Nature and Nature: Influencers of Personal Choice and Morality
The nature versus nurture debate in the psychological realm is concerned with the magnitude in which aspects of human behavior are a result of either genetic or learned characteristics. Both nature and nurture are very important factors when determining human morality. This paper will give examples of how both sides are relevant and how society at large is affected by both. The movie “Pulp Fiction” is instrumental in showing how each side of the debate has relevance in modern society. “Pulp Fiction” takes the viewer through the lives of several characters involved in the criminal underworld and how the “six degrees of separation” influence each of their lives. Most of their decisions are made because of past life events or the predicaments they find themselves in currently. Over time society has learned that one is not separated from the other, it is the interaction between the two that helps define who they are as human beings. “A few examples of biologically determined characteristics (nature) include certain genetic diseases, eye color, hair color, and skin color. Other things like life expectancy and height have a strong biological component, but they are also influenced by environmental factors and lifestyle” (Cherry). Nurture is a primary factor in the development of behavioral traits because of its generation-to-generation transmission of accepted social norms and parameters. The development of an individual’s personality is part of the nature versus nurture debate. Psychologist want to understand how children develop their personalities. Is personality an influence of the parent through genetics or learned traits from their environment? Where a person receives dissimilarities regarding things like behaviors, intelligence, sexual orientation, and personalities remains at the focal point of this argument. Nature and nurture both present a depiction of human beings as actors in a film, controlled by an unscrupulous director. Whether morality is a result of nature or nurture is a split between most psychologist. Some believe that morality is predominantly a social construct, others believe it is centered in biology and instincts.
Some characteristics are tied to environmental influences (nurture). How a person behaves can be linked to influences such as parenting styles and certain experiences. For example, a child might learn through observation and reinforcement to say “please” ot “thank you.” Another child may learn to behave aggressively by observing other children engage in violent behavior in school. The development of a child is an extremely important stage in which sociologist cannot deny. How a child learns what is appropriate behavior and what isn’t and how to control their own behavior and emotional responses to others, along with appropriate social behaviors is due to the environment they are raised in. These examples are set by others around them; the behaviors they witness as a child are substantial. Growing up in a nurturing and loving environment helped some people become successful and may have been effective at preventing them from fully developing traits of psychopathy. The basis for addiction is not thought to be entirely genetic by most scientist. Environmental aspects, such as the habits of parents, friends, or family, may also be significant factors contributing to the development of addiction. A genetic predisposition to alcohol addiction may be far more significant if one is routinely exposed to alcohol abuse and comes to view this as normal alcohol use.
Psychoanalytical theorists often focus on events that occur early in a child’s life. Much of a child’s personality is completely established by the age of five. If this is the case, those who have experienced deprived or abusive childhoods might never grow or develop normally. In contrast to this, scientist have found that childhood events do not necessarily have a governing effect over behavior throughout a person’s life. Many people’s moral behavior become more developed as they mature yet some people are stuck at earlier stages of maturity and use it as a guide in how they handle moral issues. Other people with a less than perfect childhood go on to develop normally into adulthood.
Moral development refers to the way people learn what society considered to be “good” or “bad,” and is important to a smoothly functioning society. Moral development prevents people from acting on unbridled urges, instead taking into account what is right for society and good for other people. Socialization is vital both to individuals and the societies they live in. It shows how completely interconnected humans and their social worlds are. Primarily, it is through teaching culture to new generations of that society perpetuates itself. If new memebers of a society do not learn its way of life, it come to an end. Whatever is distinguishing about a culture must be conveyed to those who enter it in order for them to survive.
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