With the research advancements in the environment and its impact, researchers have found that environmental factors affect the intelligence level of an individual. The environment in which we live is a strong contributor to influencing our level of intelligence.
Major environmental factors that influence Intelligence
There are various environmental factors that influence intelligence. Some of the prominent environmental factors include:
- Parenting styles
- Environment of the home
- Family structure
- Learning resources
These are some of the major factors that affect the mental well-being of an individual resulting in an increase or decrease in intelligence level.
Influence of Environmental factors on intelligence
A large number of studies have established that the intelligence level of an individual is the product of both nature and environmental factors. These studies have made it clear that neglecting any one of them is not possible and both of them are influencing the IQ level of an individual. IQ tests are used to measure the intelligence with the accuracy ensured.
A research study conducted on the individuals living in poor and wealthier families showed that those who had good living conditions and lived in wealthy families had higher IQ as compared to those individuals who lived in poor families. This study showed that family status influences the level of human intelligence. It also found out that the two biological siblings growing up in different families had different IQ levels.
After that, the psychologists claimed that cognitive ability is determined by the genetic factor but it is not a sound idea to consider genetics, the sole factor that influences intelligence.
There is also strong evidence that the education of the parents also affects the intelligence of the children. Those parents who are educated brought up smarter kids as compared to those parents who are less educated or not educated at all. Educated parents have a good grasp of the strategies that are required to bring up smarter kids.
Educated parents are more likely to communicate with their kids effectively. They prefer to have a conversation with the kids at the dinner table regarding the entire day. They take their children to meaningful places such as museums, libraries, and various historical monuments. They also read storybooks to the kids at night which boosts their intelligence level of the kids.
A research study tested the IQs of 436 Swedish brothers where one kid was brought up as the real parents while the other was adopted. It was found out that those siblings who left the home in their childhood and were brought up in other families had high IQ levels as compared to their other siblings.
This study established that an individual even after being adopted, if taken to a good family, can increase his or her IQ level. After this, Sweden set up the agencies to select the most suitable candidates and a favorable environment for adoption. If the adoptive parents are educated and have better financial status as compared to biological parents it can increase the IQ of the adopted child. This study used the standardized IQ tests to measure the intelligence level of the participants involved.
The education of an individual also has a strong relationship with the level of intelligence. Kids who performed better on IQ tests in their childhood grow up to be adults who have lower chances to drop out of higher studies. They complete their education better making intelligence a strong indicator to predict the school performance of the individual.
A child’s home environment also affects the intelligence level. If the family environment is healthy and interactive, it makes the kid feel secure and mentally healthy. Kids living in families with a healthy environment are intellectually sound as compared to the kids living in unhealthy family environments.
Parenting styles also affect kids’ intelligence levels. The parents who engage with their kids succeed in bringing up smarter kids. Those children who have healthy interaction with their parents perform better in various fields of life. Parents’ engagement boosts the intelligence level of the children. Those who invest their time in activities such as games, reading books with the kids, doing meaningful learning exercises, and chat sessions succeed in making their kids intellectually smart and confident beings.
Nutritional factors also play an important role in boosting intelligence. Research studies show that the children who are malnourished perform poorer in IQ tests as compared to the children who consume a good diet. Nutritional balance is essential for the cognitive development of an individual. Those who have a better diet have bright chances to have more intelligence levels.
It is easier to measure genetic effects as compared to the environmental effect on intelligence. To measure environmental effects psychologists usually perform longitudinal studies that require a huge amount of time and resources. As it is easier to study two identical twins living together as compared to two twins raised in different families with different parents.