Unit 6
Nature and Nurture

After-Class Reading

PASSAGE I Science Looks Twice at Twins

Proper Names




Nancy Segal

Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.


University of Minnesota

New Words

accurately *
adv. exactly 精确地,准确地
e.g. In this way he could tell accurately whether he was progressing fast enough.

chew *
v. 嚼,咬
e.g. She sat chewing on the end of a pencil, waiting for inspiration.

coincidence *
n. 巧合

combine *
v. join together 使结合
e.g. None of us has much money so let's combine what we've got.

contest *
n. competition 比赛,竞赛
e.g. He won a gold medal in an international contest.

controversial *
adj. causing disagreement or discussion 引起争议的
e.g. James Joyce's Ulysses (《尤利西斯》) was a controversial book.

data *
n. facts, information 资料,数据
e.g. The data is/are still being analysed.

dedicated *
adj. giving time, effort and loyalty to an aim, a job, etc.; committed 忠诚的,热忱的,一心一意的

dentist *
n. 牙科医生

v. be extremely good at 擅长

exert *
v. use (strength, skill, etc.) to gain a desired result 发挥,施加
e.g. My wife's been exerting a lot of pressure on me to change my job.

festival *
n. 节日, (定期在某地举行的) 音乐节、戏剧节等
e.g. I ) the Spring Festival 春节
II ) the Cannes Film Festival 戛纳电影节

fingernail *
n. 手指甲

fingerprint *
n. 指纹

flame *
n. 火焰
e.g. The flames of the fire were comforting on such a cold day.

n. 青光眼

imagination *
n. 想像力
e.g. You must have imagination to write a good play.

intensive *
adj. involving a lot of activity, effort or careful attention in a short period of time 深入细致的,精深的
e.g. The problem was solved by intensive research.

invade *
v. enter a place in large numbers 大批涌入
e.g. Tourists invade Paris during the summer.

n. 不 (求) 符合惯例、准则或规范的人

notably *
adv. 值得注意地,显著地
e.g. notably successful

nurture *
n. education, training, and care, especially of those concerning development 培养,培育

parade *
n. 游行
e.g. May Day parade 五一节游行

adj. having the power to make others believe or do what one wishes 有说服力的

pose *
n. the position in which someone stands, sits, etc. (身体呈现的)样子,姿势
e.g. He sat in a relaxed pose.

posture *
n. the general way of holding one's body, especially the back, shoulders and head, when standing, walking, and sitting 姿势,姿态,体态,举止

reckless *
adj. not thinking of the consequences or of danger 鲁莽的,不顾后果的
e.g. He is very reckless when he is drunk.

reunite *
v. 重新团聚
e.g. The children were reunited with their parents.

adj. 未被发现的

adj. 没有报道的,未经报道的

n. 木工活

Science Looks Twice at Twins

If twins interest you, Twinsburg will fascinate you.
Every summer since 1976, this little town outside Cleveland, Ohio, has been invaded by twins. Last summer 2,356 sets of twins showed up from around the world to watch and take part in parades, fireworks, magic acts, a 5K race[1], and more than 100 contests: contests to honor the oldest twins, the youngest, the most alike, the least alike, the twins with the widest combined smile[2].
Had you been there, you might have noticed a large group of scientists who also attend the festival. Some come seeking clues to the causes of health problems—skin diseases, cancer, and heart attack, for example. Others are interested in how it feels to be a twin. But of all the scientists, perhaps the ones doing the most important-and most controversial-work are those who study nature and nurture, that age-old question of how we come to be the kind of people we are.[3]
Why are some of us good at math, or writing, while others excel at art or basketball? What causes the differences in our intelligence, talents, and tastes? Are they largely determined by the genes we inherit from our parents (nature)? How much do our experiences in life (nurture)—the social environment we grow up in—have to do with it?
If you were a scientist interested in this question, wouldn't you love to study identical twins? Just think of it: two people who developed from the same fertilized egg. That is, two people with the exact same set of genes. Any differences between such identical twins would have to be the result of differences in their environment. But could you also say that any similarities were the result of having the same genes?
Not really. Remember, most twins share a similar environment—same house, food, relatives, and so on. The only way you could accurately measure the effects of nature and nurture would be to study identical twins raised apart, in different environments.
Over the last ten years, a team of scientists led by psychologist Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.[4] has studied about 65 pairs of identical twins who were raised apart. They've also studied about 45 fraternal twins who were raised apart.
The scientists bring each pair of twins to the University of Minnesota for a week of intensive testing. Doctors and dentists on the team give the twins thorough physical examinations. They record the twins' height, weight, eye color, ear shape, and head length.
Meanwhile, psychologists give the twins IQ[5] and personality tests. To measure personality, the psychologists try to determine things like how much the twins worry, whether they are cautious or reckless, and how creative they are. They measure these and other traits by the twins' responses to statements such as "I rarely, if ever, do anything reckless" and "The flames of a wood fire stimulate my imagination". By the end of the week, each twin has answered about 15,000 questions.
Bouchard's team has been startled by the similarities between twins raised apart. The twins often have surprisingly similar gestures and postures, for instance. In pictures, many of the twins strike[6] nearly identical poses. And some of the identical twins discover they have led remarkably similar lives.
The first set of identical twins Bouchard studied, the "Jim twins", were adopted by different families four weeks after they were born. They grew up in Ohio, 45 miles away from each other. When they were reunited at the age of 39, they discovered a series of striking similarities. Both were named Jim. Both drove the same model blue Chevrolet, liked woodworking, chewed their fingernails, and owned dogs named Toy. Both started having late-afternoon headaches at the age of 18.
The sort of similarities the Jim twins discovered are common with the twins the Minnesota team has studied. Some critics of the Minnesota study say the coincidences are not surprising. They argue that everyone's life has enough details that a number of coincidences are bound to exist. What's more, for every coincidence discovered by a pair of identical twins raised apart, a skeptic could point to a vast number of undiscovered differences. The same two twins might have different model television sets and support different football teams. But the differences would go unreported since they would not surprise anyone.
But beyond the coincidences, the Minnesota scientists have gathered and analyzed a mountain of data about the twins' health, intelligence, and personalities. And according to Bouchard, the data on the identical twins raised apart show clearly that nature—the genes we inherit—exerts a notably strong influence over our lives. The Minnesota team has found that these identical twins are remarkably similar in physical traits such as height, fingerprints and heart rates. Adult identical twins also tend to have similar medical histories, developing the eye disease glaucoma at the same time, for example.
The Minnesota team has reported that intelligence also seems to be influenced much more by genes than by environment. Despite being raised by different families, separated identical twins studied by Bouchard's team earned identical or nearly identical scores on adult intelligence tests.
But most surprisingly, the Minnesota team finds that genes play a big part in shaping our personalities—helping to determine whether we respect tradition and like to follow rules, for example, or whether we're dedicated nonconformists. According to Bouchard, the genes you were born with have a lot to do with whether you are confident, cheerful, and optimistic, or whether you have a negative view of the world. "The study shows in a very persuasive way that genes influence every aspect of behavior," says Nancy Segal, a psychologist with the Minnesota team.
Other scientists disagree. How can you study whether intelligence is inherited, they ask, when there are so many different ways just to define intelligence? The same problem applies to other traits, they say.
Bouchard himself makes the point that even the most closely matched twins he has studied are different from each other. So even though genes may have a strong influence over our lives, they're not the only influence. Our day-to-day experiences help to mold us too.
You know what that means: you still have to study for tests!

Phrases and Expressions

a mountain of
a lot of 大量的
e.g. She has a mountain of dirty clothes to wash.

be bound to do something
be certain to do something 一定做某事
e.g. He's bound to fail the exam if he doesn't do any homework.

have nothing to do with...
e.g. I had nothing to do with the party. I was home that night.

show up
e.g. Did Dick show up at the meeting last night?

what is more
in addition, more important 而且
e.g. He won the race, and what's more, he broke the world record.

PASSAGE II Talkative Parents Make Kids Smarter

Proper Names

Betty Hart

Frances D. Horowitz

Kansas City

the American Psychological Association

the City University of New York

Todd Risley

University of Alaska

University of Kansas

New Words

abuse *
n. wrong or bad treatment 虐待
e.g. Children may take a much longer time to recover from the emotional damage that accompanies the physical abuse.

n. 主任,董事

contend *
v. argue or state that something is true 声称,坚决地认为
e.g. The police contended that the difficulties they faced were too severe.

critical *
adj. 决定性的,关键的
e.g. It was a critical decision in his life.

designate *
v. choose somebody or something for a special purpose 指定,选定
e.g. He designated the place where we were to meet.

adv. 令人不安地

electrician *
n. 电工

element *
n. 要素,基本构成部分
e.g. There was an element of truth in what you said.

ethnic *
adj. 民族的;种族的

extensively *
adv. in a way that involves a lot of information and details 广泛地,大量地
e.g. He read history extensively.

guidance *
n. help or advice 指导
e.g. I need some guidance on my studies.

initial *
adj. of or at the beginning 开始的,最初的
e.g. Tom's initial effort at skating was a failure.

adv. noticeably 显著地
e.g. Her interests are markedly different from my own.

massive *
adj. 巨大的
e.g. We must make massive efforts to improve the condition.

minimal *
adj. very small in degree or amount, especially the smallest degree possible 最低限度的,最小的
e.g. a minimal cost

modest *
adj. not large in amount, size, etc. 中等的,过得去的
e.g. There has been a modest improvement in housing conditions for the poor.

n. 水管工,铅管工

psychiatric *
adj. 精神病的

adj. 社会经济的

v. stay alive on only small amounts of food or money 维持生活

whoever *
e.g. Whoever comes will be welcome.

yield *
v. supply or produce 产生
e.g. The talks with management failed to yield any results .

Talkative Parents Make Kids Smarter

An exhaustive study of how "typical" parents talk with their children during the first few years of their life has yielded a mountain of valuable data and some initial findings with serious social implications.[1]
There are striking class differences in the nature and extent of parental interaction with children between the age of 9 months and 3 years. This results in a considerable intellectual boost for kids in white-collar families, a modest lift for those in blue-collar households, and a disturbingly weak assist for children in welfare families.[2] Young children whose parents talk extensively to them score much higher on later IQ tests than those exposed to minimal amounts of parental talk, assert study codirectors Betty Hart of the University of Kansas and Todd Risley of the University of Alaska.
"The more parents talk with their young children, the more good things happen intellectually to those kids later on,"Risley contends. "But the massive class differences in this parental behavior surprised us and suggest that children in welfare families face problems that cannot be reversed by a few hours of Head Start classes every week."[3]
Hart and Risley presented their findings, based on observations of forty-two families in their homes located in the Kansas City area, at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto last week.
The study has intensified an already intense debate over the relative influence of genes and environment on IQ and intellectual potential, both in individuals and racial groups. The 2.5-year investigation, followed by 3 years during which researchers analyzed a mountain of written and tape-recorded observations, adds a new dimension to the nurture side of the controversy.[4]
Families in Hart and Risley's study functioned well and exhibited no serious problems, such as child abuse or psychiatric illness. Thirteen professional families included at least one parent who worked in a white-collar occupation; in twenty-three working-class families, jobs included electrician and plumber; six families subsisted mainly on welfare. The families represented a range of racial and ethnic groups; eight were single-parent families. The families ranged in size from a single child to seven children.
Trained observers spent 1 hour every 2 months tape-recording and writing down the nature of all at-home interactions with a designated child in each family beginning at 9 months of age. Observers focused only on that child and whoever talked or interacted with him or her. They never offered advice to parents, even when asked.
The parent or parents in each family displayed a characteristic level of talk with their young children, month after month, Risley asserts. Overall, parents in professional families proved most talkative; they made nearly twice as many statements per hour to their kids as working-class parents did and about four times as many as welfare parents did.
Parents in all the families devoted approximately equal effort to controlling children and keeping them out of trouble and danger. But those parents who talked to children the most added critical elements to those interactions, such as reinforcing the child's efforts, responding to questions, providing guidance, and using a diverse vocabulary.
Children exposed to high levels of talk from their parents performed markedly better on a measure of intellectual development at age 3, even with socioeconomic and other influences taken into consideration. Follow-up[5] at age 9 found that those children had maintained their IQ advantage.
Although genes affect intellectual ability, the new data indicate that the ways in which parents talk to their children and communicate expectations about learning also have a very significant influence, holds psychologist Frances D. Horowitz of the City University of New York.
"This remarkable report represents a significant step toward a better understanding of normal child development," Horowitz argues.

Phrases and Expressions

give (one's time, energy, etc.) to...为......付出......
e.g. He has devoted his whole life to benefiting mankind.

keep...out of...
cause...to avoid... 使......避开......
e.g. I hope you'll keep him out of trouble while I'm away.