Friday, April 8, 2011


How much use is made of intellectual capacities is markedly influenced by social-class identification . Parents of the upper and middle social classes provide more opportunities for the child's intellectual development than those of the lower social classes. Even more important, they encourage the child to make use of these opportunities. Many scientists believe that opportunities to learn and encouragement are primarily responsible for IQ differences between white and negro children, rather than a hereditary factor, as others claim.

Jensen, in commenting on environmental influences, agrees that they are, in part, responsible for differences in achievement. As he explains, "Many  other traits, habits, attitudes and values enter into a child's performance in school beside just his intelligence, and these non cognitive factors are largely environmentally determined, mainly through influence within the child's family".

furthermore, social expectancy influences the use people make of their intellectual capacities. Those who are recognized as intelligent are expected to have more "social power" in decision-making situations than are those who are less intelligent. Boys and men, in most cultures, are expected to use their intellectual capacities more than girls and women and are given more opportunities and more encouragement to do so.

Intellectual capacities increase longer and decline later and more slowly if the person continues to be mentally active. Elderly people who continue to work or who have intellectually stimulating recreations are reported to have more normal brain functioning, to make better adjustments, and to do better on intelligence tests than those who retire and allow themselves to become mentally inactive. The decline is hastened by mentally unstimulating work and by an unstimulating home and social environment.

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