Nature vs. Nurture Debate

Which determines our personality and behavior: innate biology or our experiences in the environment?

The nature-only view states that we are determined by inborn tendency and genetically based traits.

The nurture-only view states that we are all born the same, but we are different as the result of our experiences.


The more commonly accepted view today is one of nature through nurture. The environment interacts with biology to shape who we are and what we do. In other words, the environment and biological events mutually influence each other. In 2006 Kandel showed that certain genes in the human brain can be turned on or off by our experiences.


Softwiring represents the view that biological systems involved in thought and behavior such as genes, brain structure, brains, cells, etc. – are inherited but are still open to modification from the environment.

return to top | previous page | next page