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Genetics of Intellectual Development

Intelligence as a potentially inherited behavioral trait has been studied for more than a century. Only in recent years, however, has any true understanding of the genetics of intellectual development begun to take shape, allowing for a rational and evidence-based approach to what has been a controversial and highly emotionally charged endeavor. The meaning of the word intelligence itself is controversial and passionately debated, with some definitions stressing objective performance on standardized cognitive tests and other definitions attempting to be more broad based and expansive, invoking terms such as multiple intelligences, creative intelligence, or emotional intelligence. The term general cognitive ability, which is widely preferred today over the term intelligence, originated in 1904 with Charles Spearman’s analysis of intelligence. He postulated a general factor (g), ...

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