Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family, culture affect whether intelligence leads to education, study finds

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Intelligence isn't the only thing that predicts how much education people get; family, culture, and other factors are important, too. A new study compares identical and fraternal twins in Minnesota and Sweden to explore how genetic and environmental factors involved in educational differ in countries with different educational systems. Family background can get an education even for people of low intelligence, the authors conclude -- but helps much more in Minnesota than in Sweden.

Intelligence isn't the only thing that predicts how much education people get; family, culture, and other factors are important, too. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, compares identical and fraternal twins in Minnesota and Sweden to explore how genetic and environmental factors involved in educational differ in countries with different educational systems. Family background can get an education even for people of low intelligence, the authors conclude -- but helps much more in Minnesota than in Sweden.

The genetic similarity of a pair of twins depends on whether they're identical or fraternal. Identical twins share all of their genes; fraternal twins only share roughly half of the genes on which humans can differ. But either way, when the twins grow up in the same environment it's possible to use them to study how much of the population variation are can be attributed to genetic difference and how much is due to environmental variation.

The researchers used the Minnesota Twin Family Study and a set of Swedish databases that included the Swedish Twin Register and the Military Service Conscription Register. From these databases, they extracted intelligence test scores and educational records for thousands of pairs of twins.

More intelligent people had more education in both Sweden and Minnesota, although intelligence and educational attainment were more closely related in Sweden. The effects of environment were different in the two places. For example, in Minnesota, family environment was more important in influencing whether people with low intelligence got more education. On the other hand, in Sweden, family environment had more influence for people of high intelligence.

Wendy Johnson, of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Minnesota, speculates that this could be because of the different educational systems in the two countries. "In the United States, you can get a college education by having enough money to get into a school. In Sweden, that's not really so possible. You have to have the grades and test scores that they're looking for in order to get into schools. And it's free. In the United States, it's rarely free."

In other words, a Minnesotan family that values education and has the money can pay to get a less intelligent child into college, while a Swedish family doesn't really have that option -- but every Swede with high grades and test scores can get a free education. Johnson coauthored the study with Ian J. Deary of the University of Edinburgh, Karri Silventoinen of the University of Helsinki, and Per Tynelius and Finn Rasmussen of the Karolinska Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Family, culture affect whether intelligence leads to education, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155328.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2010, September 29). Family, culture affect whether intelligence leads to education, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155328.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Family, culture affect whether intelligence leads to education, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100927155328.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins