The period in psychology from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s is marked by the entry of the nature–nurture dimension into the science of learning and reasoning itself. Whilst this has at times been done with reluctance, it has been important not only to cognitive science but also to how the nature–nurture issue itself has been considered. It raises two immediate points, which are the pervasive problems referred to by this chapter's title. The first concerns that reluctance: why is it that the nature–nurture question continues to be an emotive aspect of psychology, and indeed of all the social sciences? The second is why it simply cannot be ignored or even played down in importance; why the nature–nurture issue is actually one of the most enduring problems in all of psychology.
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