Examine Mechanism of Changes in Human Development: The Impact of Nurture and Nature on Behavior

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2013

26 Pages, Grade: B


Table of Content

Chapter 1
Purpose of Research Paper

Chapter 2
Background Information
Methodological Approaches
The Impact of Genetic factors in Continuity and Change in Life Span Development
The Effect of Environmental Factors in Continuity and Change in Life Span Development
The Genetic and Environmental Interaction
Cultural Studies
Twins Studies
Theory of Mind
Infant Shyness
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Family Studies
Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

Chapter 1


There has been vigorous debate in recent time, about hereditary versus environment and how they coalesce to create personalities, behaviors, and psychopathology that appeared unique to each person and influenced their developmental process. At the same time, earlier research studies on human development shed more light on the significant effects and associations between nurture, nature and human behavior. However, this assumption further supported the general views that human development cannot complete without proper knowledge and understanding of the interaction between internal and external variables on personality. Based on this assumption, it is obvious that human behaviour is an experience of a life span. Thus, our orientation about life and the way we react to situation around us is as results of interaction between different psychosocial factors such as genetics, social norms, core faith, and attitude.

Besides, numbers of prominent scholars ‘have come out with evidence to support the assertions that our social world, in which we live include our family origin, school, vocation life, or even entire community, all offer developmental options and common limitation that affect our behavior. In addition, Bronfenbrenner, 1979 and Lerner, 2002 expressed similar position that human behaviour cannot be fully understood without mentioning the changing relationship between human and the contextual environment. The milieu according to reviewed studies is the inner biological levels while outer are the social and environmental levels.

Moreover, the recent improvements and progress reported in the study of human molecular genetics has highlighted the need for further studies on how to integrate environmental measures into genomic studies, if we are to have a better understanding of various mechanisms that support changes in human development. On the other hand, earlier studies on charting of human genome and the equivalent accessibility of genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) techniques has increased research activities on how to decide “genes for” particular disorders and traits. Nevertheless, research indicated that both past and present literature emphasized the significant importance of social and contextual environment on specific genetic variants in human behavior and traits.

In addition, research on Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model (Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, 1994) also emphasized importance of interactions between person, families, peers, school, and community characteristics in explaining the concept of personality differences in development. Therefore, most reviewed studies on life span development highlights and improved our basic understanding of the mechanism involved in normal and abnormal behaviour. Thus, to understand the processes involved in analyzing differences in behaviour, there is a need to look at multidisciplinary studies that measure and focus on the risk and resilience factors at many levels.

Purpose of Research Paper

This paper will explore various ways that describe the interaction between heritable and ecological factors in the path of behavioral growth and patently recognize etiological mechanism that support the assumption that a particular hereditary or environmental condition ultimately lead to behavioural feature and changes during development. The paper begins with brief overviews of the main tenets of life span development and explores how the concepts of nature and nurture are vital to this perspective. Moreover, the paper will highlight findings from different methodological approaches that explored the significant influence of environment and genetic competence on behaviour across the life cycle. The paper will use some of the most interesting research literature and methodological approaches on life span development to illustrate the interaction of genes and environments on human behavior and underline how the interaction contributes to behavioral changes and continuity. Lastly, the paper will focus on how the existing interaction signifies continuous source of person uniqueness in personality development.


The main goal of this essay are draw from literatures on human development and it look at evidence that support the associations between environment and genetic factors and how this interaction lead to personal difference and changes across life span.

Therefore, the research paper aims at the following specific goals:

To analyze the interactions connecting nature and nurture as important components of behaviour

To critically investigate the mediating role of genes and environments that link risk and behavior

To review literature on different multidisciplinary studies that measure and focus on the interaction between environment and genetic factors at multiple levels of development and how this affects human behaviour.


Background Information

The assumption that race and individuality are the outcome of heredity, to say the least a biophysical phenomenon, and that their interpretation is base or depends on the philosophy and process of biology has continue to gain ground and dominate debate in recent time among scholars and academician in the fields of social sciences However, various reports show that there is a general assumption among scientist that support the causal correlation between environment, individuality and race .Consequently, research also shows that explanation of the concepts, i.e. (environment and heredity) is based on their interpretation of the developing organism. Moreover, to accept and apply the definitions to human development, reports from earlier studies show that literatures analyse from the following perspectives: different evolutionary theory, contributions of modern experimental genetics, and the findings of the social sciences.

Furthermore, earlier studies confirmed that debate about nature and nurture interaction dominates and influenced most research studies on human development and therefore formed the basis for discussion among scholars and researchers alike. Nevertheless, despite mentioning the significant influence it has on human development, recent evidence has shown that many psychologists view the issue as inconsequential and uninteresting to study. However, most reviewed literature supported the assertion that genetic and environment factors notably influence development of human behaviour.

Furthermore, reports show that human being is creation of genetic and its past background, while present background offers the basis for proper explanation on current behavior. To support the argument, reports show that the interaction between hereditary and environmental factors, formed a particular trait in human being, thus any specific difference associated with this trait among people or groups is link to either nature and nurture influence. Therefore, all efforts undertaken by most researchers and traditional investigations to find such factors, has yielded inconclusive answers.

It is worth noting that the existing interaction and interconnection between the two variables (nature and nurture) will help to create the knowledge base that focus on the aspects of human personality that connects with genes, and what features is upshot of environmental influence in human behaviour. It is also worth noting that both heredity and environment give 50% to human development. Base on this argument, the question remains which of the two factors contributed higher percentage than the other in age groups disparities (Petrill et al., 2004). Besides, various scholars and research studies on life span development identified strategies that analysed characteristics of human beings and this includes studies on adoption, family, and twin studies respectively, to rationalize influence of environment and heredity on development.


Excerpt out of 26 pages


Examine Mechanism of Changes in Human Development: The Impact of Nurture and Nature on Behavior
( Atlantic International University )  (Social Sciences)
D.psych (Clinical)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
613 KB
Twins, shared environments, nature, nuture, personality, genetic, ecological, continuity, interaction, attitude, human development, lifespan
Quote paper
Olusegun Emmanuel Afolabi (Author), 2013, Examine Mechanism of Changes in Human Development: The Impact of Nurture and Nature on Behavior , Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/230819


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