People have wondered for a long time how their personalities and behaviors are formed. It is not easy to explain why one person is intelligent and another is not, or why one is cooperative and another is competitive.
Social scientists are, of course, extremely interested in these types of questions. They want to explain why we possess certain characteristics and exhibit certain behaviors. There are no clear answers yet, but two distinct schools of thought on the matter have developed. As one might expect, the two approaches are very different from one another, and there is a great deal of debate between proponents of each theory. The controversy is often referred to as “nature / nurture”.
Those who support the "nature" side of the conflict believe that our personalities and behavior patterns are largely determined by biological and genetics(遗传学)factors. That our environment has little, if anything, to do with our abilities, characteristics, and behavior is central to this theory. Taken to an extreme, this theory maintains that our behavior is predetermined to such a degree that we are almost completely governed by our instincts.
Proponents of the “nurture” theory, or, as they are often called, behaviorists, claimed that our environment is more important than our biologically based instincts in determining how we will act. A behaviorist, B. F. Skinner, sees humans as beings whose behavior is almost completely shaped by their surroundings. The behaviorists’view of the human being is quite mechanistic; they maintain that, like machines, humans respond to environmental stimuli(刺激)as the basis of their behavior.
Either of these theories cannot yet fully explain human behavior. In fact, it is quite likely that the key to our behavior lies somewhere between these two extremes. That the controversy will continue for a long time is certain.
1. Which one of the following statements would supporters of the "nature" theory agree with?
A. A person’s instincts have little effect on his action.
B. Environment is important in determining a person’s behavior and personality.
C. Biological reasons have a strong influence on how we act.
D. The behaviorists’ view correctly explains how we act.
2. Which one of the following statements would proponents of the “nurture” theory agree with?
A. A person’s character is greatly influenced by his environment.
B. behaviorist theory is not correct.
C. Biologically based instincts are important in how we act.
D. Environment has little to do with behavior.
3. B.F. Skinner ______.
A. supports the nature theory
B. believes in the importance of genes in determining personality
C. thinks the environment plays an important role in determining character
D. believes instincts govern behavior
19. Concerning the nature / nurture controversy, the writer of this article ______.
A. supports the nature theory
B. supports the nurture theory
C. believes both are completely wrong
D. thinks that the correct explanation of human behavior will take ideas from both theories
20. In the United States, Black people often score below White people on intelligence tests. With this in mind, which one of the following statements is NOT TRUE?
A. Nature proponents would say that Whites are genetically superior to Blacks.
B. Supporters of the nature theory would say that Whites score well because they have a superior environment.
C. Behaviorists would say that Black often lack the educational and environmental advantages that Whites enjoy.
D. Nurture proponents would disagree that Blacks are biologically inferior to Whites.
【精析】从文章第三段开头"Those who support the ”nature“ side of the conflict believe that our personalities and behavior patterns are largely determined by biological and genetics(遗传学)factors."可知C是正确答案。
【精析】从文章第四段中"Proponents of the "nurture" theory, or, as they are often called, behaviorists, claimed that our environment is more important than our biologically based instincts in determining how we will act."可知在持"nurture"理论观点的人看来，环境决定我们的行为。因此选A.
【精析】从第四段中"B. F. Skinner, sees humans as beings whose behavior is almost completely shaped by their surroundings."此题关键是读出被动句和shape的意思。文中的shape(塑造)与选项中的"play an important role in determing"同义替换。
【精析】从文中第五段"In fact, it is quite likely that the key to our behavior lies somewhere between these two extremes."可知D正确。