Intelligence - Nature vs Nurture

1965 Words Mar 4th, 2013 8 Pages
This essay is going to discuss the role of intelligence in human beings examining both internal and external factors. Intelligence and whether it is innate or develops as one evolves, is one of humanity’s greatest debates. In everyday life one has to make decisions, solve problems and make sense of the world and what is happening in it. From an external point of view the intelligence of a human being develops through a constructive, cognitive process. Since the 1950s, cognitive developmental researches agree on the now nearly universal consensus that intellectual skills are the by-products of self-governed activity in relation to the world (Bruner, 1990; Gardner, 1985). Considering this, it is difficult to understand that scientists …show more content…
Motivational theorists believe how motivated one is determines the level of cognition achieved (Sternberg, 1982). Sternberg also found that if one spends more time encoding problems, they would perform those tasks faster (1982). However much of intelligence is not understandable in terms of scientific modes and needs supplementation by other theories that deal with less rational modes of thinking. Those who believe that intelligence is genetic presume that there is no hope for the people who have not been blessed biologically and that nothing can change their ‘hard wiring’. This seems extreme.
External influences come from anything outside the brain. They can be environmental, opportunistic, behavioural and conditional. Some theorists believe that intelligence is influenced by one’s environment (external) and that one’s culture determines one’s nature of intelligence (Sternberg, 1982). According to Vygotsky cognitive development occurs in a sociocultural context and evolves out of the child’s social interaction (as cited in Sigelman & Rider, 2006). A person’s environment can be influential when looking at intelligence. Other than one’s family habitat and culture there is also the question of educational opportunity. If a child is exposed to certain concepts

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