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The Definitions of Intelligence: the Socio-Cultural Differences

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One of the most common arguments on intelligence is the nature versus nurture claim. Human intelligence, as well as individual behaviour, is often seen by many as a result of their interaction and the influences of environmental factors during development. It has been argued that the individual’ s understanding of the world was due to how he or she perceived it, hence, in accordance with his or her daily experiences (Erikson, 1950). He or she learns how to reason and think critically based on how he or she sees and experiences a certain thing.

One famous claim was made by John Watson who wrote: “ give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and on my own specified world, to bring them up in and I’ ll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, -chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors” (Watson, 1930: 104). This has been a solid argument that is being held until now by behaviourists, viewing that intelligence, just like behaviour, is acquired and not inborn.

On the other hand, nature is also said to be one of the contributors to the developing individual differences specifically in human intelligence. To make several exciting discoveries about intelligence, there have been a number of genetic researches on intelligence that investigated the developmental change and continuity, multivariate associations among cognitive abilities, and the developmental interface between nature and nurture. Indeed, the many advances in molecular genetics have led to the dawn of a new era for genetic influence on cognitive abilities and disabilities (Plomin & Petrill, 1997).

A person’ s general cognitive ability (which refers to what cognitive abilities have in common) has been an important target for molecular genetic research over the years for the reason that multivariate quantitative genetic analyses have shown that the same set of genes affects diverse cognitive abilities as well as learning (Butcher, Davis, Craig, & Plomin, 2008).

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preview essay on The Definitions of Intelligence: the Socio-Cultural Differences
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: People
  • Level: Undergraduate
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