Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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, whether intelligence differences are caused by genes or the environment, the biological

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  1. Dan E. Ross "Dan Ross" says:
    46 of 47 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Short and TONS of useful information – a Great primer!, February 4, 2002
    By 
    Dan E. Ross “Dan Ross” (Frisco, Tx USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)

    This book is a great introduction to the subject of Intelligence and psychometrics! I just completed the book in two days and must say it was very insightful and straight to the point. It wasn’t the easiest reading but far more straightforward than most psychology/sociology stuff I have come across. I knew very little about psychometrics before reading this book as I majored in accounting and got my MBA, with an emphasis in finance. Plus I have some engineering. I say this to put it into perspective as psychology, sociology, philosophy haven’t been easy for me to comprehend in the past as they have been too verbose for me and boring, as it is out of my primary field of interest. But, I was very happy to read this book and learned a lot in a short matter of time. Additionally, if you want to learn more the author points to additional books/articles on each topic discussed. This book is great for the following reasons:

    1) It is easy to read as it is written to the non psychiatrist.
    2) It has a section explaining the only technical stuff used, which is statistics (used in studies outside of psychology too.)
    3) It provides a synopsis of the top issues, studies, articles and conclusions written about intelligence.

    In my opinion, the author of this book is very fair and reasonable as he consistently stated both sides of an argument if there was one to an issue. He did provide his insights only after stating what the majority of his fellow associates had concluded as well as if the debate was largely over or not within each issue.

    So what was talked about in this tiny book of 125 pages?
    1) Is there a general factor in intelligence?
    2) Are there multiple types of intelligence, as Howard Gardner thinks?
    3) Are people getting smarter?
    4) How does race, age or the environment you are raised in affect intelligence?
    5) What is the ‘Flynn effect’?
    6) How do our brains work?

    Basically, Deary convinced me that there is a general factor that accounts for one’s mental abilities but, as he states, there is still much research to be done as to how the brain operates so that improvements can occur in testing/research and cures for horrible diseases, such as Alzheimers, can be figured out.

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  2. Jeffrey Wolf "postgraduate" says:
    15 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Short, Informative and Provoking, May 11, 2001
    This review is from: Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)

    I picked up this little book after hearing endless bickering about the debate over human intelligence. Is there a general factor in intelligence? Are there multiple types of intelligence, as Howard Gardner thinks? How do race or age affect intelligence? What is the ‘Flynn effect’? All these questions are covered in some detail–given the length of the book–in Deary’s clear exposition.

    Basically, Deary convinced me that there is a general factor that accounts for one’s mental abilities (but this is not to say that a high g factor–as it’s called–will assure you success and praise in life or that a low one excludes you from it!).

    Deary’s discussion of twin studies and his own work on how the physiognomy of the brain correlates with intelligence (there is a correlation–of medium strength between brain size and intelligence) were particularly interesting.

    This is a great introduction to the subject!

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  3. Anonymous says:
    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent Intro to Psychometrics & IQ, December 4, 2001
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)

    This book is an excellent introduction to psychometrics and IQ. It has a rare combination of being accessible to layman without insulting anyone’s intelligence (no pun intended). Another advantage of this book, as well as Oxford’s VSI series, is that it the book is slim (in size) and can be carried around and read in a few sittings. That does not mean, however, that the book lacks substance (as one might fear would be the case for short intro books on a difficult subject). Quite the contrary. I would dare say that reading the book would allow even a layman to have an intelligent conversation with an expert on psychometrics.

    The book has an objective and friendly tone. The author makes his own opinions known but does present contrary opinions and does not offer his own opinions without evidence. Some people may disagree with some of the conclusions, but it is hard to argue with the fact that the author of this book is very fair and reasonable.

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