Can you make yourself, your kids, and your parents smarter?
Expanding upon one of the most-read New York Times Magazine features of 2012, Smarter penetrates the hot new field of intelligence research to reveal what researchers call a revolution in human intellectual abilities. Shattering decades of dogma, scientists began publishing studies in 2008 showing that "fluid intelligence" - the ability to learn, solve novel problems, and get to the heart of things - can be increased through training. But is it all just hype?
With vivid stories of lives transformed, science journalist Dan Hurley delivers practical findings for people of every age and ability. Along the way, he narrates with acid-tongued wit his experiences as a human guinea pig, road-testing commercial brain-training programs, learning to play the Renaissance lute, getting physically fit, even undergoing transcranial direct-current stimulation.
Smarter speaks to the audience that made best-sellers out of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, and Moonwalking with Einstein.
©2013 Dan Hurley (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC
"Hurley captures the history and mystery of intelligence, but, most of all, the exciting new science of intellectual growth. This may be the most important revolution of our time!" (Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)
A revolution has been going on in the area of brain science. About 10-15 years ago the idea that intelligence was fixed by genetics was challenged. It started with a single research study, but it's exploded to hundreds on the topic. Dan Hurley waded into the controversies and breakthroughs, with one big question driving him: Can I make myself smarter?
Taking us on the journey with him, he explores all the options and gives his conclusion on whether they're legit or not. And then he picked seven--those the research says have a real shot at improving brain function--and did them for several months. He took a battery of accepted intelligence tests before and after...but I'll let you read the ending to see if it worked.
For me, there was one HUGE concept in this book. Hurley addressed the challenge that many scientists have made, namely that each of these brain training programs only gets you better at that particular test--that you can't improve overall intelligence, only get better at particular skills. I'd heard that enough that I came to believe it--like the book I read on memory training where they guy learns to remember strings of numbers, but can't do it with letters, let alone have a better memory in real life. Hurley shows that while this can be true when you use special techniques (like the memory guy did), there are other approaches that have been shown to increase overall intelligence.
However, he does a good job explaining that there are limits. Genetics are still the largest factor in setting intelligence levels--we don't all start identical. We just get to add to whatever we started with. Oh, and the studies show that those who started with lower intelligence scores benefit the most from training--they can catch up some on those who started smarter.
Well written and important, if you're curious about the latest thinking on brain science, this is a great read for you.
Some books are meant to entertain, others to inform. This informs, glad I 'listened. I may be a bit smarter from doing so. Or not, pending further research...
I couldn't take the author seriously when despite taking more than a year to research and write this book, he couldn't even stick to the schedule of meditation he set himself for more than a week.
Dan, is it really an important detail to tell your readers the cost of your nicotine patches?
The research mentioned seems solid, but the author has one of the worst writing styles I've ever read for a book of this type. It's not an objective look at the science, it tries to be a practical application of recognised methods to improve intelligence but 80% is the author banging on about nothing and making excuses for his own laziness.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
I enjoyed Smarter-- I view it as the author's quest for choosing the right formula on how to increase his fluid intelligence. He meets a lot of great scientists, many who say that intelligence is immutable; others who insist that it is changeable and can be increased, reads lots of scientific papers, ponders, doubts,and then prepares his own regimen, mixing ingredients that he believes will augment his brain power.
Well, could he do it?
Read it and find out.
At least he "FEELS SMARTER"!-- good ending.
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One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
"People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." Pres. Lincoln
If sleep builds brain power then this book is a useful tool.
The narrator's performance seems to reinforce the negative stereotypes about high IQ, in contrast to the author's message. I'm interested in seeing if the material seems less dry on the page.
It sounds like a high school student reading dry material with little enthusiasm.
sadness. This was the only unengaging audiobook I've listened to so far.
It started off promising, fell off quickly and never recovered.
I could write a book on why you shouldn't waste your time with this, so to keep it short, I've already lost 9 hours of my life to this book and I'm dumber for it.
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