Intelligence: Nature and Nurture Essay

Intelligence: Nature and Nurture Essay

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The ongoing debate on whether nature or nurture is responsible for intelligence seems to be a never-ending argument. There will probably be no definite answer to this argument any time soon, but answers such as Dr. Bigot's prove how intolerant of other opinions people can be. To say intelligence is entirely based on genetics, or one's environment, for that matter, is utterly extremist. An interaction of both nature and nurture is responsible for intelligence.

Professor Bigot argues that intelligence is only influenced by nature, meaning it is entirely based in genetics, and that one's environment or surroundings can't influence it. However, Dr. Bigot's argument does have some truth to it. With the purpose of investigating the role of genetics in intelligence, researchers have approached twin studies. According to Bouchard and McGue (1981), the closer the biological relationship, the higher the IQ correlation is. This idea was the result of a meta-analysis of 111 studies of IQ correlations between siblings from research studies on intelligence. The Minnesota Twin Study (Bouchard et al. 1990) studies identical twins raised together and identical twins raised apart. Bouchard et al (1990) concluded that 70% of intelligence is associated to genetic inheritance. Therefore, 30% of intelligence may be attributed to other factors. Although the Minnesota Twin Study has been one of the most impressive twin studies carried out, there are several criticisms that test its validity. One of its greatest criticisms was the "equal environment assumption", which states that it can't be assumed that twins reared together are exposed to the same environment.

The other side to this controversial debate is the idea that intelligence is influenced ...


... middle of paper ...


...tation of an individual to an environment. Meaning that we are all born with a genetically inhertied and evolved mental structure, on which all following learning and knowledge is based. What would be the use of having genes linked to intelligence, but no where to develop them and put them to use? Due to brain plasticity, increased practice and effort can lead to increase in intelligence levels. The poverty crisis Honduras is facing, is mostly due to ignorance and lack of education. Education is key to the development of the country.

As numerous research and studies' findings have shown, both nature and nurture work together. These shouldn't be considered as separate, but instead intertwined, as they both interact and depend on each other. An interaction of genetic and environmental factors are responsible for influencing and determining intelligence levels.


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Intelligence: Nature and Nurture Essay

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