Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Heritability of Intelligence: Not What You Think

If you read this blog regularly, you will know that scientists have found that such things as nutrition before one is even born, exposure to pollution, stress to your mother while you are in utero, can all affect intelligence. When due to epigenetic changes, the effects may last for more than one generation.

By Scott Barry Kaufman | October 17, 2013


To be clear: these findings do not mean that differences in intelligence are entirely determined by culture. Numerous researchers have found that the structure of cognitive abilities is strongly influenced by genes (although we haven’t the foggiest idea which genes are reliably important). What these findings do suggest is that there is a much greater role of culture, education, and experience in the development of intelligence than mainstream theories of intelligence have assumed.


But these recent findings by Kees-Jan Kan and colleagues suggest just the opposite: The bigger the difference in cognitive ability between blacks and whites, the more the difference is determined by cultural influences.**


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