Nature Vs Culture Essay Example

Nature versus Nurture Debate Essays

776 Words4 Pages

Factually Naturally
People have been arguing about nature versus nurture for centuries. Does genetics or upraising have more effect on a person? Human development is influenced by various things.
But nature, genetics, contributes more to development than the environment does. While nurture has some influence, nature has much more. Genes are responsible for altruism, personality is linked to individual genes, and genetic disorders are effects of nature that can cause drastic differences in quality of life. Genetics determine more of human development than environment.
Nature is what determines altruism, personality, and genetic disorders. Much work and research has been done to support this, with various studies on each topic, like…show more content…

Factually Naturally
People have been arguing about nature versus nurture for centuries. Does genetics or upraising have more effect on a person? Human development is influenced by various things.
But nature, genetics, contributes more to development than the environment does. While nurture has some influence, nature has much more. Genes are responsible for altruism, personality is linked to individual genes, and genetic disorders are effects of nature that can cause drastic differences in quality of life. Genetics determine more of human development than environment.
Nature is what determines altruism, personality, and genetic disorders. Much work and research has been done to support this, with various studies on each topic, like altruism.
Studies in the genetics of altruism suggest that altruism comes naturally, as shown by chimps, infants, and twins. Nurture theories claim that it comes from experience and that it is taught, but these studies prove that genetics are responsible, as altruism is innate. One finding in chimpanzees, which have nearly identical genes to humans, shows that they are naturally altruistic. Chimps are not taught to behave selflessly at all, but they do so anyway. They help their human caretakers with acts, and stranger chimps get food without anything in return. The scientific team concluded that chimps’ altruism is impulsive, not taught. Altruism is also present in human infants. These infants have not been taught any social

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I approach the more specific reasons why the role of culture is inescapable from the perspective of EBS-as I do all aspects of environmental analysis and design -- because I regard this emergent discipline as the only valid starting point.

I have long argued that all specific problems and questions in EBS can be understood in terms of what I call the three basic questions of EBR (which thus define the field):


1.

2.

3.

These are all researchable questions, and answers to them must be based on research. In turn, this research-based knowledge is the only valid basis for design, although this is not a topic I will discuss here.2 Here I argue that in all three of these basic questions, culture plays a major role.

In the first question, these characteristics are partly evolutionary and bio-social, partly psychological, and partly cultural. Culture itself evolved with humans and thus plays a role even at that level, including insights into how human environments evolved from hominid (and even animal) ones. As already mentioned, cross-cultural psychology is a major, rapidly growing field so that even psychological characteristics are influenced by culture to varying extents. Thus affective responses, evaluation, preference, and meaning tend to be much more culturally variable than cognition which, in turn, is more influenced by culture than is perception. Nothing needs to be said here about the role of cultural variables themselves.

The role of culture in the second question follows from group variability. Different groups are affected differently by the same attributes of environments. At the same time that different aspects of environments become salient to different groups, their preferences vary on the basis of their different evaluations of environmental quality based on differing values, ideals, images and schemata. Their choices also vary-and choice, or habitat selection, is the major effect of environments on people. The meanings which groups express through built environments (seen broadly as cultural landscapes), how they express them and how they decode such meanings also vary. Thus the variety of environments and their characteristics, and changes to them, are also a result of cultural variables.

In terms of the third question, a number of the mechanisms that link people and environments-perception, cognition, preference, affect, meaning, supportiveness, and congruence-are influenced by culture to varying extents (as already pointed out).

It follows that culture plays a role in all three of the basic questions of EBS. To reiterate: The extent, importance and strength of such influence and the specifics are empirical questions, i.e. to be answered through research; they are not matters of a priori decisions, guesswork, opinion or wishful thinking.

There are, of course, other formulations of EBS. I will briefly discuss one (by Gary Moore, Paul Tuttle and Sandra Howell3) and show that in it also, culture plays an inescapable role.

On this view, EBS can best be understood in terms of three components: settings and places, user groups, and socio-behavioral phenomena. Without arguing the case in detail, one can suggest that settings and "places"4 are culturally defined. What we call regions, cities, suburbs, dwellings, rooms of various kinds (e.g. living rooms, family rooms, dens, kitchens, bathrooms, studies, offices, seminar rooms), parks, streets and the many building types and their parts and so on and on, as well as the settings of which they are composed, are all culturally defined. User groups are at least partly a function of culture on the basis of my argument earlier. Finally, how people behave and their social structures are all culturally highly variable and can be seen as specific expressions of culture. Thus culture plays a role in socio-behavioral phenomena.

I think it is safe to suggest that culture will be found to be inescapable in any other conceptualization of EBS.








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