Two Parts of a Whole Person


It is important to consider factors influencing physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development long before the baby arrives. In this discussion, you will examine the relative roles of genetics and the environment. Environmental effects on development include both macrocultural and microcultural influences. Macrocultural influences are the broader influences on a child’s development, such as mass media, religious denomination, societal rules, or educational norms. Microcultural influences are those on a small scale, such as family eating habits, traditions, hierarchical structures, and routines.


Based on the principles of behaviorism, John B. Watson argued, tongue-in-cheek, that he could take a healthy baby and make him into a lawyer, doctor, or thief. Sandra Scarr argued that often a child’s genetic predispositions override the influence of the environment. Based on what you have learned so far about development, select a well-known movie that addresses the nature-versus-nurture question. Some examples are: The Blind Side, Rudy, and A Beautiful Mind. With reference to the film, respond to the following:


  1. How influential is the role of genetics in the child’s development?
  2. What about the role of the environment, temperament, and teratogenics, among others?
  3. Do you agree with Watson, Scarr, both, or neither?


Support your arguments with research, citing sources.


Write your initial response in 3–4 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

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