The question of nature versus nurture has existed for many centuries, and scientists still cannot provide a definitive answer to it. In my view, both factors bear equal importance and significantly contribute to the process of a person’s development. Numerous studies show that some individual characteristics are to a considerable extent pre-determined by genetics, for instance, I.Q. is influenced by the environment only by 25% (Brody, 2018).
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Another example can be diseases which run in families and often cannot be prevented by a person even if they invest all of their efforts into an attempt to counter them. Nevertheless, people are inherently social beings who possess the ability to adapt to various environments and adjust their behavior depending on their particular society. Thus, I believe that Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory is the perspective which provides one of the best explanations of how a person undergoes different periods in their lives, which ultimately shape their personality.
The eight stages outlined by Erikson are extremely helpful when analyzing cases of human development, and they provide an insight into different aspects of the process. My evidence in support of the approach is mostly anecdotal and can be drawn from personal experiences and situations observed by me. For example, all of my peers underwent the fifth stage, which implied seeking one’s identity, which in turn meant experimenting with one’s roles in society and determining one’s future path. Yet, some of my peers failed to do it and eventually faced the problem of role confusion, the outcome of not finding one’s place in life, described by Erikson.
One researcher used the theory to study violence among children living on the street and found that their situations prevent them from going through developmental stages, which negatively impacts their life (Kaiser, 2020). Therefore, despite the fact that nature plays a major role in human development, the importance of nurture should not be underestimated.
Brody, J. E. (2018). What twins can teach us about nature vs. nurture. The New York Times. Web.
Kaiser, E. (2020). Violence on street children: Looking through Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. Journal of Health and Social Sciences, 5(1), 45–52.