The Nature Nurture - Debate

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The nature Nurture debate

From the day we are born we become biologically separated from our mother, however, we remain totally dependant upon our mother/carer in order to survive. For many years psychologists have been researching behaviour patterns from birth and still now argue whether behaviours are learned or innate. Innate behaviour is present at birth, developmentally fixed, instinctive and unchanging inherited through genes. This involves reflexes which are automatic responses to specific stimulus. Examples of these reflexes are blinking the eye, swallowing, coughing or producing saliva when eating which protect the body from harm. Nativists believe that many aspects of behaviour are innate, or occur naturally regardless to environmental influences. On the other side there are empiricists who believe behaviours are learned, the mind begins in a blank state and everything we are all our knowledge is learned. A learned behaviour is not present at birth and can be changed, it is taught for example walking, talking and toilet training. The problem with viewing behaviour as completely innate is that it cant be changed. We are born with certain behavioural characteristics and physiological reflexes which are automatic and stay with us for life for example blinking the eye. A newborn baby possesses certain primitive reflexes which a pediatrician will look for to assess the neurological health of the baby. These reflexes are - .The rooting reflex

.The moro reflex
.The bebinski reflex
.The stepping reflex
However, even the healthiest infant will not always demonstrate these reflexes when stimulated. Each child is individual and at times when a child is hungry/tired or unhappy it can be impossible to get them to co-operate at that time. When Binns (1965) studied babies of less than 5 days old, he found clear differences in a babies reaction when they were suddenly disturbed concluding that all children are different and have different reactions to...
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