Nature Vs Nurture Debate

In the nature Vs nurture debate it contrasts two important ways of explaining human growth and development, nature refers to an individual's innate qualities (nativism). Nature is your genes, the physical and personality traits determined by your genes stay the same irrespective of where you were born and raised, for example; biological and family factors. Whereas nurture refers to personal experiences (e.g. empiricism or behaviourism). Nature refers to your childhood, or how you were brought up. Someone could be born with genes to give them a normal height, but be malnourished in childhood, resulting in stunted growth and a failure to develop as expected, for example; social and environmental factors.

Richard Branson is an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur is defined as a person who attempts to profit by risk and initiative; Richard Branson has taken many risks and has been very successful. He has become a renowned name in the business world; many people didn't expect a dyslexic boy to become a 'leading world emperor'.

Branson is dyslexic and nearsighted; he wasn't seen as a very bright boy, his disabilities made it difficult for his teachers to recognise his aspirations and drive. He was educated at Scaitcliffe School until the age of thirteen which he almost failed, he then went on to attend Stowe school; still struggling Brandon dropped out at the age of 16. It wasn't until Branson became an adolescent that his abilities and talents became more obvious.

Individuals may have not of understood him or seen the possibility of him becoming a success. His family were well off and very intelligent, they have highly respectable and well paid jobs, this may have made Branson lose motivation to achieve and push him to, also he may have felt some pressure to live up to his parents expectations.

His ability to connect with people was not recognized until later years. On one of Branson's last days at school, his headmaster told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.

D1 evaluate how nature and nurture may affect the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of two stages of the development of an individual
1) You will then evaluate the possible effects of genetic inheritance and the environment discussing the role of nature and nurture in influencing development. It is very unlikely that you will be able to find any useful information about your person's genetics or indeed enough information about their environmental circumstances to make statements or judgements about the specific role of these factors in the person's life. Instead, you should discuss the broader issues associated with nature and nurture in the context of the person's life story.
You will need to include at least 2 theorists e.g. Harlow, Gessell, Bandura, Bowlby, Piaget, Erikson, Skinner
Possible effects of genetic inheritance in influencing development '
Natural influences on human growth and development include genetic factors and biological processes that affect the person from within. People who take an extreme nature viewpoint argue that we are pre-programmed by our genes and biological processes to develop and behave in certain ways. By contrast, nurture influences are non-biological, environmental factors that affect the person from outside. People who take an extreme nurture viewpoint argue that human beings are not programmed to develop in a specific way because we have free will, can make lifestyle choices and are influences by a complex range of psychological, social, geographic and economic factors.

He was born from an intelligent family, his father Edward James Branson, worked as a barrister, His mother, Eve Branson, was employed as a flight attendant. His grandfather, the Right Honorable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councilor. So he is expected to be born with the same intellectual capabilities of his family before him.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a psychologist, he first put forward the theory that we are born with basic intellectual abilities which improve as we experience different stages of intellectual development during infancy, childhood and adolescence. Piaget's theory claims that cognitive development occurs when the child's brain has matured so that it is 'ready' for development. He argued that new information ad experiences are gradually assimilated into the child's existing thinking. When this happens the new experiences are accommodated by modifying existing thinking ' What Piaget is suggesting is that we are born with a certain intellectual ability but this ability grow and shapes through the influence of our environment. This is somewhat proven with Branson, as he is born from his family with their intellect, and it wasn't until much later on that his cognitive ability showed.

Possible effects of the environment in influencing development '
Nature and nurture influences on human growth and development can also be thought of as internal and external influences. Internal (nature) factors, such as genes, determine how a person grows and develops because they have a direct biological influence on the person. These internal nature-type influences tend to have their strongest impact on growth and development during infancy, adolescence and old age. Basic, biological processes cause irreversible physical changes to the human body during these life stages.

Teachers and other individuals (secondary socialisation) didn't expect much from Branson, this could have made him feel as though he wouldn't amount to anything, it could have made him lose confidence in himself and lose motivation. But what he learnt from his family, his parents in particular (primary socialisation) proved to be more dominant in shaping Branson during his development. Although he struggled in school this didn't mean he was not intelligent, he later on became successful even though he dropped out of school at an early age.

Branson's upbringing was very encouraging; his parents were behind him on everything he did,
Branson's parents were supportive of his endeavors from an early age. When 15-year-old Richard decided to breed budgies and persuaded his father to build a huge aviary, his father built it. This encouragement allowed Branson to feel capable of doing well and trying new things when it comes to careers and taking risks (this benefitted him later on in his working industry). The Branson family budget was fairly tight when Richard was growing up, his mother made ends meet by selling items she would make, if an item didn't sell, she tried something else. This played a role in the way Branson developed as this is the sort of work ethic he uses within his career; also living with a tight budget may have motivated him to want a better life for himself and for his family.

There is a rather well-known story about Branson's mum stopping the car on the way home from a shopping trip and telling him to find his own way home - about three miles through the countryside, and he was somewhere around five years old. She was punishing him for causing mischief in the back seat, but she was also teaching him a larger lesson about overcoming his disabling shyness and learning to ask others for directions. This can be seen as a very harsh thing to do, but in Branson's mother's eyes, she was preparing him for the future.

Erik Erikson (1902-94) was a theorist inspired by Freud's work, Erikson produced a theory of psychological development that as influenced the work of many psychologists, educations and health and social care practitioners. Erikson developed a theory of psychosexual development based on the ideas of Freud. He believed people experience several stages of psychosexual development over their lifetime and that social relationships play a significant part in this. Erikson rejected Freud's emphasis on unconscious forces and individual gratification. Instead he argued that an individual's development is motivated by a human need to be accepted by society and to live a meaningful life. Erikson developed his theory around the idea that people face and have to tackle a series of psychosocial crises in life. Each has a different social focus. ' Erikson's theory is very nurture based, he believed that experiences develop and shape an individual over a lifetime not so much their genetic inheritance. This is proven with Branson because no matter what he inherited the way he was brought up changed and had a big part in the way he developed into the successful man he is today.

Issues with nature and nurture of the person's life story '
Although the internal environment (nature) is an important influence, the external environmental (nurture) influences, on the other hand, have a less direct effect on human growth and development. They tend to shape rather than determine a person's emotional, social and intellectual development and life course. External environmental influences are important, for example, in promoting social development during childhood and adolescence and emotional development during infancy and adolescence. There seem to be more effects of environmental influences, especially for Branson; making it almost completely outweigh the effects of genetic inheritance. However; this doesn't mean that nature doesn't play a role in how an individual develops. For example; Branson was born with dyslexia and he was nearsighted, but his environment (such as his parents), shaped him into becoming a confident, motivated individual who was fully capable of doing well.

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