Paper Example on Nature and Nurture Factors Affecting Human Behavior

Published: 2021-06-23
1049 words
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George Washington University
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Research paper
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Nurture (environmental) factors affecting human behavior

People perceive and understand the world through senses and epistemic connection with the world through the senses connected with the mind. It is paramount to understand the environment surrounding a person since it has a significant impact on the behavior of human beings (McLeod, 2015). Nurture either promote or discourage interactions among people. Essentially, this is to say that the environment can provide space for social support. The environment can also influence mood. It has been shown that conditions with bright light can boost health outcomes such as depression, sleep and agitation. At any point where the genes manifest a particular behavior, but the environment fails to support it, then action ceases to be exist.

Experiences can change the neural connections. At this time and age of genomics, the genes are different among people this is the reason why people are different. Some people have scary diseases, shapes, personalities or mental disorders as a result of genes. Apart from the fact that genes have the ability to dictate one's destiny, they also determine the gender composition and characteristics. Human beings are either male or female, and each has distinct characteristics as determined by the DNA inherited from parents. People are born with certain gender predispositions, and they tend to have hormones that increase that circuitry for behavior. Hormones determine individual predisposed human actions. The manner in which children are nurtured shapes their brain circuit and consequently their behavior (University of Minnesota, n.d). For example, no one was born playing a guitar but through training and practice, one becomes adept at it. The brain circuit can be retrained to do a variety of things. The whole of a humans life involves training, gender trained, to be more one way or other. People exposed to an environment where there is crime are more likely to adopt the behavior. However, if there is no enabling environment, the behavior might never surface.

Nature (biological) factors affecting human behavior.

The behavior of human is complex and one which is affected by biological influences as well as social relationships with other people. Biological influences are those which result from the genetic makeup as well as those from the physical environment (Wilson, 1975). Different aspects of human behavior are influenced by genes, the environment, or a combination of the two and it can be difficult to establish which between the both is more influential for specific behaviors. For example, natural features such as hair and eye color are dictated by the genetic makeup. However, how one styles the hair and the kind of sunglasses one wears constitute genetic personality and they are more often determined by the social circles and environmental factors surrounding a person. Naturally, human brains are socially programmed and are fashioned to interact to form complex relationships with family and friends (Tooby & Cosmides, 1992). However, it is not possible to establish how much about how the brain facilitates this function. Hormones as well as hormonal receptors are the principal receptors, but the jury is still out on just how these mechanisms are involved in creating relationships and bonding with other people. There are many way of manipulating genetic makeup such as through cross-breeding and selective breeding to achieve certain characteristics and this has enormous impact on behavior (, n.d). Genetics play a huge role in the learning, growing and development human beings. Gregor Mendel was the father of the field of genetics and his work with plant hybridization demonstrated that certain traits follow particular patterns. This was known as the law of Mendelian inheritance (Darwin, 1859). Human beings are biological creatures and are a product of years of evolution having physical make-up changing chalked for survival and reproduction. All thought, feeling and behavior ultimately have a biological cause. The biological approach perceives that humans are made of genetics and physiology.

Integration of nature and nurture in determination of human behavior.

While the debate of nature versus nurture continues to persist, the importance of both nature and nurture is nevertheless paramount. Children develop their character and behavior from an integration of the environmental factors surrounding them as well as those they inherit from their parents. Both genes and environment are interdependent in as far as influencing the behavior of a child is concerned (Harlow, 1848). Theories within the biological approach support nature over nurture. However, human behavior is quite complex and it is quite limiting to describe nature or nurture. Behavior results from interaction between nature (biology) and nurture (environment). An individual may be exposed to certain behaviors but these behaviors may not be evidenced unless they are triggered by environmental factors and is well explained by the diathesis stress model of human behavior. It is without doubt that humans are a product of genetic makeup and environmental surroundings. People can be from the same family and even resemble but differ in personality. The reason behind this is the fact that even though people might be of the same genetic makeup, the external environment plays a substantial role in shaping how humans behave and act. Genes and environment has shown that the interaction of both nature and nurture are important in explaining individual differences as well as human behavior. Human behaviors are determined by both genes and environment surrounding a person. The acceptability of behavior depends on the social norms.


Bouchard, T. J., & McGue, M. (1981). Familial studies of intelligence: A review. Science, 212(4498), 1055-1059.

Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1st ed.). London: John Murray.

Harlow, J. M. (1848). Passage of an iron rod through the head. Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 39, 389393.

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Biological Psychology. Retrieved from 3 Ways The Environment Shapes Human Behavior. Retrieved from, J., & Cosmides, L. (1992). The psychological foundations of culture. In J. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

University of Minnesota (n.d). What Impact Does the Environment Have on Us? Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. Retrieved from, E. (1975). Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Harvard University Press


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