Nature vs Nuture Assignment example

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Nature vs Nurture Assignment

The nature vs nurture debate has long been a focus of philosophical and scientific enquiries. In the 19th and 20th century, the views were rather extreme. In particular, the human personality was considered either a blank slate influenced by nothing but environment or a civilized animal, whose actions are based exclusively on the inborn inclinations and instincts (Sherry, 2009). Although it is now generally recognized that humans are influenced by both heredity and environment (Payne, Isaacs, 2011), the extent of their influence is still debated. Even though nature is not deterministic and interplays nurture, it still has a greater influence on the human health and personality.

First, there are many illnesses and diseases that depend primarily on heredity. In particular, the review of twin studies let Boomsma, Busjahn and Peltonen (2002) suggest that the effect of genetics on the complex traits and complex diseases (obesity, depression, and cardiovascular disease in particular) is significant. What is more, the influence may be considered even higher since recent twin studies revealed that lifestyle factors contributing to these diseases such diet, smoking, and lack of exercise are to a large extent determined by genes, too (Boomsma, Busjahn, & Peltonen, 2002). The study by Burt (2009) demonstrated a minor importance of the nurture in relation to psychological disorders. Having analyzed 490 twin and adoption studies, Burt (2009) found that environmental factors accounted for only 10-19% of variance within oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, and broad internalizing and externalizing disorders. The addiction to alcohol is largely determined the nature, too. In particular, more than 50% of the variance in alcoholism liability are due to genetic factors (Ducci & Goldman, 2008). The importance of the heredity is also evident in the daily practices of the hospitals, where the questions concerning the illnesses endured by parents or grandparents are the necessary components of the patient’s interview.

What is more, twin and adoption studies have demonstrated that genetics has strong influence on human traits and learning capabilities. The 2015 study summarizing the fifty years of twin studies across 39 different countries shows that all human traits are heritable, that is there is no trait, which heritability estimates to zero (Polderman et al., 2015). According to the study, the reported heritability across all traits is 49%. However, the authors suggest that specific traits follow an additive genetic model, the appreciation of what means the heritability of traits makes 69% (Polderman et al., 2015). At the same time, Plug and Vijverberg (2003) employed adoption studies design to investigate how much of the parental educational ability is genetically transmitted. It is difficult to give precise estimates because genetic and environmental factors influence each other. For example, family income, which is an environmental factor, has a perceived influence on the educational attainments of children and is itself influenced by the attainments and abilities of the parents. Nevertheless, even accounting for such ‘environmental’ effects, the heritability was studied to be 55-60% (Plug & Vijverberg, 2003). These studies clearly show …

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