ESL Reading Comprehension 21

ESL Reading Comprehension 21 - Nature vs Nurture

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Nature vs Nurture

Answer the questions according to the reading passage.

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.

1. One can understand from the passage that supporters of the nature theory believe that ----.

A) environment is important in determining a person's behavior and
B) a person's instincts have little effect on his actions
C) it is impossible to explain why we possess certain characteristics and
exhibit certain behaviors
D) biological reasons have a strong influence on how we act
E) there are a lot of similarities between the two theories

2. One point made by the writer in the passage is that ----.

A) heredity is more important than the environment in the development
of human beings
B) the correct explanation of human behavior will probably take ideas from
both theories
C) environment is the most important factor in determining personality
D) the behaviorists' view correctly explains how we act
E) biologically based instincts have very little to do with behavior

3. It is stated in the passage that, according to the nurture theory, ----.

A) a trait is always shaped by both genetic dispositions and the
environments in which people develop
B) it is possible to measure the heritability of a trait within a population
C) we are almost completely governed by our instincts
D) human behavior can be predicted based on knowledge of genetics
E) a person's character is greatly influenced by his environment

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