The Nature vs. Nurture Theory has been heavily debated by scientists for years. At the core of the debate is whether or not an individual's personality is more influenced by his or her genetic structure (nature) or the environment in which he or she grows up (nurture). Countless tests have been conducted to prove or disprove each theory, but the debate rages on.

Function

The theory is used to assign cause or blame to an individual's actions, behaviors and intelligence. It often has been referenced in murder cases and divorce proceedings to justify deviant behavior.

History

Hereditarian and psychologist Sir Francis Galton spoke of the debate between nature and nurture in his writings "English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture," published in 1874.

Nature

A study conducted by Dr. Thomas J. Bouchard, director of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research, concluded that genetic factors play a huge part in human behavior. The study focused on identical twins who had been raised apart from each other.

Nurture

A study published by researchers at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center purports that violence is a learned behavior, perpetuated by adolescents who have been exposed to violent domestic situations.

Fun Fact

Nature vs. nurture debates have been sparked by the popular Star Wars stable of movies. Viewers wonder, was Anakin Skywalker born bad or did he become Darth Vader because of elements in his environment?