genes determine intelligence

Topics: Intelligence quotient, Intelligence, General intelligence factor Pages: 7 (2751 words) Published: February 5, 2014
“Genes determine intelligence” critically discuss the contemporary evidence. Research on intelligence has been around for centuries one of the earliest known testing is said to be as early as 2200 BC where Chinese administrators tested civil servants periodically to make sure they acquired the necessary abilities/skills for their job. Today psychologist now test on weather intelligence is genetically induced and if so to what extent by taking into account environmental factors, using methods like additive assumption to measure the amount of contribution from both parties to intelligence. Additive assumption has led psychologists to began to agree that there definitely is a combination of hereditary and environmental factors influencing intelligence that the debate is no longer about finding out weather the environment or genetics are the origin of intelligence, but to debate on the degree each component contributes to intelligence (Martin, Carlson and Buskist, 2010). The idea of additive assumption can be criticised as being too inert, because it only looks at genetics and environmental influences as to isolated factors. This has raised questions on what are the other determinants are there on intelligence and how do they interact. This paper attempts to show that the approach of the additive assumption is too simplistic when actually it could be that one factor such as environment could be affecting the other factor genetics. Which makes the genetics and environmental aspects of intelligence seem more like an interaction. This essay will be covering the points mentioned above as well as nutritional effects, mechanical layout of the brain, gender differences and the controversial topic of race and its effect on intelligence.

Sex differences have been related to support the idea that genes determine intelligence. To begin with there are fundamental biological differences between a male and a female, that can be investigated as an influence of the difference in intelligence. The most obvious example of this is the physiological difference and the release of different hormones within the body and there have been evidence of sex differences in emotions. Emotional behaviour has been found to have cognitive and hormonal influences which are considered as biological influences therefore there must be something in the genetic differences between male and female that proves that there is a genetic influence that separates the intellectual abilities of males and females, supporting the idea of the genetic influence on intelligence. Evidence that supports this notion is Nyborg (2005) where he found that men supported all the hypotheses by outscoring females in the general intelligence tests. However the methodology in Nyborg’s (2005) study could be considered as being gender bias because general intelligence/ IQ test that was used to measure the intelligence of the participants was devised by male psychologists (Spearman, Sternberg etc.), therefore the results derived from this experiment could be deemed invalid because the test devised could be more bias towards males in some way or form as it was devised from an males intellectual point of view. This raises questions on whether intelligence is more multi faceted than the initial thought, it could be suggested that there is an intellectual point of view that is suited specifically suited for each gender. Njemanze (2005) found in his cerebral lateralization test that the female subject used the left hemisphere strategy, while males used the right hemisphere to successfully solve the general intelligence test. Njemanze’s (2005) finding implies that there maybe an association between the neural processes and each hemisphere accessing a variety of different cognitive processes. It has been a common argument of psychologists that the sex differences in intelligence that men and woman scores differently in specific aspects of intelligence. Cognitive abilities such as spatial and...
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