Cognitive Abilities Psych Application: Environ Ecological Theory 081909
Cognition and Learning
Course Project: Connecting Cognition and Learning
Theory through Application
Course Code: PSY360
Submitted by: Susan Gendron
Psy 360: M8:A2
In relation to Dwayne’s perspectives on learning, nature would supercede
nurture because Dwayne’s cultural heritage pertaining to his Native American
origin whereby he believes “certain species are essential to the survival of groups
of Native American people.” (Argosy, 2009). To place this class project into its
proper perspective, this contradicts with Dwayne’s learning process because he
doesn’t believe scientists should interrupt with nature concerning these endangered
species. Although, he is in favor of our nation retaining these animals, he feels violated
and refuses to participate in this class project for lack of respect to his Native American
cultural beliefs. In summation, he believes nature should take its course.
However, by broadening his learning research skills through class participation,
he would gain an abundance of knowledge that would enhance his understanding
of the scientists’ and biologists’ rationale to perform research justifying their
progressiveness to gain more data to repopulate North American polar bear while
providing for the lifelong cultural needs of his Native American people.
Indicators supporting the nature issue of learning for Dwayne would best related to
researcher (Ridley, 1999, p. 77) who indicates,
“Zeitgeist is the Western psychological world is somewhere in between - both genetics
and environment are seen as playing important roles. To be more precise, the modern
view about nature vs. nurture in intelligence is "interactionist". "Mother Nature has
plainly not entrusted the determination of our intellectual capacities to the blind fate
of a gene or genes; she gave us parents, learning, language, culture and education to
program ourselves with."
In my opinion, Dwayne should be encouraged by Maria, instructor to interact in
group class discussion as a means of benefitting from growth associated with his
current learning process for purpose of furtherance of gainful insight into scientific
methods by which to assist his native people in future years to come. Otherwise, he
is exhibiting a self-limiting, tunnel vision viewpoint and creating a conflict for the
instructor. Whereas, Maria may wish engage into a “collectivism approach to support
the advancement of the class” (Argosy 2009, p. 2). Strategically, the instructor could
present the class with a video on this subject matter without isolating Dwayne. This
would serve to stimulate a positive response collectively by all students to comply with
the in-class assigned project. This will offer a creative learning experience through
audio-visual aids or power-point slide presentation tying this into the Native American
culture. Secondly, this sensory learning medium would enlighten all students whereby
it could be followed with a written activity for each student to write one paragraph on
pros and one paragraph on cons of what they learned from this video or cultural slide
presentation to correlates scientific research of repopulation of this endangered species.
The instructor should stage the project to deliver optimizing of compliance with all class
group projects while respecting Dwayne’s diversified needs.
Social influences comprise of group class discussions as a means of resolving a cultural
conflicting issue in a respectful manner to enhance the learning process for a student
experiencing educational and social maladjustment to his learning environment and
subject matter. For instance,
“Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory reminds educators that children develop in
several types of social contexts.” (Argosy, 2009, p. 1). Other forms involve familial
support following the close of a school day. Specifically, Dwayne’s family should contact
the instructor for a parent-teacher meeting to streamline after-school strategies at home to
support their child’s learning experience rather than create a downward spiral negative
response to his educational experience. This will offset any social feeling of cultural
isolation associated with their cultural value system. The latter will justify Erickson’s
psychosocial stage of development correlating Industry vs. Inferiority. Briefly speaking,
through the integration of parental support after-school at home in compliance with
mandated course assignments relative to cultural and ethnic differences, the student,
Dwayne will rise above feelings of ethnic inferiority and engage into industrialism
by becoming more of an interactionist with his peers and instructor inclusively.
Intelligence variables affect the social integration and learning strategies that comprise a
child’s nature vs. nurture are follow-up with supportive measures a means to an end.
Research studies indicate that intelligence varies with:
"No single environmental factor seems to have a large influence on IQ. Variables widely
believed to be important are usually weak....Even though many studies fail to find strong
environmental effects....most of the factors studied do influence IQ in the direction
predicted by the investigator....environmental effects are multi-factorial and largely
unrelated to each other." (Bouchard & Segal, 1985, p.452).
In closing, learning is a combination of factors targeting social, intelligent, cultural, peer
educational and social interactions, as well as familial and environmental settings and
circumstances. Secondly, ethnicity (shared pattern of characteristics, race) and culture
(behavior and beliefs) play a major role in one’s learning environment through social
interaction and identity patterns of development linked to Erickson’s six stages of
psychosocial development. There is strength in unity and the collectivism approach
to optimize students’ in-class learning educational experience.
Psy 360: M8:A2
#Ridley1999); Nature vs. Nurture in Intelligence, (2005).
(http://www.myeclassonline.com); (Argosy, 2009), Social and Cultural Influences:
Collectivism, p.2; Ethnicity and Culture, p.1.
(http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/person/erikson.html); Six Stages of Eric
Erickson’s Psychosocial Development: Industry vs. Inferiority, p, 1. (Niolon, R.).
(Bouchard, T. J., & Segal, N. L. (1985), Environment and IQ. In Wolman, B.,
Handbook of Intelligence: Theories, measurements, and Applications (pp. 391-464).
New York: John Wiley.
Nature proponents claim that biology determines learning potential,
and nurture proponents claim that environmental experience
determines learning potential.
Does nature or nurture have more influence on human behavior?
Nature proponents claim that biology determines human behavior, and
nurture proponents claim that environmental experience determines
Behavior is a product of the interaction of nature, nurture, and the present
situation to which the individual is responding.
The most vehement nature vs. nurture debate focuses on the issue of
intelligence. Several research approaches tend to point to a significant
hereditary contribution to intelligence; however, just as many studies
indicate that life experiences also significantly influence intelligence
potential. The conclusion is that, of the variation in intelligence among
individuals, 50 percent can be attributed to heredity.
How does the nature vs. nurture perspective influence gender differences?
Later in this Module, we’ll examine gender differences in detail. However,
the few documented differences between genders are not so neatly
explained by the nature vs. nurture perspectives because biology and
social factors interact. For example, the biological factors that create male
and female physical characteristics may predispose different cultural
influences on males and females. In this way, culture might develop what
biology has initiated.
Human genes and their environment are not isolated factors. Consider this:
Some genetically influenced traits may elicit responses that encourage
development of natural skills and may lead to selection of complementary
For example, an individual who is skilled in mathematics is likely to take
mathematics course in high school and then score high in mathematics
when attempting a standardized college entrance exam.