Influences on Intelligence

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Intelligence: The Main Influences

What is intelligence? Many ask this question. Many cannot answer it. There is a broad range of answers. I found it described alot as the ability to learn. It is not just the ability to learn, but to understand, interact and adapt to your immediate surroundings including people and issues of life. Alfred Binet a French psychologist’s definition: "It seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty, the alteration or the lack of which, is of the utmost importance for practical life. This faculty is judgment, otherwise called good sense, practical sense, initiative, the faculty of adapting one's self to circumstances. A person may be a moron or an imbecile if he is lacking in judgment; but with good judgment he can never be either. Indeed the rest of the intellectual faculties seem of little importance in comparison with judgment" (Binet & Simon, 1916, 1973, pp.42-43). This I feel is most detailed and understandable definition.

The main influences on intelligence, evident from research I done are the environment and genetics. They cover a very broad range of factors.

Environmental influences
Nowadays alot of peoples intelligence is judged. Being too smart or not smart enough is sometimes not seen as ‘cool’ in todays environment. Also intelligence is based on a person’s appearance. The ‘chav’ look for instance is associated with someone being ‘thick’ or ‘stupid’, not intelligent. Whereas someone in a suit and tie is associated with being ‘smart’ or . Why? Why does the way a person presents themselves make them any smarter? The development of a foetus has been shown to effect intelligence. While this can be argued as biology it is infact an environmental influence. Over the last 2-3 decades research has found that the health of a mother through pregnancy can have an effect on a childs intelligence. Drinking, smoking, drugs or poor nutrition by the mother have been found in to be linked to a child...
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