eduar005: November 2011 Archives

IQ.jpgOne of the most interesting and controversial topics of psychology is the intelligence quotient and the influences that affects it. The intelligence quotient is a formula invented by Wilhem Stern that quantify difference among people and their intelligence. The formula consists in the mental age, that is the age corresponding to the average individual's performance of the test, divided by the chronological age, multiplied by 100.
A graphic of the results of these IQ tests form a bell curve almost a normal distribution with mean 100 and standard deviation of 15 points. Very few of the test takers with a result below 70 and above 130, defined as mental retardation to genius. These are the two extremes results. Now what influences these results? Only genetics? Environment?
Again the nature versus nurture is present here in the IQ topic. Investigations have found in twin studies that genetics influence IQ scores. Also in adoption studies found that adopted children's IQ score resemble their biological parent's IQ, both offering evidence that genetics influence IQ scores. On the other hand, it is known that education affects IQ. Children better educated will have a better IQ score. Also it is founded that children's IQ drops significantly on summer vacations.
Another factor that plays a key role in IQ, and in my opinion is very interesting, is the socioeconomic and nutritional deprivation. It's there that a reason to think that nutritional deprivation can adversely affect IQ. I am a track and field runner and found that African runners have a good group of distance runners. Studying about their training and environment I found that their nutrition consist mainly in corn and grains. That can be one of the major factors that cause their development in distance running. The same event can be occurring with IQ. Nutrition is very important. Some studies have found that children that were nutritionally deprived, increase their IQ when receiving a better nutrition.
In conclusion the factors that play the most important roles in IQ are genetics, nutrition and education among others.

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One of some of the interesting topics in chapter 10 Human Development it's the Social and Moral Development in terms of parenting. Parents (tutors) play a key role in developing personality of their child. That's why parents need to be aware of what is right and what is wrong in parenting styles. I think it's a very interesting topic, almost all of us want to be parents one day and we need to be aware of the style of parenting and its consequences to our child behavior.
The book talks about 4 parenting styles identified by Baumrind: Permissive; lenient with their children, giving freedom inside and outside the house, using discipline sparingly and often show affection to the child. Authoritarian: strict parents giving little opportunity for free play or exploration, punishing when the child doesn't respond and showing little affection to children. Authoritative: combine the best features of both permissive and authoritarian. Giving support to the child but setting limits. The forth one the uninvolved that tend to ignore the child, paying little attention to them.
According to the resulting correlation of Baumrind study in children from middle-class Caucasian American families the best parental style for developing best social and emotional adjustments and lower behavior problems was the authoritative. Children with permissive parents and authoritarian parents far between authoritative and uninvolved, with children with uninvolved parents tend to fare the worst. This study was with only middle-class Caucasian American families but with the study we have an idea of the resulting consequences according to the different parental styles. The balance between permissive and authoritarian styles will be the best option for better emotional and social adjustments.
It's a great topic because beside the importance for psychology students and researchers in development psychology, it is very important and interesting to anyone else who is related to a child and wants to enhance a good behavior.

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