Nature Versus Nurture Research Paper

The debate over the importance of nature verses the importance of nurture has been going on since the beginning of modern science. Both sides of the argument have undeniably good points proving that that influence is more important than the other. Both nature and nurture are important because they both help in shaping personality. Of course nature can only go so far, because it is unalterable. The environment around a person, on the other hand, is ever-changing offering more opportunity for growth and variation.

One cannot deny the effects of genetic makeup and the limits of physical and mental capabilities. Our heredity plays an important role on our personality. It determines our abilities and our in-abilities, and how we act according to them. If a child knows they have a talent in a particular area they are more likely to be outgoing than a child who doesn't have a talent. Then again, if a child is confidant in his/her abilities because of parental encouragement and support s/he is more likely to be outgoing in any atmosphere. So despite the obvious influence an innate ability has on a child's extrovertedness, the parental approval has a bigger influence.

The environment surrounding a person is a very real and important factor in his/her personality and views. The same baby raised in two different environments will turn into two extremely different people. Sometimes the environment is downplayed because one assumes that once a bad seed is born it cannot be changed. People like to blame their problems on what they cannot control thereby making sure none of the blame lies in them. Parents often assume there is something wrong with the child that is shy, jealous, or stubborn. Although we have no proof as to which personality traits are caused by heredity and which by environment, mostly everything that one is born with can be changed through the influence of the environment.

Children raised in homes with parents who have a bad relationship often have a difficult time developing healthy relationships with others. Also children with uncaring or critical parents often have problems believing in themselves and in their self-worth. They treat themselves the same way their parents treat them. Other environmental factors include diseases and financial stability. A smart child will remain smart despite the education s/he receives but a smart child will be able to make use of his/her full ability with the opportunities provided by a better, more expensive school. The less smart child will not even begin to develop his/her abilities in a poor education environment whereas in a richer learning environment s/he will surpass the smart child with a poor education.

Another reason environment is a more important influence is the lack of real proof supporting claims of genes for certain characteristics. Studies have been done giving little proof for the importance of genes and what they cause, but have been over exaggerated to the point that people take it as actual evidence that genes are the cause of everything. There is more proof supporting the environment's effects on people's development.

Also, the way people's brains develop is through the relationships and amount of synapses. These are connections between various parts of the brain that control how we react and think. We are born with a certain amount and kind of synapses, our instincts. As we grow and learn we develop new synapses and therefore change the old connections. This means that what we are born with is very soon out weighed by our experiences and environment.

Both heredity and environment are important factors in shaping human personality, but environment is the more important one. Heredity only goes so far; further growth and development is formed by the environment's influence on us.


Berkowitz, Ari. "Our genes, ourselves?". Appeared originally in BioScience 46(1): 42-51 (January 1996), copyright 1996, American Institute of Biological Sciences (http://serendip.

Harris, Judith Rich. The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do

LeDoux, Joseph E. "Nature vs. Nurture; The Pendulum Still Swings With Plenty of Momentum". The Chronicle of Higher Education. December 11, 1998 (

3 Great Resources for a Nature Vs. Nurture Essay Debate

The gist of the nature versus nurture debate is whether or not behavior is influenced more by environmental factors including:

  • Poverty
  • Education
  • Access to food
  • Medical Care
  • Love and Affection
  • Financial Stability
  • Homelessness

or if they are influenced more by natural factors such as:

  • Genetic disposition to criminal behavior
  • Family history of drug and alcohol dependence
  • Mental illness

Before you write a nature vs nurture essay, you will want to do some research into the science behind these theories, how nature vs. nurture has played a role in society, and then come up with some essay topics related to the subject of nature vs. nurture. In order to help you do this, we have come up with 3 resources that you can use to educate yourself on nature vs nurture essay debate.

Defining the Nature VS Nurture Debate

There useful academic sources that do a great job of outlining some of the basic information behind the nature vs nurture argument. This is a good place to begin before you write your debate essay or other paper on this topic. It has a lot of very solid, basic information, and will help you get your facts straight as you write.

What is Nature VS Nurture: Modern Scientific Knowledge

Enough sources are you helpers if you are planning to write a paper that focuses on the hard science of this debate. It sums up a ton of scientific information on this topic, and makes an excellent case that both nature and nurture equally have an impact on human behavior. This website references several studies including one that tracks twins who were separated at birth, as this is widely regarded to be the ultimate test of  nurture versus nature.

What is Nature Vs. Nurture: Helping Readers to Understand

A help with the goal to explain to your readers in very easy to understand, layman's terms, is avaliable at GoodTherapy. This website explains the nature vs nurture as something that impacts the way that we look at mental health, and patient culpability. You can use this to provide a simple explanation, or to write an essay arguing that patients need advocates and understanding, and not judgment. This resource also touches on the controversial John Money situation in which a child born male was raised as female after a horrific accident shortly after his birth. In spite of being raised as a girl, the young man grew up to identify as male, and suffered horrifically before his tragic death. This is a great case to research if you are arguing that nurture only plays a limited role.

Hopefully these three websites will help you as you write your essay. Always keep in mind that good research is the foundation of any good essay. Another thing to keep in  mind is that there are writers at Trust my Paper who are available to help you with any essay assignment you are trying to complete. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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