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Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #39)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  256 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
For people with little or no knowledge of the science of human intelligence, this volume takes readers to a stage where they are able to make judgments for themselves about the key questions of human mental ability. Each chapter addresses a central scientific issue but does so in a way that is lively and completely accessible. Issues discussed include whether there are sev ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published June 7th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2001)
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Tuncay Tekle
Mar 07, 2014 Tuncay Tekle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, vsi
An excellent read on how cognitive abilities are measured, how they vary on different factors, and what they affect. Beautifully written by a leading researcher in the field for the non-specialist. Another gem in the 'very short introduction' series by Oxford.
Timo Timo
Oct 09, 2016 Timo Timo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: usefwl-books
Insight-dense, well-founded and very interesting.

Some key findings and surprises:

• Scores on all the different kinds of intelligence tests researchers have administered correlate very much with each other, such that there seems to be some factor that some people have more of and some people have less of that determines most of their scores on intelligence tests. Call this the "g factor".

• An optimal grouping based on the correlation between scores of many difference intelligence tests gives fo
...more
Steve
May 09, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
An excellent introduction into the subject. Deary concentrates on statistical studies and meta-studies to delve into those questions that seem to vex people about intelligence.

Starting with 'general intelligence' and working through the types of brain activity that make it up and the mechanisms through which it can be tested (where it can be tested), Deary then explores what happens to our intelligence as we get older (view spoiler)
...more
PolicemanPrawn
Jan 04, 2017 PolicemanPrawn rated it really liked it
This provides an excellent and accessible introduction to the topic of intelligence, which is here taken to mean the kind of abstract problem-solving ability measured by tests. The book covers, in each chapter, the general intelligence factor g and its relation to more specific intelligence measures, how intelligence changes with age, the relation between intelligence and properties of the brain, the controversial gene–environment debate, the role intelligence plays in aspects of our lives such ...more
Daniel Wright
Mar 04, 2015 Daniel Wright rated it really liked it
There is, I surmise, somewhere in the unwritten generic guidelines for writing books in OUP's excellent Very Short Introduction series, a rule that just says, 'NO MATHS'. For someone like me - with a maths degree, no less - this can be almost unbelievably patronising, and, ironically, it can even make maths-related subjects difficult to understand. It is a great pleasure, therefore, to find an absolute gem of a book like this one which is willing to break that rule. The author gives a brief and ...more
Bojan Tunguz
Apr 05, 2011 Bojan Tunguz rated it it was amazing
There isn't a single area of Psychology that elicits as much contention as the area of psychometrics. To a certain degree this is understandable, since no one wants to be told that she is not as bright as someone else, no matter how true or obvious it might be. However, of all brunches of Psychology, psychometrics has the greatest predictive power. Within the professional community many of the general aspects of intelligence are very well understood and appreciated. This VSI book is an excellent ...more
Cathryn
Dec 06, 2014 Cathryn rated it it was amazing
Ian Dreary has written a very-well researched and generally un-biaised overview of various aspects of intelligence, from testing through to genetics and various controversies and un-answered aspects of research today. He lays it out in an easy-going, and at times slightly humorous manner, and very usefully includes references and annotations for further reading should you want to explore an area further. He is also clear on spelling out his own views, but in a manner that illustrates where he ma ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #39), Ian J. Deary

For people with little or no knowledge of the science of human intelligence, this volume takes readers to a stage where they are able to make judgments for themselves about the key questions of human mental ability. Each chapter addresses a central scientific issue but does so in a way that is lively and completely accessible. Issues discussed include whether there are several different types of intelligence, whe
...more
Darius Daruvalla-riccio
Mar 19, 2015 Darius Daruvalla-riccio rated it really liked it
Summary: G factor/fluid intelligence exists.
G factor correlates with all types of intelligence.
G factor correlate with success. IQ tests can predict G-factor well.

If you separate twins at birth, their IQ correlates more with their twin than their adopted siblings.
Scientific. Provides lots of relevant studies.

Persuasive and easy to understand. Engages with the counter arguments to his viewpoints.

Pull this out on anyone that says IQ tests don't work or that nurture determines your intellige
...more
Nathan
Sep 08, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
This is an excellent, concise introduction to the current understanding of intelligence by the academic community. Perhaps the most important aspect of the book is the massive quantity of sources cited and additional reading recommended. The only downsides are that it's a bit dry and the author is openly biased on some areas--the latter aspect isn't as bad as it sounds though, given that he is honest about his perspective, presents multiple sides of each issue, and provides additional reading fr ...more
Ed
May 02, 2009 Ed rated it liked it
I read this in preparation for a psychology exam. It advertises itself as a very short introduction, and that's exactly what it is. It's easy to understand, doesn't get too technical, and gives you a basic grounding in various issues surrounding the study of intelligence, with lots of recommendations for further reading. However, I'd only recommend it if you're brand new to the field of intelligence, otherwise you'll have heard it all before.
Tom
Mar 08, 2012 Tom rated it liked it
For someone who is not a student in this field this short book highlights some very interesting aspects of research in intelligence as well as giving a brief overview of what IQ tests actually test and the controversies that arise from the methadology. This is rather dry but as one may expect from this subject that is to be expected.
Lee Symes
Feb 29, 2012 Lee Symes rated it liked it
Over all a good read written specifically for the layman. It is also very honest about what is and is not known about intelligence. Ultimately it is a good foundation book if, like I did, you know nothing about the evidence base for measuring intelligence and the impact that you IQ can have on your life.
Sorobai
Jun 06, 2015 Sorobai rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Uma boa abordagem às teorias da Inteligência, nomeadamente aquelas desenvolvidas a partir de testes de inteligência. É um livro conciso e de fácil leitura. Bem estruturado e interessante. Felizmente não é demasiaddo americanizado como outros livros que li desta colecção.
Usfromdk
Jan 30, 2014 Usfromdk rated it it was ok
The book added very little to what I already knew, and the coverage isn't very detailed.

If you've never read anything about this topic it may be a good place to start, but I obviously was not in the target group.
Steve Mitchell
Jul 29, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it really liked it
A look into how intelligence is affected by genetics, upbringing, social class and many other variables. Expresses the data by a series of case studies rather than through anecdotal evidence and opinion.
Spencer
Sep 24, 2012 Spencer rated it it was ok
Discusses 10 data sets that have set the standard for what it means to be intelligent in a modern european society. Includes a discussion on the WAIS-III standardized IQ test.
Kathleen O'Neal
Jun 29, 2013 Kathleen O'Neal rated it really liked it
A very interesting book on the topic of intelligence. It should definitely be read alongside critiques of the concept of "intelligence" as we understand it for greater context.
Ahsan
Oct 27, 2015 Ahsan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fictions
Of all the books I've read from Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series, this has been the most disappointing.
Rashad Raoufi
its concise,clear and easy to read, with helpful summaries that lists and discusses the limitations of current research.
Camilo Chacon
Camilo Chacon rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2016
Gideon Jeremiah
Gideon Jeremiah rated it really liked it
Oct 12, 2012
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Boaz Sobrado
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Oct 10, 2015
Aaron Jacob
Aaron Jacob rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2012
Gareth
Gareth rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2015
Mads
Mads rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2016
Thomas Hodsden
Thomas Hodsden rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2013
Bill Morrison
Bill Morrison rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2012
Pablo Stafforini
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Apr 09, 2014
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