Discuss factors influencing development with reference to arguments or Discuss the determinants of development in detail
Factors influencing development means the causes and elements which affect the human development and thereby cause changes.
According to the developmental psychologists, heredity and environment are two such elements which can be termed as the ‘determinants of personality’. The human behavior and conduct is the product of these two factors of development. We cannot make a judgment about the exact share of heredity and environment in the development of human personality. But this is an established truth that both the factors play a significant role in the development of personality. These factors are explained in the following lines :
Heredity means the genetic program that is transmitted from the parents to their offspring at the time of conception. To me, heredity refers to all those traits and effects that are transmitted to the individual through germ plasm of his/her parents.
These traits are concerned with many past generations of the individual. Heredity provides the raw material or the potentialities for the development of human personality. It sets the limits of human capacities. What the individual inherits are the potentialities in relation to growth, appearance, intelligence and the like. Every individual is influenced by the genes that he/she inherits from his/her parents. The following points are significant in connection with role of heredity in the development of human personality :
- A person gives birth to a person only because of heredity. A monkey never gives birth to a man because a monkey does not have human like hereditary traits.
- An individual begins his/her life with a fertilized cell. This cell is a combination of sperm and ovum.
- The share of mother and of father is equal in the heredity of a child. The chain of heredity is not confined to the parents of the child. It extends to the forefathers of the child too.
- Physical appearance, bone structure, height, color and cognitive abilities are the result of hereditary traits.
- The investigators have proved that there are some diseases which are genetic.
- It is generally observed that the tall parents give birth to the tall children and the average intelligent parents give birth to average children.
Environment refers to those factors and effects which bring about changes in a fertilized egg externally. Environment refers to all the physical factors and emotional influences that surround the member of a particular group or individual. I maintain that environment is an array of experiences to which individuals are exposed from conception to death. These experiences may be biological in nature, such as exposure to disease, drugs or inadequate nutrition. Or they may be primarily social, such as interaction with family members, teachers or exposure to the media and community culture. Environment plays a significant role
in the development and formation of human personality. The interests and attitudes of the individuals are subjected to the environment. The investigations have shown that the mental state, disease and nutrition of the pregnant women are the factors which influence the prenatal development The significant influences of environment can be observed following the birth of the baby. An individual cannot avoid him/herself from the environmental influences. A child learns his/her language, accent, culture and habits following his/her birth. Home is the first environment for a child. Then, gradually, he moves to the streets of his/her locality and then he/she joins a school. His/her social contacts increase gradually. He learns from- his/her parents, peers,
friends, class fellows, teachers and other senior members of the society. A renowned psychologist, Watson, says that make me a custodian of a child. 1 shall turn him/her into one that you wish. According to him, environment is the only responsible factors for the construction or destruction of the Children. Both the balanced personality and the defective personality is the product of favorable or unfavorable environment. The following points are significant in connection with role of environment in the development of human
- The experiences and observations associated with the environment bring about behavioral changes in the individuals.
- The healthy environment allows the hereditary traits to flourish.
- Due to the environment, the experiences of the individual enrich the personality.
- The hereditary trait can develop only if it is provided a favorable environment.
- The dull children cannot be turned into the intelligent ones by means of favorable environment.
- Environment is the only factor which decides to how much the abilities of an individual polished and developed.
The concluding remarks
The question of what determines development is one of the oldest controversies in the recorded history of human race. Even the ancient Greeks speculated about this particular issue. But in the contemporary time,
the controversy has centered around two major factors: heredity and environment. The controversy over what determines development often has taken as extreme form. One group of researchers argues for heredity as the primary factor in development. On contrary, an opposing group of researchers argue for the unique role of environment in human development. In this extreme form, however, the heredity environment (nature-
nurture) issue has-proven net be very fruitful for understanding development. To me, both heredity and environment play a significant “role in the development of personality and the formation of attitudes. It is very difficult to calculate which of the factors has greater influence on development than the other. The researchers have found the following truths regarding the influences of heredity and environment on human development :
- The unfavorable environment cannot suppress the good heredity. According to this law, the intelligent children perform excellently even in the unfavorable environmental conditions. Their performance can be increased if they are provided favorable environmental conditions.
- The investigators have argued that development can be better understood only in terms of the interaction between genetic and experiential forces.
- Most agree that neither development nor environment alone can adequately explain the complicated way in which each of us grows and develops. At the same time, however, it is not assumed that each of these factors plays an equal role in all aspects of human development. Certain behaviors, such as walking, can best be explained by the process of maturation that is guided by our genetic blueprint. Other behaviors such as wearing a business suit or playing cricket are best explained by examining the influence of the individuals and society we encounter.
- The critical question concerning development is not which factor-heredity or environment is responsible for our behavior, but how these two general factors interact to propel (push forward) us along our unique developmental paths.
- Development of the hereditary, traits is determined to a large extent by the environmental opportunities.
- The behavior of a pregnant woman affects her unborn child’s development. Medieval European doctors advised pregnant women that uplifting thoughts would help the baby develop into a good, happy person while negative emotions might disrupt the pregnancy and possibly influence the infant to become sad or mean-spirited.
- Environment, to some extent, can influence heredity. while heredity is not capable of influencing the environment because the genes are inactive and the environment is an active organism.
- Environment allows the genetic traits to flourish. On contrary, the defective environment makes the natural abilities inactive and passive.
- Heredity provides the raw material for the development of human personality whereas environment shapes it in a meaningful form.
- Environment has the ability: to develop most of the human traits. But the unfavorable environment can cause the defective development of many aspects of human personality.
- Heredity determines the extent of human abilities whereas environment indicates the activities which an individual can conduct with the help of natural granted abilities.
- Heredity and environment do not fully determine the extent of a trait. In some cases, there are heavy effects of heredity e.g. physical texture, height, color and level of intelligence. On the other hand, greater involvement of environment can be observed in the formation of beliefs; attitudes and habits of the individuals.
- The favorable environment cannot take the place of good heredity. A dull person cannot be turned into an intelligent one due to the favorable environment. The favorable environment, to some extent, can polish the hereditary traits but huge changes and modifications in the hereditary traits cannot be made possible with the help of favorable environment.