The IQ Debate Essay

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Intelligence can be defined in many different ways. This concept has been the focus of numerous studies and investigations by psychologists and other scientific experts. Intelligence can be the mental ability to reason, plan ahead, understand a wide range of complex issues and learn from past experiences (Gottfredson, 1997). Intelligence is the “resultant of the process of acquiring, storing in memory, retrieving, combining, comparing, and using in new contexts information and conceptual skills” (Humphreys, 1979) Intelligence is commonly measured through the use of a number of scales and quantitative measures, like the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), developed by Alfred Binet in early 20th century to identify which French children needed…show more content…
Far-right commentators generally support this argument, which has been supported by the findings of a number of researches, including those led by Professor Robert Plomin ( They have also utilised these arguments to explain a wide range of social phenomena, including crime. Other experts have strongly disagreed with this view, arguing that intelligence levels are directly related to situational factors. Environmental factors like the quality of the education system can have a very significant influence in the development of intelligence. Situational factors have been used by psychologists to explain a wide range of phenomena. A great number of sociologists, psychologists and criminologist have studied the circumstances and background that makes crime possible, in order to identify the main reasons and causes of crime by looking at the learning process that generates crime. The use of IQ to explain deviancy and crime has greatly influenced the debates of psychologists in this respect. In this respect, studies like those carried out by Sutherland have looked at the role played by psychological issues and disorders. The Differential Association Theory was a theory on crime and deviancy developed by Edwin Sutherland during the thirties. Unlike other experts like Eleanor and Sheldon Glueck, who stated that deviancy is generated by numerous factors, Sutherland
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