The Nature/Nurture Controversy And The Extent To Which An Individuals Intellectual Level Is Determined

2450 words - 10 pages

" The dubious history of the heredity environment controversy can be easily traced as far back as the start of the present century with at least some historical evidence placing the roots of this dispute in the time of John Locke. This controversy has continued despite continual reiteration that the critical question is not how much of a trait is due to heredity and how much is due to environment, but rather how environment transact to influence development." ( Wachs , 1983, p. 386).
This paper will focus on the nature/nurture controversy and the extent to which an individuals intellectual level is determined either by inborn intelligence or by environmental factors.
The relative powers of nature and nurture have been actively pursed by psychologists and biologists striving to determine how heredity and environment influence the development of intelligence.
Before we can go on to discuss the relationships between intelligence and the controversy that exists between the different schools of thought regarding inherited or environmental issues we must have an understanding of what intelligence really is.
Of all the words used in pressed day psychology, intelligence is one of the most difficult to define and is also one of the most controversial. There is however, a general agreement that intelligence refers to the overall faculties of the mind which concern themselves with the sorting of information in the brain after it has been received by the senses, the perceiving of relationships between this new data and information which is already in memory, and the capacity to make rapid and appropriate decisions as a result of the previous processes.
The intellectual faculties of the brain are dynamic and interactive and relate to the capacity of the central nervous system to respond speedily and appropriately in a rapidly changing and potentially threatening environment.
Raymond J. Corsini provides us with a somewhat more simplistic definition of the term intelligence. According to Corsini (1984) the term intelligence can be employed to indicate the amount of knowledge available and the rapidity with which new knowledge is acquired; the ability to adapt to new situations and to handle concepts, relationships, and abstract symbols.
While the heredity/environment topic continues to be a controversial issue, a great deal of evidence has been gathered to support both arguments.
In order to investigate the topic of nature/nurture it is important to consider a variety of research elements. Among these elements are some of the most relevant issues pertaining to this subject including: twin, adoption, family, orphanage life, IQ, and race studies. It is to these studies we will now turn our attention.


The importance of twin studies is evident if we look at the studies objectively, if intelligence is basically hereditary, identical twins who have the same genetic legacy, should be concordant for that trait than are fraternal twins, which are...

Find Another Essay On The nature/nurture controversy and the extent to which an individuals intellectual level is determined

Describe the way in which personality and identity develop and explain the role of Nature and nurture in the process.

1017 words - 4 pages anyone they would just get on with things . If however they had reached the stage in life and they felt they had developed their fully organismic self they would have the confidence to express their feelings and anxieties without fear of rejection.Nature/ nurture debate I think the nature part of our identity is what we are born with, some of this is due to our genetics. We may also have a underlying sense of our organismic self, this is the part

An essay discussing to which extent economic change during 1789-1939 was a factor in the changing nature of anti-Semitism.

1875 words - 8 pages outdated as a more modern and racially based Jew-hatred took its place.Jew-hatred, in its older form, saw short temporary violence towards Jews. This is stark in contrast to modern anti-Semitism which, with its racial ideology, brought a more structured and sustained attack on the Jewish race. The grounds for this were based on the developed belief by anti-Semites that Jews were "an unwanted intruder, arrogant, skilled and power hungry" (P

“Each character in King Lear has control over their fate. The fates of each character are determined by events which occur in the opening scenes of the play.” To what extent do you agree with this...

1317 words - 5 pages "Each character in King Lear has control over their fate. The fates of each character are determined by events which occur in the opening scenes of the play."To what extent do you agree with this statement?Freewill and fate are themes which are frequently discussed in reference to Shakespeare's plays. He often makes the audience wonder whether the characters ever had a choice in how their stories would end. King Lear's decision to abdicate the

The Extent to Which the Study of Management is Scientific

3417 words - 14 pages Hawthorne counselling project) more relevant to the problems they face depending on whether their organisation is sufficiently similar to the organisation that was studied. It must also be acknowledged that the nature of work has been gradually changing from large numbers of manufacturing jobs to managerial, professional and service sector jobs, which do not produce tangible output (preventing scientific study of productivity). This suggests that the scientific approach to management study is, to an extent, outdated; and qualitative research on interpersonal relationships is increasingly relevant to modern management study.

The Nature-Nurture Debate

1695 words - 7 pages extent that both schools of thought strive for a water-tight theory that is both universal and immutable, they represent oversimplified polarities. Given the way in which the nature-nurture debate has progressed, it is easy to perceive science as fickle at best and reactionary at worst. However, a closer look at the trajectory that the debate has taken since reveals that the scientific process has not been completely haphazard. A far less

The nature/nurture debate

794 words - 3 pages Nature --- Innate behaviour. This is the behaviour that has been evolved over many generations, under the influence of natural selection. The behaviour is adapted to the animal's way of life and is shown by all members of the species. Nurture --- Learned behaviour. The individual animal throughout its life learns this type of behaviour. There is often great variation among a species because it all depends on the environment and experiences of

The Importance of Nature and Nurture

1316 words - 5 pages , becoming severely obese. When the gene was located and re-activated by geneticists, the mouse lost its yellow coat and began to lose weight (“Epigenetics”). This study has had a large impact on the nature versus nurture debate because, for the first time, evidence suggests that there is a direct correlation between genes and the environment. Genes are no longer considered innate, or separate from their environment; they work together to shape an

To What Extent is Gender Determined by Gonosomes?

1223 words - 5 pages Introduction Focus question: To what extent is gender determined by gonosomes? I researched what factors contribute to determine gender in humans, and specifically how much gender is specified by the sex chromosomes. In addition to this, I also looked at what the effect on gender is if someone has a gonadal, gonosomal or hormonal disorder or abnormality, and to what degree gender is influenced by what an individual identifies as. I had wanted

From 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus To what extent is Mersault an existentialist? Does his philosophy make him an outsider to the society in which he lives?

742 words - 3 pages To what extent is Mersault an existentialist? Does his philosophy make him an outsider to the society in which he lives?The author of the book 'The Outsider', Albert Camus was an existentialist. This philosophy formed the basis of his main character Mersault. As an existentialist this philosophy makes Mersault an outsider to the society in which he lives. He believes that life is an unrelenting effort with no reward at the end, believing the

The Nature of Aggression (or is it Nurture?)

1439 words - 6 pages . Animals compete with each other over food, mates, and dwelling spaces, often showing aggression and occurring among virtually all vertebrate species, including humans. However, if aggression is an effective way of maintaining social order, reckless violence appears to be a poor survival mechanism. Nevertheless, this trait has not been wiped out. Since it hasn't disappeared, it is logical that researchers have tried to understand the nature of

The Nature Versus Nurture Debate

859 words - 3 pages People can get their blue, hazel, or brown eyes from one of their parents, and their freckles from the other. But where does their talent for singing, or knack for craftsmanship come from? In other words, what makes individuals who they are? Is it predetermined in their genes or was it taught to them by family or friends? My General Psychology instructor recently explained this contest of nature and nurture as won by neither side. “The nature

Similar Essays

Pedophilia And The Nature Nurture Controversy Essay

969 words - 4 pages . Thus if low IQ scores are recorded among criminals, these scores might reflect the criminal’s cultural background, not their mental ability. In regards to pedophilia, it is more nurture than nature. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, it has been proven that children who have been sexually assaulted grow up to sexually assault someone themselves. Chronic and obsessive pedophilia is incurable, and treatment options are often focused

Who We Are Is Determined By The Intertwined Forces Of Nature Or Nurture?

665 words - 3 pages many ‘facts’ on both sides of the argument which are inconsistent with an “all or nothing” view. So instead of asking whether child development is down to nature or nurture the question has been reformulated as ‘How much?’”. The study of Epigenetics, as explained by Racheal Rettner (2013) , “…Refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes ‘on’ or ‘off.’ These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how

Nature Vs. Nurture Controversy Essay

598 words - 2 pages The nature-nurture controversy has been a long-standing debate among many philosophers, psychologists, and educators since the year 1800. (111) Nature and nurture both play important roles in why we are the way we are, but nurture which has ability to change and shape us into the adults we will grow up to be. I believe that nature is our foundation of who we are but it is the experiences that we go through in life that make us who we are

Discuss The Extent To Which You Think That Goals Are Determined By The Overarching Culture Of A Society As Opposed To Smaller Social Groups Or Subcultures

1106 words - 4 pages Pascal Cisangani 23023554 / 23345853 Danai MuswaziDiscuss the extent to which you think that goals are determined by the overarching culture of a society as opposed to smaller social groups or subculturesDefinition of key termersCulture and subcultureA culture is made up of beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics that members of a specific group or society have in common. Through this, individuals and groups define themselves