According to Piaget’s theory, cognitive (mental) development of a person is determined by several factors : genetic factors, pregnancy of the mother, environmental factors, composition and social status of the family, the influence of school, personal characteristics of the child and parents.
Until the age of 60, mental ability in humans is not reduced, and in many aspects, the intelligence increases (especially when it is connected with the professional skills of the person). An abrupt weakening of mental activity can be observed in humans shortly before death.
The role of education is even more important in the cognitive (mental) human development. For example, savages children in Australia, when staying in their environment, they grew into savages at the same time, brought up in the context of European civilization, they all reached the heights of intellectual development, which shows a normal child of a civilized society.
General hypothesis about the individual development of intelligence is that there are innate and acquired intellects. Innate intelligence is the potential that is created at the conception and is the basis for the development of intellectual abilities of the individual. In turn, the acquired intellect is formed by the interaction with the environment. We can only asses the “result intelligence” watching how the individual performs mental operations. Adequately assess the innate intelligence we could only, if the individual from the first moments of life was in perfect conditions, ensuring all-round development of innate intelligence, which, of course, is not feasible.
Genetic factors are the potential that a child receives with the genetic information from the parents.
The direction of intellectual development of the individual to some extent depends on these factors.
However, the individual, as one might think, does not inherit a certain level of “pure” intellect, depending on the appropriate level of the parents. These genetic factors, their structure and mechanisms are very little known to date. We can only talk about a number of genes identified as responsible for gross defects in development of the organism, as well as a number of physical characteristics of the organism.
Chromosomal abnormalities associated with disorders in the formation of the sperm or egg should be distinguished from genetic disorders. This applies, in particular, such a common ailment as Down syndrome.
Factors arising during pregnancy include strong violations of physical and mental balance in the mother as in this period the realization of the genetic potential of the child can be influenced, sometimes in a irreversible manner. As an example of such violations, we can mention maternal malnutrition, especially in poor and underdeveloped countries. Thus, the absence or lack of iodine in the diet of mothers in certain areas can cause cretinism in the child.
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