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Intelligence: Nature versus nurture

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  1. Which specific factor contributes to a college student answering poorly on a standardized exam?
  2. From the start of life inside the mother's womb.
  3. Intelligence may be defined independent from the way abilities are developed.
  4. The discovery of a fifteen-year-old boy named John Henry.
  5. Cunningham provided a consensus.
  6. Humans have different strengths, weaknesses, predispositions, likes, dislikes.

Similar to the ?egg and chicken? argument, the long-standing ?nature versus nurture? argument regarding behavioral traits has puzzled scientists and educators alike. The diverse viewpoints have spawned various expectations regarding the ability to manipulate intelligence. However, neither genetics nor environment can fully encapsulate and explain the complex behaviour exhibited by humans. Some behaviors seem to not be influenced by experience and others have very convincing learning mechanisms.

[...] (Stoddard 333) His intelligence was thought to be inborn. His discovery marked a big question to the nutrition theory. Could someone without a conducive environment be able to excel? The answer may lie on the innate ability of the person to survive in the threat of oppression. Perhaps John was able to adjust as much as he could to his awful environment and eventually learned to thrive. Perhaps too, other children in his condition could not cope up with this kind of environment. [...]

[...] There are certain concepts and ideas that are universally understood without the barriers of language. Cunningham provided a consensus in these views as believed by psychologists. He said that those who have studied the correlation between environment and intelligence have found out that there is a ?remarkable degree of stimulation in the home background or an equally remarkable lack of stimulating environment may raise or depress the measured intelligence of a child? (Stoddard 337). A corollary to this is that even the most conducive environment cannot make a child intelligent if at birth he had a limited capacity to learn. [...]

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