Intelligence and How To Get It Why Schools and Cultures Count Richard E. Nisbett University of Michigan
Misconceptions about Intelligence <ul><li>Intelligence is one thing: IQ score or  g  </li></ul><ul><li>Fluid  g  is the co...
More Miconceptions About Intelligence <ul><li>IQ simply unfolds in anything like a normal environment, consequently: </li>...
Still More Misconceptions   <ul><li>Blacks’ IQ has been 15 points lower than whites for past 80 years </li></ul><ul><li>Ma...
Policy Implication <ul><li>Save time and money: don’t attempt to raise intelligence – especially of lower SES and minoriti...
Sandra Scarr on IQ and the Environment <ul><li>“… the child’s genes determine his or her phenotype, and the child’s enviro...
Types of intelligence <ul><li>IQ tests measure analytic intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Other kinds of intelligence include...
Heritability <ul><li>Not close to.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Family environment effect is substantial </li></ul><ul><li>Errors ha...
Heritability cont’d <ul><li>No such thing as  the  value for heritability </li></ul><ul><li>Heritability depends on social...
<ul><li>Even very high heritability has no implications for modifiability </li></ul>
 
 
 
Subtests of the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children) <ul><li>“ Crystallized” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information: ...
Raven Progressive Matrices “Culture free” <ul><li>“… a person’s total score …provides an index of his intellectual capacit...
Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence: separate components of analytic intelligence <ul><li>fluid declines with...
Crystallized intelligence Fluid intelligence Mental ability Years of age 10  20  30  40  50  60  70
Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence: separate components of analytic intelligence <ul><li>fluid declines with...
Dysgenesis? <ul><li>The Flynn effect </li></ul><ul><li>18 point gain in IQ from 1947-2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 pts for...
Schools <ul><li>School contribution to IQ: 1 yr of school = 2 yrs of age </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done to make school...
Differences Between Social Classes <ul><li>Steady or shrinking slightly </li></ul><ul><li>What could impede further shrink...
Black/White Differences in IQ <ul><li>Most genetic claims based on indirect tests </li></ul><ul><li>Direct tests of herita...
Black/White Differences Cont . <ul><li>Why is the difference still 15 points? </li></ul><ul><li>It isn’t: it’s 9.5 points ...
What will impede further B/W gap reduction? <ul><li>Structural factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>History of racism </li></ul><...
<ul><li>Can we reduce the SES and B/W gaps in intelligence and academic achievement ? </li></ul>
Reducing the Gaps: Early childhood education <ul><li>Head Start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.5 SD increase for IQ fades by early...
Reducing the Gaps:The Schools <ul><li>KIPP </li></ul><ul><li>Poor black and Hispanic kids </li></ul><ul><li>60% more time ...
Interventions by Social Psychologists <ul><li>Dweck: Jr. Hi.:Intelligence is malleable>.33 GPA  increase </li></ul><ul><li...
Advantage Asia? <ul><li>East Asians: no higher IQ than whites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stevenson study of Taiwan, Japan, U.S....
Policy Implications <ul><li>Enriching the poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earned income tax credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C...
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Intell.um.2010.mod

  1. 1. Intelligence and How To Get It Why Schools and Cultures Count Richard E. Nisbett University of Michigan
  2. 2. Misconceptions about Intelligence <ul><li>Intelligence is one thing: IQ score or g </li></ul><ul><li>Fluid g is the core of intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Heritability of IQ is very high: .6 -.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental differences contribute little to IQ </li></ul>
  3. 3. More Miconceptions About Intelligence <ul><li>IQ simply unfolds in anything like a normal environment, consequently: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family environment is not very important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School makes little difference to intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early childhood education doesn’t work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There has been substantial dysgenesis </li></ul><ul><li>The difference in IQ between social classes is growing </li></ul>
  4. 4. Still More Misconceptions <ul><li>Blacks’ IQ has been 15 points lower than whites for past 80 years </li></ul><ul><li>Main reason for low black IQ is genetics </li></ul><ul><li>Asians have higher IQs than whites </li></ul><ul><li>Main reason for high Asian IQ is genetics </li></ul>
  5. 5. Policy Implication <ul><li>Save time and money: don’t attempt to raise intelligence – especially of lower SES and minorities </li></ul>
  6. 6. Sandra Scarr on IQ and the Environment <ul><li>“… the child’s genes determine his or her phenotype, and the child’s environment is merely a reflection of the characteristics of both parents and child” </li></ul><ul><li>“ parental differences in rearing styles, social class, and income have small effects on the measurable differences in intelligence…among their children…” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Types of intelligence <ul><li>IQ tests measure analytic intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Other kinds of intelligence include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Academic achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational attainment </li></ul><ul><li>Job ratings </li></ul><ul><li>But vast bulk of data pertain to IQ and academic achievement </li></ul>
  8. 8. Heritability <ul><li>Not close to.8 </li></ul><ul><li>Family environment effect is substantial </li></ul><ul><li>Errors have been made by IQ experts </li></ul><ul><li>Identical twins reared apart: correlation .75 - .8 </li></ul><ul><li>When environments differ,correlation goes down </li></ul><ul><li>IQ of adopted children correlates better with birth parents’ IQ than with adoptive parents’ IQ </li></ul><ul><li>But adoptive families are highly favorable and don’t differ much from each other </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of adoption: 12-18 points in IQ </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning of a 15 IQ point (1 standard deviation) difference </li></ul>
  9. 9. Heritability cont’d <ul><li>No such thing as the value for heritability </li></ul><ul><li>Heritability depends on social class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.7-.8 for upper middle SES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.10-.20 for lower SES </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social class confound in twin studies of heritability </li></ul><ul><li>Even very high heritability has no implications for modifiability </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Even very high heritability has no implications for modifiability </li></ul>
  11. 14. Subtests of the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children) <ul><li>“ Crystallized” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information: On what continent is Austria? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary: What does “debilitating” mean? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehension: Why are addresses on a street numbered consecutively? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similarities: In what way are “dogs” and “rabbits” alike? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arithmetic: If 4 toys cost 6 dollars, how much do 7 cost? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Fluid” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Picture completion: What part of the picture is missing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Picture arrangement: Reorder a set of scrambled pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Block design: Use blocks to replicate a 2-color design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Object assembly: Assemble puzzles depicting common objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coding: Using a key, match symbols with shapes or #s </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. Raven Progressive Matrices “Culture free” <ul><li>“… a person’s total score …provides an index of his intellectual capacity whatever his nationality or education.” Raven, Court and Raven (1975) </li></ul>
  13. 16. Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence: separate components of analytic intelligence <ul><li>fluid declines with age: crystallized increases with age </li></ul>
  14. 17. Crystallized intelligence Fluid intelligence Mental ability Years of age 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
  15. 18. Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence: separate components of analytic intelligence <ul><li>fluid declines with age: crystallized increases with age </li></ul><ul><li>Prefrontal cortex (PFC) is activated by fluid intelligence tests </li></ul><ul><li>PFC deteriorates particularly badly with age </li></ul><ul><li>lesions to PFC damage fluid but leave crystallized intact </li></ul><ul><li>can have low crystallized as in autism but normal or superior fluid </li></ul><ul><li>stress affects PFC – and lower SES and minorities have more stress </li></ul><ul><li>computer exercises can train fluid intelligence </li></ul>
  16. 19. Dysgenesis? <ul><li>The Flynn effect </li></ul><ul><li>18 point gain in IQ from 1947-2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10 pts for crystallized subtests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 pts for fluid subtests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biggest gain is on “culture free” Raven: 28 pts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does it mean for our understanding of what IQ is? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Impossible that we’ve gained more than 1 SD in actual intelligence in 55 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gains on skills tested by WISC are nevertheless real </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What causes it? </li></ul>
  17. 20. Schools <ul><li>School contribution to IQ: 1 yr of school = 2 yrs of age </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done to make school better? </li></ul><ul><li>What doesn’t matter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vouchers, (most) charters, higher degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole school interventions not very effective in general </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does matter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual teacher – especially first grade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computerized instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Venezuela Project for 7 th graders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classification, hypothesis testing, logical argument, analyzing analogies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.4-.8 SD on targeted skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6.5 IQ points </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. Differences Between Social Classes <ul><li>Steady or shrinking slightly </li></ul><ul><li>What could impede further shrinking? </li></ul><ul><li>Genes </li></ul><ul><li>Biological causes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fetal alcohol, lead, insecticide, health care, asthma, breast-feeding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental causes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress and PFC-mediated fluid IQ functioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer drop </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parental socialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking to kids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation for schooling: categorization, analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouragements vs. reprimands </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. Black/White Differences in IQ <ul><li>Most genetic claims based on indirect tests </li></ul><ul><li>Direct tests of heritability: natural experiments </li></ul><ul><li>“ Black” population has 20% European genes </li></ul><ul><li>Are “blacks” with more European genes smarter? </li></ul><ul><li>Black Chicago kids with IQs > 140 </li></ul><ul><li>Blood group studies </li></ul><ul><li>German offspring of U.S. GIs </li></ul><ul><li>Black and mixed race children adopted by black vs. white families </li></ul>
  20. 23. Black/White Differences Cont . <ul><li>Why is the difference still 15 points? </li></ul><ul><li>It isn’t: it’s 9.5 points </li></ul><ul><li>Black IQ now = white IQ circa 1960 </li></ul><ul><li>NAEP diffs also reduced by 1/3 SD </li></ul>
  21. 24. What will impede further B/W gap reduction? <ul><li>Structural factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>History of racism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental factors toxic for lower SES in general are often worse for blacks </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-achievement black subcultures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skin color and school grades </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stereotype threat </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood, peer and family effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption of blacks by middle-class blacks or whites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offspring of B/W union: mother white vs. mother black </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parental socialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulating materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouragements vs. reprimands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effect sizes .20-.60 SD </li></ul></ul>
  22. 25. <ul><li>Can we reduce the SES and B/W gaps in intelligence and academic achievement ? </li></ul>
  23. 26. Reducing the Gaps: Early childhood education <ul><li>Head Start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.5 SD increase for IQ fades by early elementary school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long term effects slight (probably) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Several highly effective programs exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial IQ gains of as much as 20 points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 point gain at adolescence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge effects on achievement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But is the mind like clay or like muscle? </li></ul><ul><li>What if you continued the intervention? </li></ul>
  24. 27. Reducing the Gaps:The Schools <ul><li>KIPP </li></ul><ul><li>Poor black and Hispanic kids </li></ul><ul><li>60% more time in school </li></ul><ul><li>Sports, music, museums, theater: upper- middle-class experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Gains in 5 th grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25% over 50th percentile to 44% in reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>37% over 50 th percentile to 65% in math </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HS: Stand and Deliver </li></ul><ul><li>College </li></ul>
  25. 28. Interventions by Social Psychologists <ul><li>Dweck: Jr. Hi.:Intelligence is malleable>.33 GPA increase </li></ul><ul><li>Aronson Jr. Hi.: Intelligence is malleable or Attribute difficulty to novel situation results in .5 SD for reading; 1.0 SD for math for females </li></ul><ul><li>Oyserman Jr. Hi.: positive academic self>.25 SD grades, .33 SD standardized tests, .60 SD on retention in grade </li></ul><ul><li>Cohen HS: write about most important value> erases 40% of B/W difference in a mixed race HS </li></ul><ul><li>Walton & Cohen College: reduce worries about social acceptance> 1.1 SD for GPA </li></ul><ul><li>Steele College: 21 st Century Program> .33 letter grade </li></ul>
  26. 29. Advantage Asia? <ul><li>East Asians: no higher IQ than whites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stevenson study of Taiwan, Japan, U.S. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Math achievement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Coleman Report: High School Class of 1966 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SAT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Occupational success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confucianism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmentalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family demands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try again harder </li></ul></ul>
  27. 30. Policy Implications <ul><li>Enriching the poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earned income tax credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child tax credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum wage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best available birth-preschool for neediest 1/6 </li></ul><ul><li>Cost: $40-50 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>Best available K-9 for neediest 1/6 </li></ul><ul><li>Cost:< $20 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of post-2000 tax cuts for richest 1% in 2009 over $130 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of AIG bailout = $150 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>But…will the programs scale up? </li></ul>

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