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By Fredrick Norfleet
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
© FB. Norfleet Publishing
Environmental and Biological Effects on Intelligence and Achievement: Stress
Intelligence is first the acquisition and then the application of the knowledge in the form of abilities.
For example, a student goes to medical school to acquire medical knowledge and competences to become a
doctor. However, medical education alone does not make the student a doctor. But, once the medical student
demonstrates medical Intelligence, that when their medical practice begins. Thus trough the practice (i.e.,
demonstration of medical Intelligence), the student becomes a doctor.
Academic Achievement first defines the degree of education achieved. Secondly, Academic
Achievement describes capability. For example, you are receiving above average grads in an educational
course depicts Academic Achievement as it relates to ability. Furthermore, attending college and graduate
school illustrates Academic Achievement as it refers to the level of education achieved. Therefore,
Intelligence is the acquisition and application of knowledge, whereas Academic Achievement is a
measurement of the quality and amount of education.
Several environmental and biological factors can influence Intelligence. Environmental Influences
include the place of residence, physical exercise, and family income. For example, researchers discovered
that "children IQ scores increased when adopted from working-class homes to middle-class homes" (Nisbet,
Aronson, Blair, Dickens, Flynn, Halpern, & Turkheimer, 2012, P. 1). Why do children from low-income
families score poorly on IQ test, however, when adopted to a middle or upper-income families score higher
on the same IQ test?
The answer could be stress because "stress is more significant in low-income home environments" (Evans,
2004). Therefore, stress as a factor affecting Intelligence is genuine. Furthermore, tress affects the central
nervous system. The central nervous system is the brain and spinal cord—the brain and spinal cord control
awareness, movements, sensations, thoughts, speech, and memory. For example, "stress hormones damage
the neural circuitry of PFC and hippocampus, which are essential functions for regulating attention, short-
term memory, long-term memory, and working memory (McEwen, 2000). Thus, all of the functions
mentioned above must operate normally for human Intelligence and Academic Achievement.
Nisbet, R. E., Aronson, J., Blair, C., Dickens, W., Flynn, J., Halpern, D. F., & Turkheimer, E. (2012).
Intelligence: New findings and theoretical developments. American Psychologist, 67(2), 130-159.