According to Freud humans are basically driven by sexual and aggressive instincts while famous humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers strongly disagreed with Freud and said the basic nature of human being is good, forward moving and sympathetic. Although, neither of them denied the opposite nature of human behaviour that they were claiming but they constantly focused on the word "innate".

For me the word innate itself seems so vague in terms of its scientific measurement. What is the current stand of modern psychologists on this question? How do they measure the innate nature of human? Or since, the question itself is so unclear that psychologists don't care anymore?


  1. Psychology by Sandra E. Hockenbury, 7th ed.
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. This sounds very similar to the nature/nurture debate, so this question may be a duplicate of: psychology.stackexchange.com/q/20803/7001. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ With Sigmund Freud, lot of people get hung up on the sexual elements of his theories when really, Freud’s theories centres on his motivation and drive theory and they centre on all sorts of pleasure. We are motivated towards whatever brings pleasure and are motivated away from pain, difficulty, destruction, confusion, etc. The Freud Museum’s factsheet and website explains this along with many things. $\endgroup$ Jan 8, 2019 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @ArnonWeinberg - I feel this is not just a nature vs nurture debate but could be debating all 5 spectrum models of development I pointed to in psychology.stackexchange.com/a/17211. However, 2 of them were mentioned in the question. $\endgroup$ Jan 8, 2019 at 10:23


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