Born this way?

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes

People will readily blame nature for sexuality, yet people almost universally want to blame nurture for differences in intelligence. Evidence from the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart would disagree with such an assertion. Twins reared apart show remarkably similar personalities (corr=.5), and even more similar levels of intelligence (corr=.7), suggesting that genetics plays a much larger role in intelligence than many people are willing to accept.



Research shows that genetics matter in IQ

Bouchard-et-al.pngSources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, Bouchard et al, http://www.psych.umn.edu/courses/spring05/hicksb/psy3135/bouchard_1990.pdf Accessed 2012/02/02



It stems from the very American attitude that "all men are created equal," and for that reason, people want to try their best to ignore the very fact that we are all created very different from one another. While the person of common IQ can become president (Dubya, anyone?) the person of really low IQ is certainly not one we want to be voting for; maybe "You can be whatever you want when you grow up" is not as true as people would like to believe it is. It's a fundamental American belief that people will fight to keep hold of, when science has shown us time and time again that there's only so much a person can do to overcome how smart they were born.

Numerous other studies have shown similar effects of genetics on intelligence, each more controversial than the last (the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study comes to mind).

4 Comments

| Leave a comment

This is an interesting topic, and one that I have never before considered. I can see how this is a topic that most people would not want to address, because it goes against what many would like to believe about working hard in that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, including intelligence. However, it seems that for some people, learning just naturally comes easier. Of course this does not mean that people should not strive to be as knowledgeable as they can. Although it is quite discouraging, it seems that we do not have as much control over how intelligent we can be as we thought.

I totally agree with what you have said. Genetics is very important when it comes to intelligence and many other things. Maybe the attitude of "all men are created equal" is for motivational purposes. In any case nature and nurture go hand in hand. If someone with high IQ doesn't work hard to learn they wont benefit from they were given with genes. At the same time someone with lower IQ can achieve a lot by working hard and learning. Some things are out of our control but there are areas which we can help ourselves make progress in by trying.

This blog is very interesting. I agree with the comment above that if someone doesn't work as hard they will not reach their full potential. I think that nurture does have a lot to do with intelligence though. I think that people think that intelligent parents raise intelligent kids and automatically assume it has to do with their genes. I think that another way to look at this is that intelligent parents would raise their kids in a more intelligent way. Parents would read to their kids, work with them on puzzles, not encourage TV use and so on. A not very intelligent person would most likely raise their child the same way they were raised which would lead to the same out come. I may be wrong I just think that is another way to look at intelligence.

I found that this blog was interesting to read because it questioned the role of nurture and nature in intelligence. I've always held the belief that genetics play a large role in intelligence, but other factors like hard work and their environment can affect it just as much in negative and positive ways. I think someone with favorable genetics starts off with an advantage, but if they are placed in a hostile environment, they will not perform as well as someone in a better environment with less favorable genetics.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by nemze007 published on February 2, 2012 5:36 PM.

Chapter 14: Personality was the previous entry in this blog.

Chapter 13-Social Psychology is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.