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.

Related Articles


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 October 23, 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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