We may often hear about husband and wife arguing about their children who have gotten bad grades at school. The wife may say the children inherited bad genes from the husband’s side of his family, or vice versa. Then, we may hear the grandparents deny the inheriting and blame on how the father and/or the mother raise their children. This has been an ongoing discussion over the world in any society. What makes a person intelligent? Is it because of our traits (nature), or is it because of our upbringing (nurture)? Some human intelligence may have more influence by inheriting and others may have more influence by environment. In this essay, we will look at difference studies of how intelligence can be acquired. After we learn from these studies, we may able to raise children to be intelligent and successful in life.
A person is intelligent by nature means he brings intelligence with him to the world after he was born. A person being intelligent by nurture means that he is influence by his environment after he was born. Intelligence can be tested by using IQ (Intelligence Quotient). This testing method helps predict academic and job success. Psychologists examined the effects of heredity on IQ scores to help them make a conclusion. Scarr & Carter-Saltzman did research to identify intelligence from twins which were separated when they were very young and raised in two different environments. The correlation between scores is normally high, at least 0.6 out of total score of 1.0. If high IQ goes to one sibling, the other sibling’s score would be high as well. Therefore, if genetic factors have an important influence on how well we perform on IQ tests, the correlation between the scores of identical twins should be higher than the correlation between scores of non-identical twins (Bernstein, Roy, Srull, & Wickens, 1991, p. 406). So, the genetic factors are important correlations between biological parents and their children that should be higher than the correlations between adoptive parent and their children.
On the other hand, studies of correlations between IQ score also highlight the importance of the environment. Scarr & Carter-Saltzman point out that environment has correlation more strongly between their IQ scores when they share the same home. When researchers put a set of identical twins, a set of non-identical twins, siblings of different ages, and unrelated children brought together in a foster home, the correlation between their IQ scores is higher if they share the same home, than if they are raised in different environments. The conclusion of this study bases on what we may have learned about mental development and the impact of environment. The indication of a proper nurturing such as nutrition, sleep, prior education, the quality of teaching, or personal motivation, is an important role in intelligence more than genetic inheriting.
Similarly, children from low socioeconomic but live in a high socioeconomic families also have high IQ score as well as children from high socioeconomic who live in a high socioeconomic families. We can conclude that nurture pays equal roles on intelligence judging by how the brain works where relative contribution of environment may change from one individual to the next and from one time to another, for example children IQ is high at a younger age and tend to diminish over the years (Bernstein, Roy, Srull, & Wickens, 1991, p.407). According to