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Maybe You Are Born With It

Maybe You Are Born With It

There are two types of geniuses: born geniuses (nature) and those who grow up to be geniuses through nurture. Some people are born with a high IQ, meaning their brain processing capabilities are above that of the average brain (Solé-Casals et al., 2019). Therefore, whatever that individual chooses to focus on, they will be better at it because they can learn and master those techniques quickly, making them extraordinary. In addition, there is a genius of people born naturally gifted at something even though they do not have a high IQ. However, the connections in their brains make people with high IQs different, which function faster than usual. With that in mind, it is worth mentioning that the brain is a muscle, and the more one puts it to work, the more the muscle grows (Sarrasin et al., 2018). Therefore, the brain would grow if an ordinary individual with an average IQ were interested in learning a violin and then dedicated themselves to it. Eventually, the person would become a genius in the field of the violin. Suppose the individual was nine or thirty years old; there would be a big difference. As mentioned above, natural geniuses do not need years of learning to be good at something, unlike nurture geniuses. Therefore, a nurture genius would most likely be thirty years old, while a natural genius could be at any age.

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For nature genius, I believe that both nature and nurture have to play a part because having a high IQ or a natural gift does not mean that the person comes with all the knowledge. Instead, they have to learn it; the only difference is they know at an extraordinarily high speed. Therefore, natural genius is dependent on both genes and the environment. However, a nurtured genius is independent of genes but dependent entirely on the environment because it is an average IQ person who works hard at mastering a craft, and this would not be as easy as it would be for a naturally genius person. In my opinion, Dr. Hebb’s question, “Which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or width” (Meaney, 2004), meant that there is no way to tell what is more important. Suppose Albert Einstein did not find his way into physics; would he still be a known genius.? This would remove the fact that he still would have had a high IQ, which is natural. This applies to naturally gifted people, such as a naturally talented writer born in a poor environment and thus never gets to put their gift into practice. The same applies to people who work hard to master their craft; unless they put in the effort, they can never really become geniuses. As such, Dr. Hebb meant that both elements play a significant part, and there is no way to quantify which is more important.


Meaney, M. J. (2004). The nature of nurture: Maternal effects and chromatin remodeling. Essays in social neuroscience, 1-14.

Sarrasin, J. B., Nenciovici, L., Foisy, L. M. B., Allaire-Duquette, G., Riopel, M., & Masson, S. (2018). Effects of teaching the concept of neuroplasticity to induce a growth mindset on motivation, achievement, and brain activity: A meta-analysis. Trends in neuroscience and education, 12, 22-31.

Solé-Casals, J., Serra-Grabulosa, J. M., Romero-Garcia, R., Vilaseca, G., Adan, A., Vilaró, N., … & Bullmore, E. T. (2019). The structural brain network of gifted children has a more integrated and versatile topology. Brain Structure and Function, 224(7), 2373-2383.


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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 raises whether we are a product of our nature or nurture. This commercial asked if she was born beautiful or made beautiful. This same question can be applied to many things.

Maybe You Are Born With It

Maybe You Are Born With It

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 work harder than others 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 specific 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.

Meaney, M. J. (2004). The nature of nurture: Maternal effects and chromatin remodeling. In J. T. Cacioppo & G. G. Berntson (Eds.), Essays in social neuroscience (p. 1–14). MIT Press.

Noonan, K. (2014, June 24). Maybe it’s Maybelline 1991 [Video]. YouTube.

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