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William G. Collier

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 60: Nature Versus Nurture

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Nature Versus Nurture
Nature versus nurture

One of the most persistent issues in the field of psychology is the nature versus nurture debate. This debate concerns how much of an individual, and who s/he is, can be attributed either to nature (i.e., inborn tendencies or genetic factors) or to nurture (i.e., learning or environmental factors). This debate can be one of the most contentious issues in psychology because of the potential serious political ramifications of nature/nurture findings (de Waal, 1999). Although the science of psychology has entered the 21st century, it seems that the nature versus nurture debate will continue to be an active part of psychological research for many areas, including research on intelligence, personality, and mental illness. This chapter will begin with a general ...

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