Does Genetics play a role in Intelligence?
How much of your intelligence is due to genetics?
Intelligence is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, like most aspects of human behavior and cognition,
Most definitions of intelligence include the ability to learn from experiences and adapt to changing environments and the known elements of intelligence include the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and understand ideas. The measure that has been defined for intelligence is called the intelligence quotient (IQ).
Researchers have conducted many studies to look for genes that influence intelligence, by focusing on similarities and differences in IQ within families, especially for adopted children and twins. These studies suggest that genetic factors underlie about 50 percent of the difference in intelligence among individuals. Other studies have examined variations across the entire genomes of many people to determine whether any specific areas of the genome are associated with IQ, but they have not identified any genes that have major roles in differences in intelligence. It is likely that a large number of genes are involved, each of which makes only a small contribution to a person’s intelligence.
Intelligence is also strongly influenced by the environment: factors related to a child’s home environment and parenting, education and availability of learning resources, nutrition, all contribute to intelligence. A person’s environment and genes influence each other, and it can be challenging to tease apart the effects of the environment from those of genetics.
But what is more likely if a child’s IQ is similar to that of his or her parents? Is that similarity due to genetic factors passed down from parent to child, to shared environmental factors, or to a combination of both?
Conclusions are that both environmental and genetic factors play a part in determining intelligence.