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 August 28, 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 August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free College Tuition to Break Cycle of Poverty

Free College Tuition to Break Cycle of Poverty

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Alvernia University is trying to help kids break the cycle of poverty in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the nation's poorest cities, by offering them full scholarships along with intensive tutoring and mentoring. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

AFP (Aug. 27, 2014) For many people in the autumn of their lives, walking up stairs is the biggest physical challenge they face. But in Japan, race tracks, hammer or pole vault await competitors at the Kyoto Masters, some of them more than 100 years old. Duration: 02:32 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