George's Reviews > Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

Intelligence and How to Get It by Richard E. Nisbett
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's review
May 12, 09

Read in May, 2009

A little dry in the beginning, but I'm looking forward to the part where he suggests how one's intelligence can actually be improved. I was under the impression that intelligence was genetically determined and not much could be done to change it up or down. FINISHED: Well it wasn’t as exciting as I expected, but there were particularly good sections worth reading. His principal argument is that the hereditarian or genetic determination of IQ argument is only partly true. In fact, to a great extent, one’s IQ is also determined by one’s cultural and educational environment. The best chapters are those discussing the reasons why Jews and Asians are such high achievers. Appendix B: “The Case for a Purely Environmental Basis for Black/White Differences in IQ” is worth reading, despite the complex statistical discussion, meant more for the professional researcher. He gives good tips on how parents can raise their child’s intelligence and how best to tutor a child having difficulty with school work (p. 76). The most compelling message of the book is “… intelligence is highly malleable and can be developed by hard work. … learning changes the brain by forming new neurological connections…”
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05/02/2009 page 30

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