What drives people to act or behave in certain ways throughout their life? Before I had studied any of the concepts and theories of psychology I primarily based my belief that heredity, early childhood experiences, and external circumstances are the primary determinants of behavior on personal experience. After completing my first psychology course I was surprised to find that while my thoughts on the subject are certainly better informed my core beliefs on the forces driving human behavior and my rationale for those beliefs remain largely unchanged. Jean Piaget would say that I had assimilated this new knowledge into my existing schema regarding human behavior. Essentially I believe that neither nature nor nurture alone can explain our behavior. Therefore I believe that the bio psychosocial model is the most inclusive and therefore complete approach to understanding health, illness, and behavior.
At conception the framework of who we are and will be is established by the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that contains our bodies’ genetic instructions. The fairly recent discovery of DNA and mapping of the human genome provides compelling and well accepted scientific evidence of genetics profound influence on the development of the individual. Even before DNA was discovered psychologists had long theorized that who a person is was influenced by who their parents were. The idea of heredities influence on human development is often referred to simply as nature. The biological approach to psychology attributes the causes of disorders and illness to abnormal genetic factors, brain function, and/or neurotransmitters.
Psychologists have long recognized and theorized on the stages and impacts of early childhood development. Which I believe is arguably the second most influential factor in determining human behavior. Even the nutrition we receive and stress experienced in utero can enable or limit the degree to which we develop to our full genetic...