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Old ToK Presentation - Nature vs Nurture

ToK Presentation

Min Xi

on 12 June 2015

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Transcript of Old ToK Presentation - Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture: The Endless Debate
Real Life Situation
Mental health in children is affected by their family and neighborhood
Researchers followed 543, 195 children for 11 years to learn about potential factors that affected their mental health
Mood and anxiety related
More than 26, 000 children developed a psychiatric disorder - 29% of these cases were attributed to family and 5% were attributed to neighborhood deprivation
Knowledge Question
To what extent is human behavior determined by the surrounding environment?
Human Sciences
Descartes' Nativism
Development #1: Natural Sciences
Implications (link to other RLSs)
Conclusion and Link Back to RLS
Theory of Knowledge Presentation
Yilda B, Min X, Rachel Y

John Locke's
Tabula Rasa
Innate understanding of certain concepts
Born as "Blank Slates"
Must be educated to cultivate intellect
Freud's Model of Personality
Universal Grammar
Noam Chomsky, linguist, theory of language acquisition
Innate, biological grammatical categories
Make it easy to develop and learn language language
Contains all grammatical information for categories (noun, verb…) to be combined into phrases
Child only needs to learn the words
How would categories like "noun", "verb" be created biologically and evolutionarily?

How is it possible, through experimentation, to prove this?

How can we have a predetermined language instinct, yet have different perceptions because of it?

Does not take into account the cultural aspect and the impact of shared knowledge upon a language and how this affects us
Language Diversity (Alternate Perspective)
Nicholas Evans, linguistics professor at Australian National University

Universal Grammar makes the assumption that all languages are English-like

Linguist study is very ethnocentric, mostly European languages which are similar

Languages are so different from one another that you can't find something that they all share
The Id
Present from birth
Instinctive, primitive behaviours
Driven by pleasure-seeking tendencies, aggressive urges to destroy
The Ego
Responsible for dealing with reality
Develops from the id, ensures impulse are expressed in an appropriate manner
The Superego
Holds internalized moral standards and ideals
Acquired from parents and society around age 5
Provides guidelines for ego to make judgements
Ego ideal and conscience
Secondary Knowledge Question
Knowledge Claim
What role do genes play in determining human behaviour?
Skinner’s Behaviourism
Children learn language based on reinforcement principles
Associate words with meanings, correct words are rewarded when the child realizes that they allow him to communicate

Ara Norenzayan, UBC professor and social psychologist

Reminders of mortality temporarily bring out religious feelings
Reminders of God increase generosity of people towards strangers

Belief in God does not make people less tolerant
Those who frequent places of worship where they pick up a "us vs. them" mentality are those who are least accepting
Society and Shared Knowledge
Language and Perception
Requires us to pay attention to specific things in order to communicate:

Kuuk Thaayore and cardinal directions

Also affects our conceptual perception

Spatial and time metaphors
Color perception
Personification of objects and concepts
Bilingualism and Personality
Different languages can cause different ways of acting

Asymmetrical bilingualism
Funnier, more spontaneous in the one they are best at

Bicultural bilingualism
Different languages can evoke different feelings
Signals from the environment trigger molecular biological changes that modify brain cells and affect human behaviour.
Morphology Acquisition
Children are sensitive to patterns in language, making it easy to acquire it
Detect patterns in what they have heard
Historical Development
Knowledge Framework
Way of Knowing
Academic Proof
J. David Sweatt -
McKnight Brain Institute (University of Alabama)
Works Cited
Hell and Heaven
“Only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race’s heritage of moral iniquity."

- W. E. B. Du Bois
Difference in behaviour in those who believed in a malevolent God rather than a benevolent one

Criminal activity is lower where people's beliefs contain strong punitive component

Country where more people believe in heaven than hell has higher crime rate than where beliefs are equal

Ethical behaviour is greatly influenced by supernatural punishment

However, nations where more people believed in heaven were happier
Racial Justification and Racial Superiority
Intelligence determines human behaviour. Intelligence is determined by nature not by society.

- Francis Galton
Academic Proof
Francis Galton (1822-1911)

Ways of Knowing
Knowledge Framework
Intelligence must be bred, not trained.
Intelligence and some aspects of human behaviour are naturally determined.
Observed upper British society
Environment trigger biological modifications that affect human behaviour
Implication to Real Life Situation
Family and Neighborhood
Personal and Shared Environments Experienced by Children
Modify Brain Cells
Affect Behaviour
Society and the world around us has a great impact on our beliefs
It is especially through shared knowledge that is transmitted to us while we are young
Language, faith are both sources of shared knowledge
Implications for RLS
Social Environment
(Alternate Perspective)
People change and adapt to environment's demands
People around them determine the way they try to do this
The influence of those around us dictate how he tries to get wealthy

The social norms around the students
What exactly determines behavior?
Do things like the language we speak and our imagination influence the way we behave?
Does our perception of those around us influence our behavior?
Full transcript