Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

by Richard E. Nisbett
     
 

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“[Nisbett] weighs in forcefully and articulately . . . [using] a thoroughly appealing style to engage . . . throughout.”—Publishers WeeklySee more details below

Overview

“[Nisbett] weighs in forcefully and articulately . . . [using] a thoroughly appealing style to engage . . . throughout.”—Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Chronicle Review
“Nisbett argues that a variety of social, cultural, and economic factors can significantly affect a child’s IQ, and suggests ways to improve intelligence scores, as well as grades, by manipulating those factors.”
Daniel Osherson
“A hugely important analysis of the determinants of IQ. . . . A ‘must-read.’”
Jim Holt
In Intelligence and How to Get It, [Nisbett] offers a meticulous and eye-opening critique of hereditarianism. True to its self-helplike title, the book does contain a few tips on how to boost your child's I.Q.…But its real value lies in Nisbett's forceful marshaling of the evidence, much of it recent, favoring what he calls "the new environmentalism," which stresses the importance of nonhereditary factors in determining I.Q. So fascinating is this evidence—drawn from neuroscience and genetics, as well as from studies of educational interventions and parenting styles—that the author's slightly academic prose style can be forgiven.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Whether intelligence is largely determined by genetics or environment has long been hotly contested. Nisbett, a University of Michigan psychology professor, weighs in forcefully and articulately, claiming that environmental conditions almost completely overwhelm the impact of genes. He comes to this conclusion through a careful statistical analysis of a large number of studies and also demonstrates how environment can influence not only IQ measures but actual achievement of both students and adults. (People often "overachieve" when appropriate incentives are in place, Nisbett argues.) Nisbett builds a very strong case that measured IQ differences across racial, cultural and socioeconomic boundaries can easily be explained without resorting to hereditary factors. The result is a very positive message: schools, parents and government programs can have a huge impact if they take the right, which are not necessarily the most expensive, steps. Without those steps, he says, the current role of socioeconomic factors is frightening, with economically disadvantaged children largely condemned to failure. Although Nisbett relies heavily on statistics to document his claims, he does so in a manner accessible to general readers and uses a thoroughly appealing style to engage them throughout. (Feb.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393337693
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/08/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
482,516
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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