My World: A Personal Blog About Everything

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nature VS Nurture

This will be a self-inspired reflection piece, not officially practice for the GRE, but in that spirit. Nature VS Nurture is a classic subject to discuss, I even remember hearing about how the Nazi government in Germany used to do extremely horrible experiements on identical twins during World War II to study this stuff.   So it's been on people's minds for a while.   I think the commonly accepted answer today is the compromise "well it's a little bit of both".   Just so it's clear, the Nature VS Nurture debate is about whether one's behaviour and personality (and overall health) are determined entirely by genetics (nature) or by the environment your raised in (nurture).   The reason I'm thinking about this is that there's something new about upcoming generations that's very different from the past, that is technology... the underlying driving force behind a lot of my entries haha.   Something I've noticed just from personal observations is that technology hasn't really changed the way people "are".   I mean it changes the way we interact, in so many ways, giving us oppurtinities we've never had before, but I don't think it fundamentally changes our beliefs, morals, and manners.   The stuff that's on You Tube has always happened, just now it's filmed and displayed publically.   Since technology, in many forms, makes up a huge part of one's "environment", you could use this observation to maybe give "nature" a leg up in the debate, in that nurture maybe doesn't have that much of an impact.   On the other hand, our morals and personality aren't hardocded into us.   Almost all little kids have no manners, no filters, etc... they learn how to be a good person through their parents and their environment, and their experiences.   For example, a very personal experience, when I was 3 or so I got a really nice helium filled balloon at the mall.   On my way to the car the balloon was swept up in the wind and blew away.   I was so distraught that I think that might have severly impacted the way I am in similar situations today: I really hold onto things tight when it's windy and I'm outside.   But to take it one step further, Im sure I had a predisposition of some kind to make me susceptible to want to hold onto things tightly in the wind that was brought out by the experience.       I guess in the end it comesdown to that I agree with the thousands of intelligent pHDs who've concluded the answer is a combination of nature and nurture.   We're predisposed to certain personality traits which are enhanced or inhibited by our experiences. The take home message, look for the good traits you have and try to do things that will bring them out, rather than the opposite.   For the traits you don't like, find people you can team up with to complement those traits and bring out the positive traits in that person.   Cya, Michael

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