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Nature and Nurture

Nature and nurture is one way the origins of normative human development and developmental psychopathology are explained. Nature can be equated with theories throughout millennia that have consistently favored biological determinism as the basis for understanding thought, emotion, and behavior. In contrast, nurture refers to those theorists who place environmental and social experiences over biology as major influences in shaping individual life courses. This entry presents historical perspectives, including the nature and nurture debates of the 20th century, and discusses research into the role of nature and nurture in psychiatric and developmental disorders.

Historical Perspectives on Nature and Nurture

As early as the 4th century BCE, Plato emphasized the natural faculties of the mind as the origin of all knowledge. His disciple Aristotle differed by emphasizing ...

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