People have wondered for a long time how their personalities and behaviors arc formed.It's 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 question. They want to explain why we possess certain characteristics and exhibits certain behaviors. There are no clear answers yet, but two distinct schools of thought on thee 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. Thecontroversy is often conveniently 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 genetic factor. 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 great degree that we are almost completely governed by our instincts.
Proponents of the "nurture" theory, or, as they are often called. behaviorists. claim that our environmentis more important than our biologically based instincts in determining how we will act. Behaviorists see humans as being whose behavior is almost completely shaped by their surroundings. Their view of the human being is quite mechanistic; they maintain that like machines. humans respond to environmental stimuli as the basis of their behavior.
The social and political implications or these two theories are profound. In the United Stares, for example, blacks often score below whites on standardized intelligent test. This leads some "nature" proponents to conclude that blacks are genetically interior to whites. Behaviorists, in contrast. say that the differences in scores are due to the fact that blacks are often deprived of many of the educational and other environmental advantages that white enjoy. and that. as a result. they do not develop the same responses thatwhites do.
Neither of these theories can 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. The author is mainly concerned about solving the problem__________________.
A) why one's behaviors differ from others'
B) what makes different stages of intelligence
C) how social scientists form different theories
D) what causes the "nature/nurture" controversy
2. The word "proponents" can best be replaced by _____.
3. Which of the following statements may be supported by the "nature" school?
A) We are born will certain personalities and behaviors.
B) Environment has nothing to do with our personalities.
C) Abilities and characteristics are revealed by behaviors.
D) Only extreme behaviors are determined by instinct.
4. What can we learn about the behaviorists?
A) They believe human beings are mechanical.
B) They compare our behaviors to the machines.
C) They suggest that we react to the environment as the machines do.
D) They uphold that the mechanistic theory can be applied on us as well.
5. The "nature” theorists believe that the blacks' low scores____________.
A) are the result of the educational disadvantages
B) are a manifestation of the blacks' poor intelligence
C) have nothing to do with their true intelligence
D) have nothing to do will factors other than heredity