Evolutionary Explanation to Nature vs Nurture

Some people argue that genetics significantly determines a person's personality, behavior, and cognitive abilities. They point to studies that suggest that certain traits, such as intelligence, are primarily inherited from one's parents. They also argue that genetic factors can influence how a person responds to different environmental stimuli and experiences.

Others argue that environmental factors, such as upbringing, education, and life experiences, are the primary determinants of a person's behavior and personality. They point to studies that suggest that even genetic traits can be influenced by environmental factors, such as nutrition and stress.

Evolutionary Explanation to Nature v/s Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture is a long-running psychological argument yet to be settled. This discussion focuses on the relative relevance of heredity and environment in shaping an individual's behavior, attributes, and personality. Supporters of "nature" contend that heredity is the fundamental predictor of behavior, while supporters of "nurture" contend that an individual's environment is more important.

In recent years, new evidence has emerged that demonstrates both nature and nurture are equally relevant in diverse circumstances, fuelling the argument. Some studies, for example, claim that genetic predispositions impact a person's likelihood of getting specific mental diseases. In contrast, others claim that environmental variables play a more significant role in determining the presence or absence of those illnesses.

Evolutionary Theories on Behaviour Development

Several theories emphasize the importance of environmental development in shaping individual behavior.

Social Learning Theory

This idea, often known as observational learning theory, claims that people learn by seeing and imitating the behavior of others. According to this idea, people are more likely to model rewarded behaviors and less likely to model penalized behaviors. As a result, environmental influences such as societal standards, cultural values, and parental modeling can significantly impact a person's behavior.

If a youngster witnesses their parents engaging in aggressive behavior against others and is not penalized, the child may learn that aggressiveness is an appropriate approach to address problems. If, on the other hand, the child observes their parents' displaying empathy and kindness to others, the child may learn to do the same.

Ecological Systems Theory

Urie Bronfenbrenner established the Ecological Systems Theory, which emphasizes the relevance of the environment in affecting individual behavior. According to this idea, various layers of environmental influences influence a person's behavior, including the immediate surroundings (such as family and peers), the larger community (such as school and neighborhood), and the larger social context (such as cultural and political elements).

The idea also emphasizes the significance of these environmental layers' interactions. A child's behavior, for example, may be influenced by their immediate family's parenting style and the cultural norms of their broader community, which can determine how the family interacts with the child.

Attachment Theory

According to this hypothesis, the quality of early relationships between children and their caregivers substantially impacts personality and behavior development. According to this idea, a secure attachment with a caregiver can improve emotional regulation and social competence. In contrast, an insecure attachment can increase anxiety and behavioral difficulties.

For example, a kid who receives regular and responsive care from their caregivers may feel safe and develop trust, which can contribute to good social and emotional development. On the other hand, a kid who receives inconsistent or unresponsive care may develop an insecure attachment, which can lead to issues developing connections and controlling emotions.

Cognitive Development Theory

Jean Piaget's thesis proposes that a person's cognitive development is impacted by their environmental experiences. According to this view, children actively develop their knowledge and understanding of the universe through their experiences and interactions with the environment.

As a result, environmental influences like schooling, socialization, and cultural exposure can significantly impact a person's cognitive development and behavior. For example, a youngster exposed to a rich and exciting environment with possibilities for exploration and learning may develop more excellent cognitive skills than a child not exposed to these experiences.

Heredity Theory on Behaviour Development

Several theories emphasize the importance of genetic development in shaping individual behavior. According to this theory, behaviors that increase survival and reproductive success are more likely to be passed on from generation to generation. As a result, genetic factors can influence behaviors like aggression, empathy, and risk-taking, which may have provided a survival advantage in particular circumstances.

For example, it has been proposed that human cooperation originated because it confers a survival advantage. Cooperation can lead to increased resource access, protection from predators, and assistance. Twin studies have been used to investigate the role of genetics in behavior. Fraternal twins share 50% of their genetic material, while identical twins share 100%. As a result, if a given behavior is more common in identical twins than in fraternal twins, it shows that the behavior has a genetic basis.

Twin studies, for example, have discovered that identical twins behave more similarly than fraternal twins, implying that genetics substantially influence molding behavior.

Behavioural Genetics Theory

This theory proposes that genetic factors play a significant role in shaping individual differences in behavior. This idea proposes that genetic diversity can explain IQ, personality, and temperament differences. As a result, genetic variables may lead to behavioral variances even among individuals raised in similar surroundings. Twin studies, for example, have discovered that identical twins behave more similarly than fraternal twins. Because identical twins share 100% of their genetic material, genetics may substantially impact molding behavior.

Gene-Environment Interaction Theory

According to this idea, genetic and environmental variables interact to impact behavior. According to this idea, genetic characteristics may predispose individuals to specific environmental influences. For example, a genetic predisposition to anxiety may make an individual more vulnerable to environmental stressors. Individuals with a specific genetic variant, for example, are more likely to develop depression in reaction to stressful life experiences, according to research. As a result, genetic factors can alter how environmental circumstances influence behavior.


In conclusion, genetics and environmental factors play essential roles in the development of individual behavior. While genetic factors may contribute to individual differences in behavior, environmental factors can also significantly impact behavior. Therefore, it is essential to consider genetic and environmental factors when studying the development of behavior and recognize the complex interplay between these factors in shaping individual behavior.

Updated on: 04-May-2023


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