By Nasrin Kapadia

B. A. Psychology

31 October 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Nature And Nurture Connect The Dots
Table of Contents

The nature vs. nurture topic is philosophical, cultural, and scientific debate about whether human personality, culture, and behavior are caused primarily by nature or nurture? But what it’s actually about?

Nature is often defined in this debate as hormone and genetic-based behaviors, dispositions, and traits while one’s culture, experience, and environment id defined by nurture.

In the context of this debate, we are going to explain how nature and nurture affect physical as well as mental health and the inter-relation of nature and nurture.

How Do Nature And Nurture Influence Mental Health?

Research and studies have shown that nurture affects our physical as well as our mental health and nature vs. nurture refers to some biological impact on human traits and also describes the influence of learning from one’s environment. (Haldane, J.B.S., 1946)

Let’s separate nature and nurture to understand deeply what they actually mean and how they affect human psychology as well!


When we talk about nature we are mostly referring to the genetics that we inherit from our parents. A recent study is done on the topic and it’s conducted in Pakistan, the study suggested that the temperament of the siblings to draw are due to genetics.

The behavior of the child, how he reacts to the actions all these things are influenced by the genetic makeup of the relatives of the family. Most of the time these behaviors of the child are easily identifiable by the family members.


When we are discussing nurture, we are referring to all the environmental factors that influence everyone. Birth order, peers, family size, parenting style, education, and language come under environmental factors.

The primary argument for nurture is that the environment in which are living makes us who we are. Those who are on the extreme side of nurture are mostly researchers. They believe humans are born in an original state (blank slate) and acquire all the information from their environment.

Behavior is the most common thing attained by the environment, behaviorism is a school of psychology that can be considered as one side of nurture.

The debate is vast, a lot of researchers are coming up with updated theories that may influence the topic more effortlessly. People might get to understand what are the connected dots of nature and nurture? The topic may be connected to social anxiety so let us see some brief about anxiety related to social activities.

Is Social Anxiety Nature Or Nurture?

While environmental factors are most significant for the short term, and your genes mostly play a crucial role over time. This actually means that the impact of the environmental events, like losing a job or getting bullied is for a limited duration.

As discussed above social anxiety is highly heritable and it is the fear of being negatively estimated in social situations. It's common and many people experience this occasionally. Anxiety is only considered as a diagnosis when it becomes strong enough to prevent some normal social interactions. (Kim, J. and Gorman, J., 2005)

Is Stress Nature Or Nurture Reaction?

Let’s take an example, within a group of children, there is always some child who tends to be distressing or shying away in a corner of the place, while on the other hand there are active ones that roam around the classroom.

Scientists have researched a lot and believe that the main reason is their resilience and sensitivity to stress or anxiety which is mainly determined by the genes. However, with the environmental help in culturing them, it could help them.

Mostly when under stress, we are more alert to the environment because of the cortisol’s secretion. Although when there is extra secretion it might result in panic and anxiety. This great stress may cause an individual to be dropped in the performance. (Brock, J., 1972)


The general conclusion of this article is that it defines nurture works on what nature endows. This means that humans are well developed and are capable of learning and adapting to new things. Sometimes nature and nurture can simultaneously be occurring at the same time.

The article mostly speaks about whether human behavior is determined by the environment or by the person’s genes. Nurture is usually taken as the influence of some external factors like learning of an individual, experience, and product of exposure.

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