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Nature vs. Nurture in IQ Are differences between people due to environmental or genetic differences? Misunderstanding the question “Is a person’s intelligence due more to genes or to environment?” no genes = no intelligence both genes & intelligence crucial for any trait Group A Group B

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nature vs nurture in iq
Nature vs. Nurture in IQ
  • Are differences between people due to environmental or genetic differences?
  • Misunderstanding the question
    • “Is a person’s intelligence due more to genes or to environment?”
    • no genes = no intelligence
    • both genes & intelligence crucial for any trait
nature vs nurture in iq2

Group A

Group B

Length

Length

Width

Width

Nature vs. Nurture in IQ
  • Rectangle analogy
    • is a rectangle’s area due more to its width or its length?
    • are differences in area among rectangles due more to differences in their length or in their width?
heritability environmentality
Heritability & Environmentality
  • Heritability
    • degree to which variation in trait stems from genetic, rather than environmental, differences among individuals
  • Environmentality
    • degree to which variation is due to environmental rather than genetic differences
the heritability coefficient
The Heritability Coefficient
  • Single number, ranging from 0 to 1.0
  • Represents amount of trait due to genetic differences
  • 0 means no variance due to genetics
  • 1 means all variance due to genetics
  • .30 means 30% is due to genetic differences, 70% due to environmental
twin studies family influence
Twin Studies & Family Influence
  • If trait genetic:
    • closely related more similar than less closely related
  • Many close relatives share environments too
  • Types of studies to separate effects
    • monozygotic twins reared together
    • monozygotic twins reared apart
    • siblings/dizygotic reared together
    • siblings/dizygotic reared apart
    • adoptive siblings reared together
family influence on iq

Identical twins

Fraternal twins

Family Influence on IQ
  • Transient influence of family in which you are raised
    • adoptive siblings as children and adults
    • identical vs. fraternal twins reared together
iq differences among racial cultural groups
IQ Differences among Racial/Cultural Groups
  • Find differences among racial & cultural groups on IQ
    • American Blacks score about 15 points lower than Whites
  • WHY?
    • genetics?
      • Witty & Jenkins (1935)
      • No support for genetic differences
    • environment?
iq differences among racial cultural groups8
IQ Differences among Racial/Cultural Groups
  • Each wheat field planted from same package of genetically diverse seeds
  • One field is quite fertile, the other is not
  • Within each field, differences due to genetics
  • Between each field, differences due to environment (fertility)
why differences between blacks whites
Why differences between Blacks & Whites?
  • Social designation influences
    • autonomous minorities
      • deliberately separate themselves
    • immigrant minorities
      • came to country to better lives
      • see selves as better than those left behind
    • involuntary minorities
      • did not choose minority status
      • routinely judged as inferior by dominant majority
      • cross-cultural findings on IQ scores
historical increase in iq

IQ

Scores

Year

Historical increase in IQ
  • Improved performance on IQ tests over the years
  • Big increases in tests assessing fluid intelligence, smallest in factual knowledge
  • Increased schooling only accounts for small portion of this increase
  • Due to changes in the culture?
summary
Summary
  • Nature vs. nurture debate
    • heritability vs. environmentality
    • studies of twins & family influence
  • Racial & cultural differences in IQ
    • why we can’t interpret differences as due to genetics
    • what we can attribute the differences to
  • Historical increase in IQ scores