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Does Your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy
Flynn, James R.
Cambridge University Press / Softcover / 2016-06-01 / 1316604462
Cognitive Science
price: $28.95 (may be subject to change)
250 pages
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Does your family make you smarter? James R. Flynn presents an exciting new method for estimating the effects of family on a range of cognitive abilities. Rather than using twin and adoption studies, he analyses IQ tables that have been hidden in manuals over the last 65 years, and shows that family environment can confer a significant advantage or disadvantage to your level of intelligence. Wading into the nature vs. nurture debate, Flynn banishes the pessimistic notion that by the age of seventeen, people's cognitive abilities are solely determined by their genes. He argues that intelligence is also influenced by human autonomy - genetics and family notwithstanding, we all have the capacity to choose to enhance our cognitive performance. He concludes by reconciling this new understanding of individual differences with his earlier research on intergenerational trends (the 'Flynn effect') culminating in a general theory of intelligence.

• Proposes a new method of estimating family effects by age on a range of cognitive abilities
• Banishes 'post-twin' pessimism, the notion that by the age of seventeen, people's cognitive abilities are determined by their genes
• Shows that family environment is potent enough to cause injustice and that adult environment is potent enough to allow people to upgrade their cognitive skills

Table of Contents

Part I. Human Autonomy:
1. Twins and autonomy
2. Justice and freedom
3. The great debate
4. Slow and quick decay of family effects
5. Reconciliation with twins and adoptions
6. The fairness factor
Part II. Intelligence:
7. The Raven's revolution
8. Learning from astronomy
9. The meta-theory of intelligence
10. Scientific theories of intelligence
11. Psychology and Cardinal Bellarmine

About the Author:

James R. Flynn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a recipient of the University's Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. He is renowned for the 'Flynn effect', the documentation of massive IQ gains from one generation to another. Professor Flynn is the author of 12 books, including Are We Getting Smarter? (Cambridge, 2012), Where Have All the Liberals Gone? (Cambridge, 2008) and What Is Intelligence? (Cambridge, 2007), which caused many to rethink the prevailing theory of intelligence.

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Cognitive Science