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Are we really predestined to be intelligent, wealthy, bad at school or even violent? Why not? Especially since the brain and our genes are supposed to control who we are… On this night, our speakers will give more clues about these disturbing questions and how they can impact our society, taking us on a journey through the mental backdrops of violence and cognitive achievements. Fasten your synapses!
Violence and mental disorder: what is the link?
For the past 60 years, violence and mental disorder have become increasingly linked in the public eye. In this talk I will unpick this association and present evidence that suggests that mental disorder has, relatively speaking, very little connection to violence compared with other psychosocial factors. Furthermore, I will consider the prevalence of violent victimisation on people with mental disorder and suggest that this link is far more worthy of research attention.
Educational success: What matters beyond intelligence and why.
Cognitive ability (or intelligence) and achievement in school predict positive outcomes across the lifespan, from higher earnings to better health and longevity. But why do students differ so widely in cognitive ability and academic achievement? In addition to developmental experiences, genetic factors play a role in explaining differences in performance between students. I will present evidence for the importance of considering noncognitive characteristics (attitudes, aptitudes and appetites for learning) when studying educational success.