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Practicing Your Way to a Higher I.Q.

We’ve written earlier about Anders Ericsson‘s research on talent, and we’ve blogged on the subject repeatedly. Ericsson’s thesis is that raw talent is overrated, and that experts in a given field (be it hockey or music) accomplish excellence primarily through “deliberate practice.” Nicholas Kristof wrote yesterday about a new book about I.Q., also reviewed here, by Richard Nisbett. He argues that I.Q. is only 50 percent heritable and that the controversial racial I.Q. gap is environmental rather than genetic. Nisbett offers some suggestions to parents to raise their kids’ I.Q.: “praise effort more than achievement, teach delayed gratification, limit reprimands, and use praise to stimulate curiosity.” He is also strongly in favor of the intensive early-childhood programs favored by our new education secretary. [%comments]