What is intelligence within psychology? Is it innate or culture?

Download .pdf, .docx, .epub, .txt
Did you like this example?

The concept of intelligence and understanding the mechanisms that create, sustain and develop it have both captivated and bemused scholars for millennia. For sure, as self-reflexive beings we are destined to comprehend or delineate the question of knowledge; the retention of information – the immaterial – that has a pivotal function in not only creating the psycho-social world but allowing it to evolve. The purpose of this essay is to examine the definitional nightmare that has plagued our conception of what intelligence is or how it should be described, before exploring the contributions made by psychology in capturing and measuring this phenomena. In turn, this essay will explore one of psychology’s longstanding dichotomous dilemmas, the ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate, to explore whether intelligence is an inherent virtue or something ascertained through interaction and culture.  This essay is one of exploration, a discovery and piecing-together of various strands within psychology, to provide an account of what intelligence is and its place of origin. It seems somewhat obvious that our academic ancestors would have been heavily persuaded by the supernatural and otherworldly, before the emergence of scientific discourse and so-called Enlightenment. For Plato (2014), the soul existed independently of the corporeal, imbued with beauty, elegance and knowledge par excellence, residing in the sacred realms of perfect forms and facts before marrying with the body; a metaphorical prison that hindered the soul’s quest for actualisation. Thus, intelligence was a process of realisation or recollection, the overcoming of a fickle, polluted, and decaying body to a higher state of becoming; a master artisan of reflexivity or philosopher king (Plato 2014, 88). However, philosophers like Aristotle (2013) – often regarded as the ‘father of psychology’ -   whilst sustaining the Cartesian Dualism somewhat, contended that there was a marriage (hylomorphic) between the mind and body; the former (passive intellect)  an infinite and immortal vessel that engages with the former (active intellect) and its five senses to assimilate and project into (inter)action. However intellect (nous) remains an abstruse and spiritualised entity. As Magee (2000) alludes, such philosophical interpretations have an artistic and somewhat godly quality pertaining to intelligence, its origin and ascertainment. The advent of pseudoscience’s like phrenology sought to locate intellect within the details of the human skull; dimples and dents where regarded as proof that human potential could be determined, thereby damming already marginalised groups and heightening the divide across race, class and the sexes (Uttal 2003). The succession of science, whilst discounting religion as an illogical and epistemologically restrictive domain, also had a disenchanting effect (Weber1946) on our understanding of intelligence; placing it within realms of quantification, a variant that could be detailed, standardised, examined and subsequently explained without the need for wonder and mystic. Accordingly, psychology became a prime protagonist in exhuming the mythical and establishing the measurable substance of intelligence, its elemental makeup and related descriptions. So, what is intelligence? Ironically, this topic remains hotly contested within psychology, though most accept that intellect is a necessary component for adaptation. It requires a host of mental operations (including a malleable brain),

Do you want to see the Full Version?

View full version

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Thank you!

We will send an essay sample to you in 2 Hours. If you need help faster you can always use our custom writing service.

Get help with my paper
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. You can leave an email and we will send it to you.