NATURE AND NURTURE INTERACTION IN ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND APPRECIATION AMONG ARTS STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH EAST, NIGERIA

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NATURE AND NURTURE INTERACTION IN ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND APPRECIATION AMONG ARTS STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH EAST, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Nature and nurture are believed to be on constant interaction in the formation of personality. This appears to be the same with the development of artistic talent and skills. The process of developing artistic abilities is a complex enterprise involving a complex creative thought process and pattern. This complex creative thought process is a conscious application and expenditure of creative thought energy. The levels at which artists process expend these dynamic creative energy vary, just as their micro and macro environment. The causes and impact of these variations need to be constantly explored. This study therefore explores the interaction between nature and nurture in artistic development and appreciation among art students. For this purpose, 502 art students of four universities that offer Fine and Applied Arts in South East, Nigeria were used for this study. A four point scaled questionnaire was designed and administered to these students to feel their pulse on their perception on how genetic and environmental variables affect their artistic development as well as the content of their work. The outcome were analysed using mean score, percentage score, chi square, Spearman’s rank order correlation coefficient and t-test. Following the collection and analysis of data, some pertinent findings were registered. They include among other things the fact that (a) Nature was found to influence artistic growth and development (b) Nurture variables, were also found to influence the development of artistic behaviour (c) Artistic attainment of students was found to be positively and significantly linked to those of their kinship (d) The experience of growing up in the home was also found to be an influencing factor in artistic growth and development. (e) Again, the experience of belonging to a given social class was found to influence the individuals artistic growth and development (f) Finally, cultural variables were found to influence the content of art students work.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE OF PAGE      …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …          i

APPROVAL PAGE  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …          ii

CERTIFICATION PAGE     …        …        …        …        …        …        …        iv

DEDICATION           …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT    …        …        …        …        …        …        …          v

TABLE OF CONTENTS      …        …        …        …        …        …        …        vii

LIST OF TABLES    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        ix

LIST OF FIGURES   …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …       xi

ABSTRACT   …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        xii

CHAPTER 1

1.0       INTRODUCTION     …        …        …        …        …        …        …          1

1.1       Background of the study      …        …        …        …        …       …          1

1.2       Statement of the problem     …        …        …        …        …        …         7

1.3       Purpose of the study …        …        …        …        …        …        …       10

1.4       Significance of the study      …        …        …        …        …        …        11

1.5       Scope of the study    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        12

1.6       Research Questions  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        12

1.7       Hypothesis     …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        13

 

CHAPTER 2

2.0       LITERATURE REVIEW  …        …        …        …        …        …        15

2.1       The concept ad origin of Nature      …        …        …        …        …        15

2.2       The concept of Nurture                    …        …        …        …         …        22

2.2.1   Physical Environment          …        …        …        …        …        …        22

2.2.2   Social Environment  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        24

2.2.3   Cultural Environment           …        …        …        …        …        …        27

2.3       Between Nature and Nurture                                   …        …        …        31

2.4       The concept of Artistic Development and Appreciation                …        37

2.5       Nature factor in Artistic Development and Appreciation              …        45

2.6       Nurture factor in Artistic Development and

Appreciation  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        50

2.7       Nature, Nurture and Artistic Development and

Appreciation  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        53

2.8       Studies on Nature and Nurture                    …        …        …        …        55

2.9       Summary of Literature         …        …        …        …        …        …        59

CHAPTER 3

3.0       RESEARCH METHOD     …        …        …        …        …        …        61

3.1       Research Design       …        …        …        …        …        …        …        61

3.2       Area of study …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        61

3.3       Population     …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        62

3.4       Sample/Sampling Technique           …        …        …        …        …        62

3.5       Instrument for Data Collection        …        …        …        …        …        63

3.6       Validation of Instrument      …        …        …        …        …        …        63

3.7       Reliability of Instrument      …        …        …        …        …        …        64

3.8       Method of Data Collection   …        …        …        …        …        …        64

3.9       Method of Data Presentation and Analysis …        …        …        …        65

CHAPTER 4

4.0       DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS      …        …        …        66

4.1       Result of Pilot Study …        …        …        …        …        …        …        66

4.2       Analysis of Research Questions      …        …        …        …        …        70

4.2.1   Research Question 1 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        70

4.2.2   Research Question 2 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        72

4.2.3   Research Question 3 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        74

4.2.4   Research Question 4 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        76

4.2.5   Research Question 5 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        79

4.2.6   Research Question 6 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        80

4.2.7   Research Question 7 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        82

4.2.8   Research Question 8 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        85

4.2.9   Research Question 9 …        …        …        …        …        …        …        87

4.3       Testing of Hypotheses          …        …        …        …        …        …        89

4.3.1   Hypothesis     1          …        …        …        …        …        …        …        90

4.3.2   Hypothesis 2  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        91

4.3.3   Hypothesis 3  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        93

4.3.4   Hypothesis 4  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        95

4.3.5   Hypothesis 5  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        97

4.3.6   Hypothesis 6  …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …       98

CHAPTER 5

5.0       SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS

            AND CONCLUSION          …        …        …        …        …        …        100

5.1       Summary of Findings           …        …        …        …        …        …        100

5.2       Discussion of Findings         …        …        …        …        …        …        102

5.3       Recommendations    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        105

5.4       Conclusion    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        107

5.5       Limitations …           …        …        …        …        …        …        …        108

References     …        …        ..          …        …        …        …        …        109

Appendices    …        …        …        …        …        …        …        …        115

 

CHAPTER 1

  • INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Nature and Nurture are believed to be on constant interaction in the formation of personality. This appears to be same with the development of artistic talent and skills. In the traditional societies, young artists were usually given out to art masters for tutelage and apprenticeship before they could become full artists themselves, even though talents were believed to be hereditary. This apparently is the traditional acknowledgement of nature and nurture components of artistic growth and development.

Within the world of psychology, genetics and environment present two major explanations as to the determinants of endowment. The issue has generated to an extent that intellectual difference between individuals, social classes and races can be attributed to genetic and environmental factors (nature and nurture). The nature and nurture controversy has generated a lot of interest in the way psychologists theorize. The implication of nature and nurture explanations to artistic growth and development must generate fresh interests in the way artists view themselves; what they do and how they theorize. How these variables interact to influence the artistic development and appreciation among art students should generate fresh interest in the nature and nurture controversy in artistic explanations, future methodologies and future art pedagogy.

Among the early proponents of the genetic factor is Jensen (1969) who argued that “just as given adequate nutrition, individual differences in height between children reflect genetic differences, so given a minimally adequate social and physical environment, individual difference in intelligent quotient (I.Q.) reflect genetic difference. The rationale for this proposition include, on one hand, a review which led Jensen to conclude that genetic factors are four times as important as environmental factors in accounting for I.Q. variance and on the other hand, an assertion that there is no evidence that environmental variations cause other than small difference in intelligence except in the cases of grossly deprived environments such as isolation.

However a more recent study by Tizard (1974) appear to offer strong presumptive evidence that the usual I.Q. variance found between racial groups are related to differences in child-rearing practices rather than to genetic factor. Earlier Lewontin (1970) and Furby (1973) had pointed out that whatever may be the contributions of genetics to I.Q. variance within groups, differences between groups could equally well be due entirely to genetic factors, entirely to environmental factors or to some combination of both. Even though Jensen (1969) had earlier asserted that the environment does not modify intellectual and creative development. Rather, it can only act as a threshold variance, that is, that above a certain threshold of environmental adequacy, environmental variation cause relatively small difference in endowment.

Accordingly, Rodnapp (1998) summarizes that the most distinct difference between developmentalism and behaviourism concerns the role of environment in accounting for behaviour. While classical developmentalists pay relatively little attention to the environment, even though they are quite aware of the way the environment can foster development. They generally take the environment for granted. In contrast, behaviourists are entranced by the environment and what it can do in the overall development of the individual. They consider it extremely powerful, serving to strengthen or weaken the development of the individual at every moment.

Whatever may be the arguments, it is necessary to note that poor artistic development is sometimes, as a result of delinquency rather than low endowment, and that sometimes, low educational and economic disadvantage could lead to low development. However, no proposition so far has ruled out the fact that both nature and nurture are important in determining endowment since both of them are indispensable in the intellectual and artistic development of an individual. This far is acknowledged by Canro (1971:65) when he stated that intelligence and endowments are not fixed at birth or at conception, since many different factors often combine to contribute to their development. Secondly, owing to imperfection associated with human genetics which often result to different levels of intelligence and socio-cultural differences, many lower level of intelligence at earlier stage in life, may become brighter at later stages of development.

It is no longer in doubt as to the question of heredity and environment as modern psychologists regard all behaviour as a product of the interaction between heredity and environment. In the case of artistic endowment, it is virtually impossible to separate the influence of these two factors. Heredity may put limits to the individual’s potentials, but his experiences within art environment sharpen his capabilities. Therefore, the extent to which an individual’s artistic ability may correlate with those of their parents may depend on time, place, as well as upon the maturation level of the individual. No one family has a monopoly of the entire good gene and another of the entire bad gene. There is however a considerable amount of overlap in any group distribution of endowments.

According to Anderson (1980), creative skill acquisition can occur in three stages:

  • (i) Cognitive stage, in which a description of the procedure is learned;
  • (ii) Associative stage, in which a method of performing the skill is worked out; and
  • (iii) Autonomous stage, in which the skill becomes more and more rapid and automatic.

This appears to be an environmental blueprint for skill acquisition and artistic development of the individual. This blueprint suggests that art is learned within artistic environment under the tutelage of art masters. What is yet to be cleared out is, whether these processes bring out an already existing innate endowment or just that they are simply learned.

Art generally manifest a reflection of one’s inner creative consciousness which manifest in outward behaviour in various ways. These ways may be categorized into:

  • (i) The literary and performing arts which display peoples’ characters in dramatic ways.
  • (ii) The visual arts in which the outcome cares the sense of vision.

The creative input and outcome is a result of valuable expenditure of dynamic creative energies which are directed to realize visual effects. It is thought that these dynamic creative energies are genetically acquired from our paternal and/or maternal lineage. These dynamic energies are usually referred to as artistic talents.

What is yet to be known is whether these talents are fixed at birth or at conception or whether they are developed later in life, since many different factors often combine to contribute to its development. Although Canro (1971) had insisted that they are not. One therefore wonders on the genetic implication of such an emphatic assertion.

Essentially, it may be said that everybody is endowed artistically, even though at different levels. But whatever may be the level, the development of such endowment is dependent on a conscious effort at getting involved in creative activities and upon creative experiences within the immediate environment.

According to Manning and Dawkins (1998) any account of artistic development must include some consideration of genetic factors, because genes constitute some source of information which is present from the very outset of life. Therefore, genetics immediately comes to mind when analyzing instinctive creative behaviour  and it has been common enough to make reference to pattern of inheritance, more especially when discussing the evolution of artistic behaviour. To them for instance, we must accept that artistic development may involve processes and factors which cannot easily be categorized. Although, reasons abound to show that artistic behaviour have often evolved alongside morphology to achieve addictiveness.

While there can be no doubt that genes are involved in the development of artistic talent, it is not usually a straightforward matter to investigate how they act. There is usually difficulty in translating genetic process in terms of artistic behaviour and its development. This is because of the distance between the genes and the end product which is large and due to the diversity of the end product.

Accordingly, any form of genetic analysis of artistic development must depend on us having suitable genetically based variation for our material. Although common sense suggests that genes must be involved when we observe instinctive artistic   behaviour, emerging fully fledged as it were, at the first performance in every individual population. But paradoxically, such constancy of development offers no rigorous way of investigating it and how genes are acting. For instance it may be easy to work out how genes operate to produce physical attributes in humans (Manning and Dawkins; 1998), but when the interest or effort shifts to creative attributes, some difficulty will surely be experience.

It may therefore be possible to talk of genetic control of artistic talent. Evidence abounds from previous researches to demonstrate that genes do play a powerful role in the formation of such interconnections.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

One of the major challenges facing art educators, especially in Nigeria, is the fact that they rarely theorize on issue bothering on artistic development of their students and on the underlying principles of development of artistic behaviour, especially as it concerns art practice. And so an art teacher may usually be worried or troubled that a set of art students do not perform well in an art class, little will they get deeply involved in finding out why. When therefore art students and their teachers start focusing their energy and attention on such basic issues as the psychology of art, and of art students as well as the development of artistic behaviour would they begin to understand that certain internal and external factors are responsible for an individual’s artistic behaviour, and that these factors are constantly on interaction in the development of artistic behaviour.

Art as an interesting creative enterprise involves as it were a complex thought process and pattern, acquisition of manipulating skills and rendition of creative enterprise. Just as the process of developing artistic abilities is a complex enterprise involving a complex creative thought process and pattern. This complex creative thought process is a conscious application and expenditure of creative thought energy. The levels at which artists process and expend these dynamic creative energy usually vary just as their experiences with art related learning experiences within their micro and macro environment. The causes and impact of these variations need to be constantly explored. What need to be artistically examined and possibly found out is how these complex creative thought process develop within the environment and the experiences it present to art students. Even though it may become somewhat difficult to isolate the impact of genetics, and directly determine its impact on artistic growth and development of the artist. However, whenever the issue of growth and development is mentioned, one readily focuses his mind on the interaction between nature and nurture. This interaction between these two fundamental variables desires to be constantly evaluated. This study emerges in response to this desire.

It is also important to study artists especially during their internship days to see how they grow and develop artistically and how their creative abilities also develop. A review may be desirable involving the artists immediate art experiences derived from their learning environment in art schools so as to determine how they foster creative growth and development.

What must be of utmost priority in art schools in tertiary institutions is the assurance that quality artists are produced for the development of art and for the growth of the nation. This is particularly so because of the role art is seen to play in the growth and development of the nation and in the preservation of our cultural heritage. For art teachers to ensure that they do their job well, they must go beyond just engaging the learners in creative activities that enhance learning, but must include a systematic and well thought out artistic growth and development programmes that must fully engage the learners. For this to be possible studies must constantly be generated that must focus on the learners, their interest, their needs and aspirations, their previous experiences, their family background as well as their creative and manipulative abilities, so as to have full knowledge of students before engaging in such programmes. Such studies will ordinarily involve the review of the impact of nature as well as nurture on the artistic growth and development of artists.

It may therefore not be far from the truth to state that there is dearth of researches in these areas especially in Nigeria. This study readily come to mind to fill this gap and to stimulate further studies in this and related areas, to widen the scope and horizon of the activities of Art Schools in Nigeria using Southeast Nigeria as a case in point.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study essentially is to examine how nature and nurture interact in fostering artistic development and appreciation among art students.

Specifically, this study sought to:

  1. Assess the impact of nature (heredity) on artistic development and appreciation.
  2. Evaluate the influence of the nurture (environment) on artistic development an appreciation.
  3. Determine whether artistic talent and skills are acquired or learnt.
  4. See whether the artistic/creative abilities of students are related to those of their parents.
  5. Evaluate whether the artistic abilities of students are co-related to those of their kinship.
  6. Find out if the socio-economic status of the parent’s impact on the artistic performance of the students.
  7. See whether the experiences of being a member of a given social group influence artistic development and appreciation.
  8. See whether the experience of being a member of a given cultural group, influence the content of art students’ work.

1.4       Significance of the Study

The significance of this study lies essentially, in stimulating more vigorous and wider studies in this area. This is essentially important because of the role it will play in the artistic development of future artists and art as a field of study. Art as an essential aspect of human existence, need to be developed beyond its present stage. Therefore, any study or effort geared towards developing art students should be welcomed. It is believed that issues raised and findings registered in this study will help in the selection, admission and training of future artists, so that the best are given stimulating opportunities and those who seem weak are given more attention and more art related experience.

It is hoped that his study will be of immense value to art teachers especially in art schools in Nigerian universities. This is because the study will address the issue of artistic attainment among art students and show the various internal and external factors that can influence artistic development among art students. This will help foster deeper understanding of what they do and increase their efficiency.

It is thought that this study will be of great value to art students, their teachers, art graduates and researchers. It is also believed that it will open new grounds for research in art related field. This is in addition to providing valuable reference materials for further studies.

Finally, the researcher stands to benefit from the study as the study will help widen his experience in research as well as expose him to the psychology of art and of artists.

1.5       Scope of the Study

This study is based on Southeast, Nigeria. It focused on the universities that offer Fine and Applied Arts in the region, 502 students in the institutions were used for the study.

1.6       Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study:

(1)       Has nature (genetic) any impact on the artistic development and appreciation of art students?

  • Does nurture (environment) influence artistic growth and development of art students?

(3)       Does the experience of growing up in the home influence artistic development and appreciation among art students?

(4)       Does the experience of being a member of a given social group influence artistic development?

(5)       Are artistic talents and skills acquired or learn?

(6)       Does the kingship of students relate to their artistic growth and development?

(7)       Does the cultural background of the students influence the content of their work?

(8)       Does the artistic abilities of students relate to those of their parents?

(9)       Does the socio-economic status of the parents influence artistic performance of the students?

1.7       Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested:

HO1:     Nature (genetics) does not impact positively on artistic development and appreciation among art student.

Nature (genetics) do impact positively on artistic development and appreciation among art students.

HO2:     The nurture (environment) of the art students does not positively influence their artistic growth and development.

The nurture (environment) of the art students does positively influence their artistic growth and development.

HO3:      There is no significant relationship in the kinship of the students and their artistic attainment.

There is significant relationship in the kinship of the students and their artistic attainment.

HO4:      The cultural background of the students does not influence the content of their work.

The cultural background of the students does influence the content of their work.

HO5:      The experiences of growing up in the home do not influence the artistic development and appreciation among art students.

The experiences of growing up in the home influence the artistic development and appreciation among art student.

HO6:      The experiences of being a member of a given social group do not influence artistic development.

The experiences of being a member of a given social group influence artistic development.

 

NATURE AND NURTURE INTERACTION IN ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND APPRECIATION AMONG ARTS STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES IN SOUTH EAST, NIGERIA

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