure it to foster development” (p. 330)
Galliger, W. (1994). How We Become What We Are. Atlantic Monthly, 274(3), 38-55.
Schunk, D. (2008). Learning theories: an educational perspective (5th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix ebook Collection.