• Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 19-05-15 10:06


  • Innate = people are born with natural level of intelligence - inherited
  • Burt and Seligman = 2 examples of psychologists who believe its innate
  • others believe environment - physical and social world - is responsible
  • 'nature-nurture debate' = term coined by Francis Galton who studied behaviour genetics
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  • research method = twin studies
  • monozygotic and dizygotic
  • comparing intelligence of monozygotic twins
    • same genes
    • differences in intelligence show it cannot all be innate
    • similarities support innate argument
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  • definition of intelligence
  • limitation = different measures of intelligence - not always directly comparable
  • Plomin (1944 onwards) found that GCSE results and IQ correlate at rate of 0.5
  • most psychologists use IQ as a measure of intelligence
  • the independent - IQ tests are fundamentally flawed because they don't take into account the complexity of human intellect
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  • monozygotic vs. dizygotic twins
  • Burt (1966) - identical twins reared apart have closer IQ scores than non identical twins reared apart
  • supports innate argument
  • however there is still a difference therefore it cannot all be innate
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  • Galton (1869)
    • believed success is due to superior qualities passed down to offspring through heredity
    • 'inherited genius' was his book
  • used obituaries in the times to trace lines of eminent men in europe
  • questionnable how much evidence this provides for innate argument as it's possible that being born into a wealthy/important family meant environment enabled them to become eminent
  • Galton was inspired by Darwin
  • Seligman (2002) was also inspired by darwin
    • said human mental abilities and personality traits - no less than plant and animal traits described by darwin - are essentially inherited
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  • lots of support for the argument
  • however cannot ignore the fact that environment lpays a part too
    • differences in identical twins
  • Goodhart (Galton Institute) suggests important parts of our cultural inheritance are transmitted through teaching and learning from one generation to the next
    • implies nurturing/environmental factor of teaching develops intelligence
  • overall, more research using modern technology and increased knowledge about genetics is needed to form a conclusion to the age-old nature-nurture debate
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