You may not be old enough to remember the Maybelline Make-up commercial that stated: "Maybe she's born with it
You may not be old enough to remember the Maybelline Make-up commercial that stated: "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline," when determining if the model's beauty was natural or created by the make-up (Noonan 2014). This seemingly innocent commercial brings up the question of whether we are a product of our nature or our nurture. This commercial asked if she was born beautiful or made beautiful. This same question can be applied to many things.
Address these questions:
- Is a person born a genius or made a genius through education and hard work? We call a talented musician "gifted." Does that mean the individual was born with a natural gift for music (nature) or did they just work harder than other people to be that good (nurture)? Explain your reasoning. Would it make a difference in your answer if that musician were nine years old or thirty years old? In what way?
- This is all part of the decades old debate over whether we are born with certain innate personality characteristics and abilities (our genes), or whether we learn and are impacted by our experiences to be the person we become (environment).
- Do they work independently – or do they work together? Explain your choice and find a source to support your view on this.
- Probably one of the most famous answers to this age-old question comes from neuropsychologist Donald Hebb. When a reporter allegedly asked Hebb which was more important – nature or nurture, he replied, "Which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its width"(as cited in Meaney, 2004. p. 2)?
Finally, discuss what you think Dr. Hebb meant by that reply.