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Intelligence

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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 child's 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

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