Nature and nurture – what makes you, you?

Each of us is unique, we look different, we have varying personalities, interests, cultural and family backgrounds. Yet we have so many things in common: blood group, taste, language, hair colour and even behaviours. What is it that makes us alike and what is that makes us different? Nature and Nurture is in this regard, an endless debate that has been disputed for years without finding enough evidence to support any of them.

Nature is considered to be all the genetic and hormone based factors that make a human being and nurture relates all the environmental experience factors that make human being.
Human nature was often denied by many like the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, who once said ‘’Man has no nature; what he has is his history’’. Dr Steven Pinker, in his best seller The Modern Denial Of Human Nature, states that we human being are just born with few basic instincts wired to our brain and the rest of what we become is determined by our experiences, tabula rasa(blank slate). But nowadays with remarkable advancement in the psychological and sociobiological field, the influence of nature in the life and behaviour of a human being is being taken into consideration.
If people finally admit that the outcome of human behaviour involves a combination of both Nature and Nurture, all disputes and debates ends here.

For example we can ponder on the conditions that come together to cause a person to be criminal. It all starts at the early developmental stage of the child. The reasons for a criminal behaviour can be attributed to nurture; the way the child has been raised plays an importance in his behaviour. Studies have shown that criminal offenders have gone through serious trauma during their childhood. The environment and parenting has a major role to play in the outcome of one’s behaviour and conduct in a society. Furthermore exposure to inappropriate media in terms of television, film and games also has an impact on the behaviour of an individual.
A person who lives is Japan will perfectly speak Japanese and a person who lives in England will speak perfect English. But that doesn’t prevent any of them to learn each other’s language and be able to handle them appropriately, if not perfectly.

There is also the Nature side that has to be taken into consideration. Various studies have shown that twins who have been raised separately from birth, show numerous similarities like personality ,intelligence, abilities, attitudes, Interests, fears and even brain waves and heart rates.
Adoption studies have shown that adopted children (who may be biologically unrelated) tend to be different from their adoptive parents and siblings.

Thus nature’s partner is nurture. Nature provides us with all the prerequisites necessary for proper growth and development of an individual. If we see human development through separate perspective, we will fail to understand its true nature.


Ridley,M ,almost beautifully wrote
‘’Human nature is indeed a combination of Darwin’s universals,
Galton’s heredity, James’s instincts, De Vries’s genes, Pavlov’s
reflexes, Watson’s associations, Kraepelin’s history, Freud’s
formative experience, Boas’s culture, Durkheim’s division of
labour, Piaget’s development and Lorenz’s imprinting. You can
find all these things going on in the human mind. No account of
human nature would be complete without them all’’.






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