Richard E. Nisbett

University of Michigan

William T. Dickens, Professor, Northeastern University, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, James R. Flynn, Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Richard E. Nisbett, Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, will form a working group to develop a multi-level model of intelligence that explains the role of genes and physiology along with the role of environment in making individuals intellectually able.. The group will use this new model to examine the historical improvement of IQ scores over the last 60 years, the transient affects of early education programs for disadvantaged youth, and the lower heritability of IQ among low socio-economic families. The group hypothesizes that while IQ is highly heritable, the environment also has massive effects. Genetic change from one generation to the next cannot account for the recent increases in IQ. These insights about the role of environment in the development of intelligence should contribute substantially to understanding what works and what doesn’t in early intervention and education, particularly for disadvantaged children.


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