Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A-Level Psychology (AQA): Issues and Debates – Nature vs Nurture

Hello everyone and welcome to issues and debates lesson for nature versus nurture now just before I start just a reminder that in an exam the issues and debates topic comes up in paper three paper 3 is very very si heavy and so any topic that comes up in paper 3 is highly likely to be an essay that being said there aren't just essays you can get other types of .

Questions as well so hopefully if you get a question on the nature-nurture debate hopefully this video will help you answer questions like the following so here nice little application question and refer to three types of determinism in your answer but refer to the refer to the stem identify one influence of nature on our behavior and one influence .

Of nurture on our behavior again referencing the stem so application questions are very nice in this type of topic you've also got 16 mark essays that are that are fairly easy to give and fairly likely to come your way if this topic comes up but again here you've got a 16 marker with an application bit so it gives you a little .

Quote and you need to be able to refer to the quote in your answer and then you've also got a bog-standard 16 mark essay as well however the difficulty with this one is that you have to be able to refer to two topics that you've studied over the last two years now those topics can be approaches or they can be any of the other topics .

As well but you do have to make sure that you refer to them so just bear that in mind obviously this type of exam question can come alongside any one marker or two marker that says things like briefly explain the nature-nurture debate you know that that's also something that could come up okay let's make a start so what is the debate .

Simply put the nature-nurture debate is the as to whether a person's development is down to their genes or down to environmental influences so the nature side of the argument is that behavior is a product of innate predetermined factors whereas the nurture side of the argument is that behavior is a product .

Of environmental influences that is the basics of the debate okay couple of key terms and phrases for you there feel free to pause the video here and just take a little look at those and take any notes that you might want to take and will crack on so we're going to start off with the influence of nature on our behavior so the influence of nature is .

Very much focused on genetic explanations or biology okay so for example family and twin studies and adoptions studies show that the closer two individuals are genetically the more likely they are that both of them will develop the same behavior so they look at things like concordance rates and the concordance rate of a mental disorder .

Such as schizophrenia is about 40% for monozygotic twins and 7% for dizygotic twins so the closer the similarity for individuals who share the same genes shows that nature has a major contribution to the disorder now 40% isn't huge but it is definitely more than 7% and so genetic explanations would suggest that there is a genetic .

Basis for conditions like schizophrenia nature also uses evolutionary explanations as well so natural selection any behavior or trait that promotes survival and reproduction will be naturally selected and as such behaviors and characteristics are adaptive and the genes for such behaviors will be passed on to .

Subsequent generations and so an example of that in psychology is attachment so Bowlby baldies theory is an evolutionary theory and attachment according to Barbie is an adaptive behavior because it promotes survive through protection so you attach to your primary caregiver because that primary caregiver is the person that's going to .

Help you survive so it also promotes close relationships that would foster successful reproduction as well so attachment behaviors are naturally selected because not only do they promote survival they also foster successful reproduction as well and that process of natural selection can only be done through genetic mechanisms so it is .

An influence of nature now on the other side a couple of examples of influences of nurture so you've got for example the behaviorist explanations for behavior so that's all about the environment so behaviorist assume that all behavior can be explained in terms of experience that all of our behaviors are the product of .

Classical and operant conditioning so again if you think for psychology you've got attachment the idea of becoming attached through food becoming classically conditioned because your primary caregiver it becomes associated with the pleasure of receiving food and then the drive reduction that baby experiences when .

They're hungry they experience discomfort and so mum feeds them and then that discomfort goes away so you've got the operant conditioning working there now you've also got in terms of nurture you've got social learning theory as well so bandura and his view is a little bit less extreme than traditional behaviorism bandura also .

Believed that behavior was learned through the environment however he also added on that new dimension of vicarious reinforcement so indirect reinforcement so if you remember from when you did the approaches topic vicarious reinforcement is seeing somebody else get rewarded or punished for a behavior which then has an impact on whether or not you decide .

To carry out that behavior so bandura was very clear on the fact biology does have a role to play so for example somebody might have the urge to behave aggressively so that might be very biological it might be genetic or personality or something like that but the point here is that the way a person learns to express the anger is through .

Environmental influences so social learning theory is still an example of nurture okay at that point I'm just going to give you a couple of notetaking opportunities now the problem with the nature-nurture debate is that there is no clear winner there can't ever be a clear winner because in terms of the nature nurture debate there it's .

A question that's impossible to answer now environmental influences begin as soon as a child is born you can't ever remove the environmental influences so nature and nurture are so intertwined from the moment we are born then it makes no sense whatsoever to separate .

The two not only does it make no sense to separate the two it's actually very very difficult to separate the two as well and I'll give you an example of that when trying to establish whether mental illness is genetic or at least has a genetic basis people very often conduct twin studies so they use identical twins to see whether there's a .

Degree of similarity in the symptoms or in the condition that that has been studied so the idea is that if two identical twins have a higher degree of similarity in terms of specific traits I they have a higher concordance rate than non identical twins then it is assumed that the condition has a genetic basis so as I said earlier the concordance .

Rate for identical twins and schizophrenia is about 40% and for non identical twins it's 7% so the assumption is that based on those concordance rates schizophrenia has a genetic however there is no real way to find out or at least it can't be easily established whether those high .

Concordance rates are the results of shared genetics because identical twins share 100% of their genes or whether it's down to a shared upbringing because identical twins more often than not also share the same environment so they've both had this the same genes from the moment they were born and they've also most likely both had the same .

Environment from the moment they were born as well so how do you then separate the two so because of that and because of the difficulty of that question psychologists don't really look at whether it's nature or nurture anymore they tend to now focus on the contribution that both nature and nurture have individually on the things .

That we do and the way that we think so there's a little note-taking opportunity for that one as well now we're going to move on to the evaluation bit now at this point it's important to reference that when you are evaluating the nature-nurture debate we look at reasons why nature nurture can't be separated so the evaluation section .

Is very much an argument for the fact that nature and nurture interact and that neither one nor the other can ever be solely responsible for behavior okay so what I will do is I will take you through a couple and then at the end I will put all of the ones that I've gone through up on the screen as a P or paragraph that so that you can write .

Anything down that you want and before then I'll just quickly explain them to you okay so the first one we're going to look at is an example as to why nature nurture can't be separated so we're going to use the example of a psychologist called Donald Hebb and Donald Hebb said that asking which is more important nature or nurture was a .

Little bit like asking whether the width or the length of a triangle was more in important when measuring its area they're both equally important they both contribute and and so they should never be considered separately now an example of that is a condition called phenylketonuria which is an inherited disorder that prevents amino acid that .

Prevents the amino acid phenylalanine being metabolized and that results in brain damage and learning difficulties however if the condition is detected at Birth an infant can be given a diet that's devoid of this particular amino acid and thus the brain damage is averted so if prevention of a condition a .

Prevention of a genetic condition can can be achieved through an environmental manipulation as in I change my diet then surely the condition isn't purely genetic so the condition therefore is not due to nature or nurture it's actually an interplay between both of them moving on there's another example here as well I don't know if .

You've come across this yet in your studies if you haven't you will come across it fairly soon I would imagine so there's also the diathesis-stress model now the diathesis-stress model is a model that is used very often in explaining mental disorders such as phobias depression schizophrenia that kind of thing and the diathesis-stress .

Model suggests that people are and perhaps born with a genetic vulnerability to a particular condition like phobias like depression like schizophrenia however those people may never actually develop the condition they may not they may never may never have it however if they come into contact with certain environmental .

Stressors like a trauma let's say then it could cause the expression of that gene and it could cause the condition to develop so again you've got environment and nature you've got nature and nurture you've got the genetic vulnerability the nature side of things but you've got the .

Nurture side of things in that that vulnerability will never actually express itself unless something happens in the environment to trigger it so it's a very very popular and common model to use when trying to explain mental disorders such as phobias or schizophrenia so further support for the interaction between nature and nurture .

Was suggested by scar and McCartney in 1983 so scar and McCartney actually suggested that genes exert an indirect effect on us in a number of different ways so first off they suggests something called passive interactions so they suggest that parents genes influence the way that they treat their children so for .

Example musically gifted parents are likely to play to their children more and encourage their children's engagement with music so it's the parents nature that is determining the type of nurture that they create for their children so again that's passive interaction of genes you've then got something called evocative interaction .

And that is when the child's genes influence and shape the environment that they grow up in so for example the musically talented child will be picked for school concerts and given other special opportunities so it's the child's genes that is influencing his environment so the nature is influencing and shaping the nurture finally you've .

Also got something called active interaction which is when the child creates its own environment through the people and experiences that it selects so the child in this example chooses similar musically talented friends and seeks out musical experiences so again the child because of its nature creates its own nurture by picking out .

Certain people that it wants to be around and then those people that it's picked and those experiences that it's chosen will then go on to affect that child that's all part of the nurture so again that point to a very complex and multi-layered relationship between nature and nurture okay so that is the end of the evaluation points there I .

Realize that I've given you quite a lot of information in a fairly quick amount of time if they haven't made sense or if you've struggled to get your head around them then you can always go back and listen to them again alternatively you can keep watching and in the next couple of slides you're gonna get all of the evaluation points as peel paragraphs as .

Well so it might help you to read them first and then go back you'll notice as well I've got a four peopie regress for you even though I only explained three evaluation points that fourth peel paragraph is just another one that I've thrown in at the end there you will only need three so choose all the ones that you that you like and if you are really .

Pushing for a fourth evaluation point then you've always got that one at the end as well okay that'll be the final one so here we go and remember you can pause at any time to take any notes that you want to take there's the nature and nurture one with phenylketonuria you've got the diathesis-stress model right there this is passive evocative and .

Active interactions so nature effects nurture and then the final one shared and unshared environments okay that is now the end of the video I hope it's been useful and thank you very much for listening

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