[Pika!] The Old Debate

I’m a BCN major so I obviously think about psychology a lot. One of the most basic questions that psychologists try to answer is the power of nature vs. nurture. Are people the way they are because they were born that way, or because of the way they grew up? There have been brilliant psychologists who were on either side. John Watson was a behaviorist and thought that people were made who they were by their environment. A famous quote by him goes “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. ”

Do you think this is true? Is a person solely a product of their environment? Or is it all biologically determined and set at birth? And what are the potential repercussions of putting too much stock in the importance of nature OR nurture?

Leave a Reply