Comparison Between Environmental And Intelligence is the level of competence, ability to learn or to some people it is how well an individual performs on an IQ test. The structure of intelligence is best subdivided into two significant categories. They are environmental and hereditary influences. Environmental differences can be divided into different factors. The deprivation model of social class and intelligence consists of three variables. These variables explain, in terms of environmental factors, development and performance which are correlated with social status. The first of these variables consists of the combination of birth order, nutrition, and prenatal care. Children who are first born, on average score better on mental tests.
There is a definite higher number of first born children among higher socioeconomic groups as opposed to lower socioeconomic groups. According to Bruce Eckland, children of higher economic class tend to be brighter, on average, than children of lower economic groups (65). Both prenatal stress and malnutrition, impair development and are found much more frequently among lower socioeconomic classes. According to Philip E. Vernon, the fetus can have lack blood supply and growth of the fetus can be disturbed if the mother takes certain drugs or suffers from certain diseases.
Severe stress on the mother can also be hazardous to the fetus (84). These conditions expressed are both genetic and or resulting from environmental conditions and are known to as constitutional factors. The second variable of the deprivation model which helps exhibit differences in performance is the cultural variable. It seems that lower socioeconomic classes experience a unique pattern of behavioral and psychological traits which impair development in children raised in these conditions. The last environmental variable that accounts for differences in the cognitive development is the social cultural variable.
This variable includes deprivation which involves socially structured inequalities in education and other social opportunities for improving performance. Sidney W. Bijou states that in order to help development, an ample supply of physical stimuli for cognitive development is favorable along with the people who have to manage these stimuli in contingent relationships after the birth of the child (230). Another environmental contribution to intelligence, which Bijou points out is the availability of people who enhance opportunities for cognitive development. These people have the job of shaping responses and for bringing responses under stimulus control. Examples of this contribution are conceptualizations and symbolizations. An unwanted contribution would be some situation where there are people with marital discord or if they are economically poor.
Another contribution, explained by Bijou, refers to the kinds of reinforcers in effect in cognitive situations. An example of this contribution would be to use positive reinforcing contingencies. A hampering situation would entail adults who use aversive, neutral or random stimulus contingencies. The last of these contributions refers to the schedules of reinforcement. These contributions are categorized by a high number of people who schedule contingencies of reinforcement in ways which maintain the cognitive repertories acquired (230).
Greenfield insists that people learn what they need to accomplish a goal presented by the environment. The specification of a particular set of goals by the environment not only determines whether learning (255). In an experiment done on children, Werner and Kaplan found out that variable verbal and action contexts for a certain concept provide a way of generalizing that particular concept by differentiating it from its context. Educationally this provides a wide variety of action goals but even more important during the initial stage instead of the later stages. This goal structure of the environment plays a most important role in early life and then gradually declines in importance, according to Patricia M.
Green field. Greenfield also points out in a study administered by Garves that middle class mothers give significantly more positive feed back as opposed to lower class mothers who give a high rate of negative feedback to their children. This scenario leads to feelings of failure on the on the childs part. In other words, lower class mothers believe that their goals cannot be attained, therefore giving way to a feeling of discouragement and a response of negative feedback to their children. This condition produces a lack of self-determination for the lower class mothers which then in turn gives the child himself lack of self-determination among other things. The home environment is also a major factor for cognitive development. For starters, middle class mothers may mothers may supply their children with an image of goals towards which school is aimed.
On the other hand lower class lower class families seem to lack this positive feedback all together (252-260). Vernon states that child and parent interactions greatly influence the cognitive growth of the child. Evidence of the previous is best demonstrated in the work of Wulbert et al. Wulberts experiments compared the homes and mothers of twenty children who were retarded in language and matched them with twenty normal children. The mothers of the language retarded children had lower results in emotional and verbal responsiveness and were more liable to punish their children than the mothers of the other twenty normal children. Davis helps to illustrate the views of Vernon.
Davis described a girl who lived with a deaf mute mother and did not develop any speech until she was moved from that environment (p.131). Spitz, on the other hand, describes the effects of early hospital upbringing but still helps support Vernons views. He studied infants who layed inside of their cribs with very little to look at unless they were being fed or cleaned. Many of these infants died and all of them, including those that died fell into a state of apathy (132). Both of these studies support Vernons views to the point that parent and child interactions influence the childs cognitive development and growth , especially early in life. It seems that environmental differences play a major role on the level of intelligence of an individual.
Evidence of environmental differences and its impact on intelligence is better illustrated through higher IQ gains generated by the help of environmental enrichment programs. These programs are more effec …