People have wondered for a long time how their
personalities and behaviors are formed. Two distinct
schools of thought on the matter have developed. The
two approaches are very different from one another. The
controversy is often referred to as nature and nurture.
Those who support the nature side of the conflict believe
that our personalities and behavior patterns are largely
determined by biological and genetic factors. That our
environment has little to do with our abilities,
characteristics, and behavior is central to this theory.
Proponents of the nurture theory claim that our
environment is more important than our biologically
based instinct in determining how we will act. They see
humans as beings whose behavior is almost completely
shaped by their surroundings. 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.