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Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture

Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture. NATURE = genes, biology, heredity NURTURE = environment and experiences

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Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture

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  1. Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture • NATURE = genes, biology, heredity • NURTURE = environment and experiences • Also, known as socialization = the preparation of newcomers, such as infants, to become members of an existing group and to think, feel, and act in ways the group considers appropriate • NATURE VIA NURTURE = complex interaction between one’s inborn genetics and one’s environment. • Example… • 2 year old boy prone to tantrums (nature) • Parents scream at son a lot (nurture) • Boy continues to scream back as taught (nature reinforced) • Nature can be quieted or amplified by nurture (i.e., VOLUME DIAL) • Children come with a genetic flexibility – some genetic make-ups are more or less sensitive to environment and thus some kids are more moldable than others. • Goodness of Fit = how well a child’s temperament fits with his/her environment. • An effective match between child-rearing practices and child’s temperament  favorable development and psychological adjustment.

  2. Human Development: Goodness of Fit • How do you think temperament plays out at home? • Is there a “goodness of fit” between your temperament and your parent’s temperament? How have similarities and/or differences in temperament between you and your parent caused conflict or promoted harmony? (i.e., think about who you would call if you forgot something for school? Got in a car crash? Mom or dad? Why?) • How do you think temperament plays out at school? • Without naming names, can you think of a time when you butted heads with a teacher or coach because your temperament conflicted with his/her temperament? On the other hand, can you think of a teacher that you really got along with because your temperament is similar to his/her temperament? What were the differences or similarities in temperament that caused the conflict or harmony?

  3. Human Development: Nature vs. Nurture • Social Isolation – Research on the effects of social isolation has demonstrated the importance of nurture. All evidence points to the crucial role of social development in forming who we are! • EX: Harlow with Rhesus Monkeys • EX: Isolated Children – Anna, Isabelle, Genie, Edik, Oxana • EX: Institutionalized Children • Language: If children miss their critical period (puberty), it is often hard (if not impossible) for them to learn language. • Critical Period = the period before humans must be exposed to a skill/experience or they lose much of their innate ability to learn it. • Love, Affection and Attachment: Especially in the cases of institutionalized children (and in Harlow’s monkey studies), it has been shown that children and adults thrive in life when given love and affection.

  4. Identity Development: Nurture • As one researcher in the video stated, “Part of being human is being brought up by humans.” If you are not raised by humans, are you human? • Agents of Socialization - specific individuals, groups, and institutions that provide the situations in which socialization can occur • Micro level– focuses on face-to-face interactions between individuals, such as peers, family members (parents and siblings), teachers, neighbors, etc • Macro level – focuses on large-scale social structures, such as the institution of media, education, government, religion, etc

  5. Identity Development: Nurture • Birth Order: In addition to parents, siblings play a powerful role in shaping who we are, especially as a result of our placement in the birth order of the family. To learn how important birth order is to your socialization, complete the following: • Sit in groups according to your birth order: • First born • Only child • Middle child • Baby • If you do not think that you fall under any of these categories, pick the category that you think fits best and is most similar to your position in your family. • As you talk together, make a list of personality characteristics or experiences that you all seem to share. Try to think of personality characteristics, interests, successes, struggles that you think stem from your unique position in your family. • EX: pressure that first born and only children have; middle children being artful negotiators; babies not taking consequences for their actions

  6. Identity Development: Nurture • Birth Order: Many sociologists and psychologists believe that siblings play a powerful role in shaping who we are, especially as a result of our placement in the birth order of the family. Answer the following questions based on your birth order: • What is your Birth Order (First Born, Only Child, Middle Child, Youngest Child, Twin) and how many siblings do you have? • How do you think your birth order shaped who you are - such as personality, interests, struggles, successes, etc? • Can birth order determine your career? http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/10/22/cb.birth.order.career/index.html

  7. Birth Order: Only Child • Spend a lot of time with grown-ups, so they often can be confident and well-spoken. Sometimes people even think of them as “little adults”! • Pays attention to detail – they like things to be organized and are often on time. • Good in school – tend to read a lot and have a good memory for facts and figures. • It’s Mine! Have difficulty sharing or going second because they have always been first in line for everything. • Overly critical and a perfectionist. • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special, pampered and spoiled.

  8. Birth Order: First Child/Oldest • Is only child for period of time; used to being center of attention. • Better educated. Tend to be smarter – 3 point IQ advantage which correlates to a 15 point difference in SAT scores. • Being right, controlling often important. • Strives to keep or regain parents' attention through conformity.  • Score high on the dimension of conscientiousness – a sense of general responsibility and follow through. May develop competent, responsible behavior. • Strives to please. • Represented in higher paying professions – CEOs, MBAs, Surgeons, congressman. • Born leader

  9. Birth Order: Middle Child of 3 • Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest, may develop self-esteem issues. Never has parents' undivided attention. • Feels unloved, left out, "squeezed”, doesn't have place in family. • Always has sibling ahead who's more advanced. Becomes discouraged and "problem child" or elevates self by pushing down other siblings. • Less connected to family, more to friends. • May de-identify from first born, making opposite life choices. If first child is "good," second may become "bad." Develops abilities first child doesn't exhibit. If first child successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities. • May be rebel. • Great negotiator • Roll with it – often handle disappointments better

  10. Birth Order: Youngest Child • Behaves like only child. • Persistent - becomes boss of family in getting service and own way. • Remains "The Baby." Places others in service and affectionate. • If youngest of three, often allies with oldest child against middle child • Frequently funnier than other siblings • Score higher on agreeableness – simple ability to get along in the world. • More tolerant to risk – rebels. • Less educated but likelier to live exhilarating life of an artist, a comedian, an adventurer, an entrepreneur, a firefighter.

  11. Identity Development: Nurture • Based on the research regarding birth order, do you agree or disagree with the findings? How well do you fit into the research? • Reaction? • Can birth order determine your career? http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/10/22/cb.birth.order.career/index.html

  12. Birth Order: Only Child

  13. Birth Order: First Child/Oldest

  14. Birth Order: Middle Child

  15. Birth Order: Youngest Child

  16. Birth Order: Twins

  17. Important Mirrors and/or People to Imitate • Significant Others: people whose judgments are most important to our self-concept. Depending on your age your significant others can change • Children: parents, grandparents, siblings • Teenagers: peers • Adults: spouses, parents, friends, and employers • Generalized Other: an integrated concept of norms, values, & beliefs of one’s society • During the game stage, a child’s self-concept, attitudes, beliefs and values come to depend less on individuals and more on general concepts • Being on time is more than just a matter of pleasing the person you are meeting; it is a matter of principle to be on time

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