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Intelligence, “Nature Versus Nurture” Essay

Intelligence is the ability to learn facts and skills and apply them; it can also be referred to as knowledge. When we look at knowledge we typically look at it from the aspect of nature and nurture, nature being what we come into this world with and nurture is what we acquire after we have entered this world. But the question I am focused on is where do we get our intelligence, are we born with it or are we somewhat gaining it after birth, is a new born child capable of knowing what is happening around him and grow up knowing how to act as an adult from birth or do he have to acquire the ability for adult performance?.

So the experiment I am referring to was taught by one Dr. Richard Gerring, where taking a new born child and imagine what it would be like to come into a situation as such a child. One such example of testing intelligence starts with perceptions. It was thought for a long time that children was color blind, because we could not just ask a neonate “do you see colors?”, so the first experiment to detect whether a child perceive color would be from one researcher by the name of Burstein. Burstein took a set of 3 month old kids and give them solid colored toys and soon the kids got tired of looking at the toys over and over again; now the simple fact about colors is the wave length that they give off, colors such as green or orange gives off a bright wave length that is attractive, but a color like grey and white has dull wave lengths. Or also if you keep looking at the same color whether bright green or red you would soon get tired of the color because your brain has already adapted to it and you become bored.

So to test this theory I did my own experiment.

Scientific Question:
Can children perceive colors and understand change although they are small and have not yet fully acquired learn intelligence of difference?

Children do perceive colors, they also have an intelligence of change in the factors around them just as older children and adults do even though they are of young age.

My objective:
To see whether children do perceive and understand colors although they may not know the colors by names, do they have the ability to detect the change from such a young age.

Type of design of Qualitative Investigation:

So with this experiment I am taking Three (5) children ages 3 months to 2 years old and place all of them in the same room for 5 days for 3 hours with the same set of toys: 2 red truck and 4 yellow cars. Based on investigation 5 days/3 hours results, an action would be taken to confirm findings.

The study type that we will carry out is descriptive.

Universe: A preschool at the Community center, Vanard, Castries.

Manipulate: 5 children ages 3 months to 2 years old.

Operational variables: Sex and ages of the children, place and time

Independent Variables: Colors of toys

Techniques used to obtain the data of this study:

* Direct Observation
There needs to be constant observation of the children while playing with the toys and note the level of interest that is given to each toy over the period of 5 days for 3 hours, and then analyze data at the end of each day

whether the interest dwindles or not.

Make a note of just how much had the attention dwindled.

Analysis of Data:
Day 1: All 5 kids are happy with the new toys for the 3 hours Day 2: All kids are happy and move around contentedly with the toys Day 3: The Kids are demonstrating a lack of interest in the toys now and have come to interchange a lot between the 6 pieces. Day 4: The children are no long grabbing for the toys but are beginning to get very frets and occasionally when I give them a toy they may calm a bit but then continue to fret. Obvious signs that they no longer are interested in the toys. Day 5: Today is they last day and I have noticed for the past 2 hours nobody took the toys, at the 3rd hour they were all crying. Gathered Results: At the end of day five, I had a set of crying kids on my hands who were obviously unhappy and who were definitely were no longer interested in the given toys.

So can I determine that the Children are just bored by the toys in themselves or the colors?

So now what I would do is my action to the investigation to confirm the results from the 5 days. I took the same set of toys, 2 red truck and 4 yellow cars and I repainted them (please note that paint used was indeed child friendly and not harmful in toxins). The toys were repainted and reintroduced again the next day for the same 3 hours.

Final Results: Amazing! The Kids grabbed at those toys as if they were new and were all laughs with the very same toys that yesterday received no attention. This proves simply that young children although they are not yet well cognitively develop do see colors. The fact that they saw the same color toys for 5 days for 3 hours and got bored on day 5 but had renewed interest in the same give toy on the 6 day when reintroduced in different colors told me they got a new stimulus to the change.

That is a pretty interesting knowledge to confirm. For these children to know

the difference in vision and its change and take interest in the toys do tells me they brought some intelligence into this into the world.

So here we can see that we are born with the concept of knowing differences, which is great for gaining ability throughout life. Dr. Richard Gerring was saying that another way to tell children have intelligence is by using checkers on a board. You can use a young child under 5 years old and you spread the checker pieces between you and the child evenly, and ask the child who has more checkers, the child would say that you have more if you do or they do they would say. The point to this is that children understand the concept of  “more or less” although they do not know how to count. If you use two glasses of water then they can say which glass has more water and which do not. The fact that they understand quantity although they cannot express it shows intelligence that can be developed. So as the child gets older you start counting fingers and toes and soon the child can tell you that you have maybe ‘6’ more than they do or ‘6’ less. The fact that they grow to understand numbering tells us that they acquire knowledge and increase their intelligence from the mere concept of visual “more or less” that they originally had.

So when we think of intelligence and we think of knowledge in the sense of nature vs nurture, we can safely say that some intelligence we are born with and are integrated in our genes and there are some intelligence that are acquired and expanded upon but learning and concurring.

Does this mean that our behavior can be manipulated from an early age through education?

This question is answered by a simple experiment. The experiment can be done by looking at how kids acquire action to word, if you try to speak to a child age 3 years as you would an adult the child would be confused. So you have to simplify your speech to that child to get him/her to do what you need him/her to do. Like when you are getting a child to eat food, you would put the child in the high chair and by actions show the child you are opening in your mouth while saying “aaaahh”, your mouth opening and the word

“aaaah” suggest that every time you do the action and bring the spoon up with food you want the child to open their mouth and eat. So you link action and words which manipulates the child actions and often you hear people saying the words like “yum yum” with a smiling expression while the child’s eating to get them to understand that what they are eating is good. Therefore we get actions to words and perception of the food.

So when it comes to knowledge our environmental factors can con-coursing an influence us, bringing us into making decisions and having preferences to things that we were not born with.
Life of the Mind: Introduction to Psychology, Richard Gerring.

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