Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count

W. W. Norton & Company
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“[Nisbett] weighs in forcefully and articulately . . . [using] a thoroughly appealing style to engage . . . throughout.”—Publishers Weekly 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 Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, world-class social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett takes on the idea of intelligence as biologically determined and impervious to culture with vast implications for the role of education as it relates to social and economic development. Intelligence and How to Get It asserts that intellect is not primarily genetic but is principally determined by societal influences.
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About the author

Richard E. Nisbett is Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and Research Professor at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. He has taught courses in social psychology, cultural psychology, cognitive psychology, and evolutionary psychology. His research focuses on how people from different cultures think, perceive, feel, and act in different ways. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association and the William James Fellow Award of the American Psychological Society and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Feb 8, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780393071412
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Testing & Measurement
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Science / Life Sciences / Developmental Biology
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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How does the situation we’re in influence the way we behave and think? Professors Ross and Nisbett eloquently argue that the context we find ourselves in substantially affects our behaviour.

“The Person and the Situation explores the complex ideas about personal versus situational determinants of behavior and relates the lessons of our discipline to important political, social, and even philosophical issues. This its the type of book that we have long wished we had available to assign to the serious, critical student who asks, ‘What have we really learned from social psychology?’ “We offer this book as a kind of throwback to a golden age and as a tribute to our intellectual forebears. We offer it as a ‘stand tall and be proud’ pep talk for our colleagues in general and for our younger colleagues in particular. We offer it as an olive branch and invitation to more fruitful intellectual dialogue with our friends in personality research (and also to our friends in anthropology and sociology who cluck, with some justification, about our parochialism). We offer it as a slim guide for non-psychologists to the heart and muscle of our enterprise. And last, but not least, we offer it as an invitation to honor the great tradition of Kurt Lewin that links basic theory first to the analysis of socially significant real-world phenomena and ultimately to the task of effective social innovation.”  Lee Ross & Richard Nisbett

With a new foreword by Malcolm Gladwell, and a new afterword by the authors, this timely reissue of one of social psychology’s classic texts is essential reading for anyone with an interest in human behaviour.

 “All of my books have been, in some sense, intellectual godchildren of The Person and the Situation. This book has been a constant companion over the past 10 years.” Malcolm Gladwell, in his new foreword

Recently there has been growing awareness and acceptance of the proposition that people do not exist in a world of physically defined forces and events, but in a world defined by their own perceptions, cognitions, conclusions, and imaginations. We respond and react not to some objectively defined set of stimuli, but to our own apperceptions of stimuli that we define subjectively. The original essays in this volume center on one aspect of this process of attribution: The extent to which the perception of events and causes results in the determination, modification, or alteration of emotions, feelings, and affective states.

This book is divided into five sections, each of which elucidates and extends these theoretical conceptions. Part 1 provides a historical background and analytical framework for the rest of the book. Part 2 presents chapters dealing with the sorts of internal cues which may give rise to a feeling state. Part 3 presents a chapter discussing the evaluative needs aroused by the internal cues. Part 4 is concerned with the process of explanation triggered by the evaluative needs. Part 5 deals with various external cues and how they are used to label the internal feeling state. There is a concluding discussion of the cognitive alteration of feeling states.

The authors deal with aggression, boredom, obesity, the control of pain, and delusional systems. This volume is of continuing importance to clinical and experimental psychologists as well as social psychologists. Each of the authors takes the theoretical concept of cognition and relates it to research in biofeedback, physiology, social psychology, altered states of consciousness, etc. Thus, the book bridges the gap between cognitive theory and the use of that theory in applied research.

Harvey London was associate professor in the Psychology Department at Long Island University. He was previously affiliated with Brandeis University and has been a visiting professor at Emory University and Hunter College. He has done extensive research work on several topics, including persuasion and psychological time.

Richard E. Nisbett is Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Michigan. He is on the editorial board of Psychological Review, Cognition, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Evolution and Human Behavior.

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