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IQ Testing in the Determination of Intelligence

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There is a ongoing debate between proponents of the heredity approach (who believe that intelligence is genetically determined) and the environment approach (who argue that intelligence depends at least in part on an individual's experience and environment).

The important practical (and political) issue arising from this debate is whether compensatory programs such as the government's Head Start Program should be adopted in order to improve individuals' mental abilities. Not surprisingly, proponents of the heredity approach argue that such programs are a waste of time and resources and that intelligence is immutable (unchangeable), whereas proponents of the environment approach suggest that intelligence can be --and should be-- trained.

Consider also the use of IQ testing in the determination of intelligence. Do you think the use of IQ scores is a helpful educational tool? What are some of the problems with IQ testing generally?

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IQ testing in the determination of intelligence: short answer

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The role or contribution of heredity and environment is a classic debates in the field of psychology. Most theorists believe that in the contemporary times, the both the heredity as well as environmental factors play a combined role in the shaping of the personality of the individuals, including the state of their physical and psychological health. This is also called nature vs. nurture debate. Originally many theorists believed that the heredity alone determine the fate of the individuals' intelligence and life success as a result of that intelligence. The book called The Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray (1994) described the studies done by the two intelligence researchers and they confidently said that race has a key role to play in the intelligence. They ...

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