How are we influenced by human nature & cultural diversity

Human Development and History The development of the individual and society has been highly debated upon by both behavioral and natural scientists. Sociology dictates that the individual develops society concurrently as society develops the individual. Psychology operates on the principle that there is segregation in the view in which an individual develops. This is the nature vs. nurture debate. In an effort to address the complexities and intertwining variables of human development and influence, the field of epigenetics takes all of these events into consideration as the primary motivating force in human development. The first main division is based on the nurturing aspect. This was originally rooted in the idea of behaviorism with the concept that everything a person undergoes is the result of learning. Different styles of learning accompany different stages of development (Piaget’s stages of development). This also influences the way in which a person develops socially, with different impasses, which must be reached in order for normal development to occur (Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development). There are also a number of sociological theories, which show how humans behave in reaction to societal norms. One example is through culture. A culture is a group with set characteristics, customs, etc. that create the identity. In African cultures, poverty is considered a sociological norm. This creates a learned helplessness in which they have no aspiration to break out of their social classes. Thus, society has shaped the development of the individual, which has in turn influenced the behavior and personality (Shepard, 2009). The nature division of the debate in our development relies on a deterministic perspective. Biological coding through genes encodes for all behaviors and reflexes that occur. These are facilitated through complex biochemical reactions, which occur all throughout human physiology. This is why some people are more prone to certain behavioral abnormalities such as alcoholism than others. Thus, those that take the stance of nature’s role in our development follow biological and physiological principles. The physiological development of the individual will ultimately influence the behavior. For example, deficiencies in neurotransmitters in the brain or poor development of the brain can lead to mental retardation, which can play host to a number of behavioral problems. Encoding for increased athletic ability can lead to a person developing superiority complexes or inversely inferiority complexes (Vialle, Lysaght, & Verenikina, 2005). Combining the sociological, psychological, and biological perspectives of human development, researchers are able to diagnose the complex interactions that occur in human development. It is unrealistic to put all stock in one of the theories because there are always exceptions to the theory and research that has been shown that is able to account for some variables and not the others. By being able to understand complex interactions, scientists will be able to get a better idea for how to diagnose and treat behavioral disorders or cognitive abnormalities through understanding the biology, psychology, and sociology of the individual. References Shepard, J. (2009). Sociology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Vialle, W, Lysaght, P, & Verenikina, I. (2005). Psychology for educators. New York, NY: Thomson.