How to Make a Young Child Smarter

Noes by Howard Gardner

Articles like this provide an important antidote to a notion that persists in the general population, though it also rises and falls over time. In the era of eugenics (1910-1930), there was widespread belief that one’s intelligence was fixed and that it was desirable to rid society of individuals with low measured intelligence. The Nazi embrace of eugenics sufficed to silence this view for a quarter century. But belief in the essential immutability of intellect returned in the 1970s and 1980s in response to influential publications, such as those of Arthur Jensen and Richard Herrnstein. Certainly there are heritable components to nearly all human traits, including cognitive ones, but Protzko and colleagues adduce evidence of four common sense factors, ranging from a healthy food to a healthy learning environment, that raise psychometric intelligence.

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