Is it nurture? Is it nature? Sometimes, we would not know, and that’s good enough

General observation:

Each time I travel, I bring with mementoes (usually inexpensive) gifts for each person in the household as well as friends and family. Something to tell them they were on my mind during my trip.

My wife does the same.

My closest friends do the same.

I have observed my siblings do the same.

Gap(s) in my observation:

I don’t know if this is a general societal norm (because my friends and family don’t begin to approximate a significant sample size) of this observation.
The (observational) experiement:
#Abeke just returned from a few days away from home, and she brought her little sister a gift from her trip. It is her first solo trip – in a manner is speaking.


I couldn’t help but think, does it run in the blood (nature)? Or is it something she has picked up from the environment (nurture)?

We may never know. The process of determining an answer (measurement) may influence the experiment (the behaviour being assessed). For example, if I ask her why she did what she did, she will likely attempt a rational answer. That answer may or may not be the truth. But it would be logical enough to satisfy her but may be grossly unrepresentative of the true reasons behind her behaviour.

I am not disparaging surveys and interviews as data gathering tools. I am just pointing out the limitation of these modes of inquiry in this one instance.

First posted here.



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