IQ Tests and Environmental Factors

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The topic I wanted to talk about today that intrigued me is IQ tests in the United States. The first thing that caught my mind was the Flynn effect, which says that IQ scores have been rising about three points on average per generation. In one of the sections it talks about an author named Arthur Jensen who contended that IQ is highly heritable and that ones environment doesn't play much of a factor. I don't really agree with this. Well obviously genetics plays some role in the cards we are dealt, however it doesn't solely determine our intelligence.

One thing that they mentioned in the book is that diet is a key factor. I agree that diet matters, but the question is how much. It cites malnutrition as being a factor of low IQ score, which I agree with but just because one isn't eating at a deficit, that doesn't mean they are eating healthy either. Americans have a high percentage of the population that is obese, and it seems like they would be healthier if they ate less. So basically if more Americans had better brain habits with regards to diet, I think it would improve IQ scores on average. The point I'm trying to make is that just because we don't eat at a deficit, that doesn't mean our IQ will necessarily benefit.

The best point that was made in the book in my opinion is education. It says that education has a .5-.6 correlation with intelligence and IQ tests. I suppose this is obvious to some people, but to others they still believe like Arthur Jensen that we are constrained by our genes. That's not true obviously considering that the more education that one possess, the more synapses they have in the brain. In conclusion our genes do not constrain us fully but with a good environment, an education, and hard work, one can increase their intelligence and IQ.

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This page contains a single entry by frtiz001 published on November 6, 2011 10:21 PM.

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