nature-nurture debate


Also found in: Medical.

nature-nurture debate

the debate surrounding the question of to what extent behaviour is the result of hereditary or innate influences (nature), or is determined by environment and learning (nurture). Assessing the relative contributions of each is extremely difficult, since both interact continually throughout development. Historically each side of the debate has had its support, nativists believing in hereditary determination and empiricists in the dominance of the environment. See also CHILD DEVELOPMENT, INTELLIGENCE.