Van Leeuwen Study

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  • The researchers wanted to separate shared genetic from shared environmental effects on intelligence and identify the relationship between family members and their IQ.
  • A total of 112 families were used. They had either MZ or DZ twins, plus a sibling aged between 9 and 14 and two parents. The mean age of the twins was 9.1 years old and the mean age of the sibling was 11.9 years old.
  • Biological data plus hormonal and MRI scans were collected.
  • Both the adults and children had cognitive testing. The children completed Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and the adults completed Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices which are both IQ tests. The Rasch model was used to measure IQ.
  • Data analysis showed that there were no sex differences in any of the groups. Correlations were higher for MZ twins than first degree relatives. There was quite a high correlation between the IQ of parents.
  • It would appear that individual genetic differences can account for individual differences in intelligence. However, important factors such as the environment might have more impact on certain groups of individuals, such as the low IQ group compared to the high IQ groups.
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