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Nature vs. Nurture

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

The expression “nature vs. nurture” describes the query of ways someone’s traits are shaped through either “nature” or “nurture.” “Nature” deals with biological factors such as your genetics, while on the other hand “nurture” deals with a person’s upbringing or lifestyle in general. “Nature vs. nurture” has been framed as a debate among people who argue on the dominance one factor has more of an impact than the other. However, current professionals know that both “nature” and “nurture” play a function in mental development and engage in complicated ways.


While nature has been established to be a crucial aspect in the development of some mental conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression, the development of mental illness isn’t always totally genetic, but it is an important factor in the development. For example, if someone has a family history of bipolar disorder then they are 4-6x more likely to develop it (GoodTherapy). However, even though the significance of genetics can’t be denied, it does not mean that the development of mental illness is entirely genetic. An example from stated that “identical twins share their genes, yet if one twin develops schizophrenia, research shows the other twin only has a 50% chance of also developing the condition.” This shows that nature, even if it plays a massive part, isn’t solely responsible for mental conditions.


Certain genetic factors can create a predisposition for specific illnesses. However, the possibility that someone develops that illness also depends on their surroundings (nurture). When a genetic variant shows the opportunity of growing a mental illness, these records may be used to direct positive (nurturing) conduct in the sort of manner that the circumstance might not increase or can also additionally increase with much less severity.

James Fallon, a neuroscientist who found that he had the mind of a psychopath, has said that he believes developing in a nurturing and loving surrounding helped him come to be a fruitful adult and might have been powerful at stopping him from developing psychopathic traits. Recently, researchers at the University of Liverpool discovered that even if someone had a familial history of mental illness it is not the best predictor of mental illness, instead the most powerful predictor is their life experiences. As a result, this supports the idea that nurture plays a significant role in the development of mental health issues.

Theorists and researchers still battle over whether nature or nurture is the strongest factor for mental illness or observing either one will help them predict better. According to Psychology Today, the current consensus is that individual differences result from a combination of inherited and non-genetic factors, a more nuanced middle path between nature- or nurture-focused extremes.

Source: GoodTherapy, “Nature vs. Nurture Debate,” Psychology Today,”Nature vs. Nurture,”

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