Why nature vs nurture should just go away

Document Type

Conference Presentation



Conference Title

Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis


Association for Behavior Analysis


Atlanta, GA

Conference Dates

May 26-30, 2006

Date of Presentation



Nature or nurture? Most modern theorists stress the importance of both nature and nurture, preferring instead to question how much of a role each plays in the development of any given trait (physical or behavioral) rather than to question which is reponsible for a specific trait or which is responsible for traits in general. Although seemingly prudent, such a line of inquiry is as flawed as an either/or conceptualization of the debate. The present paper will discuss why this is so by 1) providing a clearer conceptualization of "environment" at two levels of analysis (macro-level and micro-level), 2) providing examples of the complex interaction of the environment and genes with respect to various physical traits, and 3) providing examples of the interaction of genes and the environment with respect to behavior.

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