Discuss the role of genetics & cultural differences in the development of intelligence.

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Moral Development

Discuss the role of genetics & cultural differences in the development of intelligence.

A study into IQ and genetics by Plomin et al. (1997) found from a longitudinal study of 245 children adopted (before the age of 1) that there was a correlation between the child and both sets of parents. Common sense suggests that as the child grew older they would become more like adoptive parents. However, this was not the case, instead the opposite happened in IQ, in adolescence there was no correlation with adoptive parents, the correlation wit biological parents remained. There was no difference adopted children and a control group who remained with biological parents. By adolescence both groups had come IQ correlation with biological parents. This study suggests that genetics have a strong influence on IQ. Bouchard & McGue (1981) carried out a study into the relationship between IQ and genetics by using a twin study. They reviewed 111 studies of twins and concluded that the mean correlation of intelligence in identical twins is 0.86, whereas for fraternal twins it is 0.6. A criticism of this study is that people who share genetic similarities tend to share environmental similarities, which makes it unclear whether it is genetics or the environmental that affects intelligence.

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‘Culture’ refers to the rules, morals and methods of interaction that bind a group of people and which are determined through the process of socialization. Socialization is achieved largely through parents, school and peers, as well as members of one’s culture in general. These individuals may influence IQ. Cultural factors are also apparent in differences in the desire to succeed. In an investigation into home background, the Rochester Longitudinal Study (Sameroff et al. 1993) that began in the 1970s has followed several hundred children from birth to adolescence. It has identified 10 environmental factors that were found to affect the ...

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