Nature vs. Nurture

Essay by mybellemecheleCollege, UndergraduateA-, August 2014

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Mechele Olds 7/28/14 Application Assignment #1 Psychology 100 DE

Ciccarelli states "The ability to learn is the key to our very survival, and we cannot learn unless we can remember what happened the last time a particular situation arose" (Ciccarelli, 2012, p. 213). Like many psychologist I think that our environment and our biology interact to make us who we are and influence what we learn and how we remember. However I believe that genetics play a much greater role. In this essay I will explore a few of the biological influences in our lives.

From the earliest moments of life, the interaction of heredity and the environment works to shape who we are and who we will become. I would like to first take a look at the biology of how we are formed. When a baby is made the number of chromosomes may divide unevenly, which results in some kind of mental and/or physical birth defect(s).

Our mother can also alter our biology according to Ciccarelli "Pregnant women should not drink at all, as alcohol can damage the growing embryo, causing a condition of mental retardation and physical deformity known as fetal alcohol syndrome" (Ciccarelli, 2012, p. 155). Other biological influences include psychoactive drugs, our sleep patterns, and our diet. Additionally something such as an "accident" or a health issue can alter our biology, take for example, colleen, who after having a brain tumor removed was left with face blindness.

So when it comes to forming memories and learning how do these influences affect us? There are infinite ways that these factors can affect our memory. According to Ciccarelli there are three process of memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval (Ciccarelli, 2012, p. 214). I would like to further explore encoding as I believe it is the single...