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PSYC 100
Daniel J Levitin

October 14Hi everybody I want to continue talking about intelligence today Remember last time we talked about intelligence tests and this is a plot of actual IQ scores and the thing that characterizes this is this sort of mound shape distribution By design when an IQ test is given to a large number of people the scores are standardized after the fact so that the average the mean is at 100 and the std dev is at 15 and thats what you see here One of the things we didnt talk about last time was the history of IQ testing and we didnt talk about the heritability of intelligence or at least the heritability of IQ So I want to spend some time talking about that and then other ways of thinking about intelligence I want to talk about intelligence testing and about problem solving and thinking skills you might find usefulSo this is a graph thats very similar to the one in your book which shows the correlation of IQ scores for different kinds of relationships you might have with someone else so these are identical twins reared together and you see the correlation between their IQ scores Is quite highits 85 now if you dont remember what a correlation is from the book Im going to talk about it a little later in the lecture but think about it as the strength of association between two variables so an example of a very high correlation might be height and weight its not a perfect correlation but in general taller people tend to weigh more or your height and your weight throughout your lifespanyour weight increases as your height increases An example of a correlation that may be 0 or close to 0 and reflects really no relationship at all might be whether Venus is in retrograde position and the score you get on your midterm We dont think the position of Venus in the celestial spheres has anything to do with your midterm scores so there really oughtnt be a correlation For that matter there shouldnt be a correlation between your height and your midterm score That would be silly if that were true I wouldnt have to bother testing youId just measure you on your height and give you a grade on the basis of that So correlations tell us something about the strength of an association they dont tell us anything about cause theyre not telling us that height causes increase in weight although it can Here where were looking at identical twins reared together the correlation is telling us something about the mutual influences of living togetherthe influence of environment and of having the same DNAthats the genetic predisposition or the genotype Now you may have heard somewhere along the line that identical twins share 100 of the same DNA and thats no longer believed to be strictly true Its not true for a couple of reasonsone is rather coarse the other is rather nuanced It turns out that during fetal development not all of the DNA instructions are followed perfectly not all of the genes are copied perfectly so you can have identical twins who began with the same instruction set but that instruction set doesnt actually get carried out in identical ways We now know that identical twins have a large proportion of their DNA in common but theyre not identical in the strict sense of the word The second more nuanced way identical twins may differ is that the environment may act on them differently We now know that the story about genes andthe connection between genotype and phenotypethat is the instruction set as its encoded in the genes and the way it manifests itself in your physical behavior physical appearance your propensities your talents your abilities and disabilities all that is the phenotype The genotype is whats in the genes The connection between the two is subtly influenced by whether genes are expressed or not You can have a particular genelets say its a gene for male pattern baldness slow twitch muscle fibers in legs whatever it is it may not be turned on at a certain point in your lifeit may not be expressed A lot of that has to do with the environment including what you eat the kinds of stressors youre exposed to the vitamins you get it also depends on the fetal environment The fetuses even of identical twins arent given identical access to the mothers nutrients so two identical twins in the womb one may get more space than another more nutrition one may get more oxygen and you may not be able to tell them apart by their IQ or appearance but these subtle differences can influence the child throughout the lifespan on into adulthood Thats one of the reasons why this correlation is imperfect Now we look here at identical twins reared apart actually have more identical IQ scores than nonidentical twins reared together So its beginning to seem that genes have a tiny little bit more to do with IQ scores than environment but if you have both you get a higher correlation so theres some correlation between the two And heres siblings not twins reared apart these are unrelated children reared together here you can see the influence of the environment the householdwhether parents encourage you to study or not whether they value studying whether they value intellectualism or not the type of infrastructure they give youwhether its a house full of books and pianos intellectual discussion at the dinner tablethese are unrelated children reared apart just as a control virtually no correlation between their IQs which is what youd expect So study this figure or the version in the book to understand at least the rank ordering of these different effects and consider what it means in terms of genes and environmentnature versus nurture Now one point the textbook makes and I would like to continue to make throughout the course is that if you ask the question is it nature or nurtureits actually a malformed question The question itself doesnt make any sense There are very few cases in a complex organism like humans where its all nature or all nurture Its almost always an interaction of the two We dont have a genetic determinate for most things we have a genetic propensity and the environment triggers itNow we talked about multiple intelligences last time we talked about how IQ tests typically have three componentsverbal mathematics and reasoning about Gardners theory of multiple intelligences and Gardners idea was that you can have intelligence in independent domains and theyre not necessarily correlated with one another You can be really good at something and not so good at others and it stands to reasonyou know this from your friendships and from people youve met some people have great mathematical or logical intelligence this sort of Mr Spock intelligence and others have verbal intelligence loquacious wordy people There can be spatial musical intelligence bodykinesthetic intelligence which might not be correlated with the others Interpersonal intelligencethat is social intelligence this is the kind of thing that according to The Social Network that Mark Zuckerberg lacks completely and that Bill Gates may lack completely but interpersonal intelligence is something that presumably politicians and anybody whos working in large organizations heading up large organizations presumably has Maybe ministers clergymen people like that Theres intrapersonal intelligenceknowledge of self
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