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Social Impacts of Iq Development

  • Date Submitted: 04/28/2010 12:06 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.8 
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NEW MODEL OF IQ DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS FOR WAYS THAT EVEN SMALL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES CAN HAVE A BIG IMPACT, WHILE STILL CREDITING THE INFLUENCE OF GENES
Implications for Enrichment Programs for School-Aged Children
WASHINGTON - A new mathematical model could help explain how certain environments can trigger changes in a person's IQ as well as the relative influence of genes and the environment on IQ by exploring how internal and external factors might interact. The model helps explain the puzzling finding that IQ scores have risen over time and suggests a larger environmental role in IQ than previously thought. The model and an extensive discussion appear in the April issue of Psychological Review, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
William T. Dickens of The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and James R. Flynn of the department of political studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, applied their statistical expertise to an unresolved paradox in IQ research: If most variation between people's IQs are due to differences in their genes, as has been widely argued, then why have IQs risen over several generations in some 20 nations? In other words, if IQ is highly heritable (75%), and the gene pool is stable, why does IQ change so much? Could it be that the environment -- such as a powerful "social multiplier" across a group of people -- amounts to much more than what's "left over" after genes? What's more, would environmental factors have to be impossibly large, or could mathematical laws uphold the power of small changes to have large effects?
To understand what explains IQ differences in everything from adoption and cross-racial parenting to enriched pre-schooling, Dickens and Flynn review IQ theory and studies to date. Flynn's previous finding that "massive IQ gains over time signal the existence of environmental factors of enormous potency" prompted Dickens and Flynn to develop a sophisticated model that measures...

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