The study of human development is a vast and complex endeavor, taking place across a wide spectrum of levels and degrees of detail. As such, a highly detailed observational study of how infants begin to reach for and grasp objects, a highly controlled randomized study of different methods for teaching computer skills, and a self-report study of adult’s sources of life satisfaction across the life span are all equally appropriate strategies. Of all of these levels of investigation, however, the broadest certainly must be the study of nature and nurture; that is, the role that genetics and the environment play in defining who we are.

The study of nature and nurture has been and continues to be a highly controversial endeavor. Are some individuals naturally more ...

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