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Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction

Ian J. Deary

Publication Date - June 2001

ISBN: 9780192893215

152 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95


For people with little or no knowledge of the science of human intelligence, this volume takes readers to a stage where they are able to make judgments for themselves about the key questions of human mental ability. Each chapter addresses a central scientific issue but does so in a way that is lively and completely accessible. Issues discussed include whether there are several different types of intelligence, whether intelligence differences are caused by genes or the environment, the biological basis of intelligence levels, and whether intelligence declines as we grow older.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


  • Addresses central scientific issues in a lively and completely accessible way
  • Takes readers to a stage where they are able to make judgments for themselves about the key questions of human mental ability

About the Author(s)

Ian Deary is Professor of Psychology at Edinburgh University.

Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    A word about correlation
    1. To see 'g' or not to see 'g': How many types of intelligence are there?
    2. Ageing and intelligence - senility or sagacity? What happens to mental abilities as we grow older?
    3. Brainy? Why are some people cleverer than others?
    4. 'They **** you up your Mum and Dad': Are intelligence differences a result of genes or environments or both?
    5. The (b)right man for the job: Does intelligence matter?
    6. The lands of the rising IQ: Is intelligence changing generation by generation?
    7. Twelve angry men: Getting experts to agree about human intelligence differences
    Further reading