Sample Psychology Reflection Paper on Dr.Watson’s Quote

Dr. Watson’s central argument is that given the right environment, a person can grow to become whatever the system has planned for him or her to become. Dr. Watson insinuates that nurture is the determining factor of whatever babies will turn out to be in the future regardless of the genetic advantages or drawbacks they have inherited from their parents. The meaning of Dr. Watson’s quote is that genetics do not matter in determining what a person will end up like in their adulthood. This would be the case if such a person was groomed from infancy to take up a particular skill or trade. The implication of the quote given by Watson is that the people who end becoming derelicts in the society is because of the nurturing they were given when growing up. Therefore, whatever an infant achieves or fails in their life, it can be attributed to the environment they grew up in and the type of parenting they received.

The main focus of Dr. Watson has to do with careers that are taken by people to make a living and make contributions to the society. He has therefore made a glaring assumption that the infants have the same potential become whatever he would plan to turn them into in the future. He has failed to consider some characteristics of a person that are hardwired into their DNA such as temperament, height, tolerance to various environmental stimuli, among others (Kamran, 2016). By not considering the effects of genetics on the preferred and favorable professions of the young infants in the future, Watson would be setting the infants for a life of frustration and potential failure if their internal nature is at odds with the career chosen for them.

I think that the quote by Dr. Watson is invalid, given the scientific studies on genetics as of now. It has been determined that the temperament of most people is contained in their DNA and can be observed when they are in their infancy before nurture has influenced them. The personality of an individual is core to choosing the career that is best suited for them (Kamran, 2016). Again, personality, though impacted by nurture and environment, is a core part of a person’s genetics. Nurture is not stronger than genetics, as there are some impediments that nurture cannot overcome. For example, persons with limited muscle development and height cannot make good athletes, no matter how much they train. This becomes apparent when such a person is pitted against another that has been favored by genetics to participate in particular sports. The effects of genetics can be observed in the way that persons from specific parts of the world perform well in one sport but are awfully poor at another. Same should apply to the careers chosen.

Instead of considering either nurture or nature stronger, they should be viewed as complementing each other. A person favored by genetics to have particular skills can be dwarfed by the environment they grow up in. However, in the right environment, an individual can capitalize on the gifts conferred by genetics. The environment is dynamic and can be changed while genetics are permanent. This ends up giving nature an upper hand. My emotions towards the quote by Dr. Watson are of disapproval of the mere attempt of what he suggests. It is not ethical to conduct the type of research suggested in the quote with infants. It denies the infants their right to choose and chart their paths in the future. Free will is one of humans most treasured traits, and such a research would undermine it.




Kamran, F., PhD. (2016). Are siblings different as ‘day and night’? parents’ perceptions of nature vs. nurture. Journal of Behavioural Sciences, 26(2), 95-115.