The -for and Against Argument with Regards to Innate and Learned Behaviour.

Topics: Infant, Behavior, Human behavior Pages: 3 (1159 words) Published: December 11, 2012
Q.1 In your own words, detail the -for and against argument with regards to innate and learned behaviour. Feel free to include your own opinion, but be sure to justify it. Try to include an equal amount of information for the both sides. Use at least 500 words for your answer. For many years psychologists have been researching behaviour patterns from birth. This is where the ‘Nature’ vs ‘Nurture’ debate begins. Nativists believe that humans are born with various skills needed to survive, where as Empircist believe that humans acquire all or almost of all their behavioural traits from "nurture". Some behaviours are innate, unlearned and instinctive. From the moment we are born there are instinctive motions that we do. An example of this would be to swallow if there was food in your mouth, or to cough to push something out of your windpipe. These reactions are known as reflexes and are quick, simple as well as automatic. Other examples would be a baby closing their eyes if they felt a puff of air on their face. It is also instinctive to produce saliva to aid swallowing when you feel food in your mouth. This was never taught to us as babies, we just know to do it. [ref1] The reasons for these instinctive behaviours, is protection. To swallow when our mouths have food in it, enables the feeding process as well as keeping it empty. Coughing to empty the windpipe prevents chocking. Blinking protects our eyes. In addition to these basic natural reflexes, newborns also possess certain primitive reflexes. An example of this would be the ‘rooting reflex’. If you gently touch the corner of a newborn/ infants mouth and slowly pull their cheek, they will turn their tongue, mouth and even their entire head towards the stimulated side and attempt to suck your finger. Even though sucking and swallowing is an ‘Innate’ behaviour it has been shown to be open to the effects of learning. Cohen (1967) found that babies who were restless and crying for a feed became quicker with...
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