Evaluate the role that biology and genetic inheritance plays in the determination of EITHER (a) personality OR (b) intelligence. Draw on recent research to illustrate and support your answer.
Intelligence has always been a very confusing topic in psychology. It can be a very difficult term to define since every individual can be intelligent in a particular aspect. Each and every person varies with their skills to adapt to the environment and how they can solve and understand intricate concepts. There are many different types of intelligence as there are many different skills in the world and they are all assessed on various criteria (Sternberg & Kaufman, 2001). The conceptualization of intelligence is still not set for certain as
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Before looking upon the contemporary research that has been performed to find out whether or not intelligence can be determined by biology and genetic inheritance, the older research have to be looked at in order to find out how the biological approach for intelligence was supported. Selective breeding has given an insight to how genes are able to pass down from each generation and that genetic inheritance does have an influence on intelligence. An old study was performed where rats were separated based on their ability to get through a maze and were split into two groups, ‘maze-bright’ rats and also ‘maze-dull’ rats. These rats were then selectively bred based on their category (Tryon, 1940). After breeding the rats for six generations, it was found that the brighter rats’ descendants still had the ability to get through the maze a lot quicker than the rats that were bred from the ‘maze-dull’ rats. This is able to portray how intelligence can be passed on through genes, even in animals. Another study that was done showed how the ability for a rat to get round an obstacle for food did not improve all the time when the environmental conditions were improved. However, some of the rats did show some development in their ability to negotiate the obstacles (Henderson, 1970), which demonstrates how there is an interaction between both environmental factors and biological factors when it comes to determining the intelligence of an