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Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien


I'm one of your Instalanche customers (grin) who hung around to read some other posts. I have ever been fascinated by intelligence (On another post, I was alarmed to see that teachers with 1070 SATs were one SD above the median... but I agree that anything that makes for smarter teachers by any increment is a positive thing and to be encouraged).

I began to read this post thinking I was getting Gardnerian feel-good psychobabble or some other trendy theory that whizzes into the wind of 100 years of stable psychometry. To my surprise (and delight!), this post presents a positive approach to thinking about your own intelligence (at whatever level it is).

And it highlights how the traditional (and scientifically established) model of intellect engenders negative motivations (this is good). But then it goes on to provide a road map for turning these motivations around and arming one's charges -- whether they are kids, employees, partners -- with a constructive way of thinking about intelligence which will make them much more productive with the intelligence they have.

After all, raw intelligence is only one factor in the productivity, happiness, etc. equations. Two others are knowledge and effort. All of us have been in grade or high school and known the kid who got all top grades without trying, and so never tried (that was me) and the other kid, blessed with an average intellect, who rose to the head of the class on discipline and effort.

My faith in Spearman's hypothesis of general intelligence has not been shaken, but you have given me a new, productive and enabling way of looking at it. Thanks.


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    January 21 "Resilience for Law Students, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, DC

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