Intelligence and How to Get It
Who are smarter, Asians or Westerners? Are there genetic explanations for group differences in test scores? From the damning research of The Bell Curve to the more recent controversy surrounding geneticist James Watson's statements, one factor has been consistently left out of the equation: culture. In the tradition of Stephen…
Why read it?
2 authors picked Intelligence and How to Get It as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Richard Nisbett is one of the most influential social psychologists in the world, and we collaborated on the 1987 book Induction. His book on intelligence gives a good introduction to the psychology of intelligence and an incisive critique of attempts to use dubious research on a genetic basis for intelligence to explain racial inequality.
Is intelligence innate, or is it a product of upbringing and circumstances? Of course, it is both. Nisbett reviews the nature-nurture debate with an emphasis on nurture, showing how cultural practices (even as simple as how frequently young children get spoken to by adults) and later schooling collectively make an immense difference.
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