Heredity and IQ the Straight Dope

How is IQ determined, is it throught Heredity, your early childhood, or is it a developing life long process?

IQ is determined by how well you do on IQ tests. “Intelligence” may have some relation to how well you perform on these tests, but is not the same entity.


Palidors (IF that is your real name…), you miss the point. IQ is simply a measured result of a test. No one today really thinks it has much meaning, and since there are questions of what it is actually measuring, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether your ability to do well on an IQ test is hereditary or environmental.

Ask your parents. If they know, it’s not heridity.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Cmon. You people need to think. I am asking if intelligence is born in you or if it is developed.

One thing is certain. High IQ is not demonstrated by posting repeated “quizmaster” type questions. Nor is it particularly shown by typing in all caps to a legitamate response to a query.

And I’m answering. “Apparently not all of the time.”

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

First, define “intelligence”. Then we may be able to determine which components of that entity are heritable and which are influenced by environment.

Personally, and I believe this is the current thinking on the subject, the potential for displaying “intelligence” is hereditary but the development of this potential is environmental. Few people have the opportunity to develop more than a fraction of their “intelligence potential”, just as few people have the opportunity to develop more than a fraction of their physical potential. I know that, given sufficient incentive, I could train my body to run much faster and longer. Other people, given sufficient incentive, could train thier minds to think more efficiently. But, if a person does not get sufficient nutrition when growing they will be a stunted physical specimen and never reach their physical potential. Analogously, if a person does not get sufficient mental stimulation while growing, they will never reach their “intelligence potential.”

Does this come close to the answer you are looking for? Or must I use smaller words?

I’m suddenly very fond of manhattan :).

Geez Palidors, you’re not the friendliest apple in the bunch, are you? In case you haven’t noticed, no one is obligated to even answer your trolling questions, much less give a serious answer.


He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice - Albert Einstein

It’s sort of like this. Pretend that I was once a pretty bright little kid:

Bring me up in a stable home, feed me well, lavishly provide for my curiosity and education, and instill a modest amount of discipline in me and you’ll get a Nobel Prize contender.

Bust up my home, feed me twinkies and Mountain Dew, teach me everything I need to know about life through marathon reruns of “Who’s the Boss,” and encourage me to go pee at the commercial breaks, and you’ll get… uh, well, you see what I’m getting at, don’t you?
I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.

Well, I’ll be damned!

It is you, Brithael.

Kelli, you’re good.

If you’re an optimist, you haven’t been paying attention.


We can certainly see why you wouldn’t.

Up, up and away!

Palidors whined:

Well, yeah. Now you’re asking about intelligence. But the fact remains that you first asked:

Then you got peeved when folks answered the original question before you changed the query.

Evidently you don’t have the intelligence to discern the difference between IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and Intelligence.

If this guy is a nuclear physicist, his last place of employment must have been Chernobyl.

Intelligence is determined by how well people like you on this board. So start being nice and mail me a check.