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Publisher's Summary

Child prodigies. Gifted and Talented Programs. Perfect 2400s on the SAT. Sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring to make the rest of us feel inadequate. Those children tapped as possessing special abilities will go on to achieve great things, while the rest of us have little chance of realizing our dreams. Right?

In Ungifted, cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman - who was relegated to special education as a child - sets out to show that the way we interpret traditional metrics of intelligence is misguided. Kaufman explores the latest research in genetics and neuroscience, as well as evolutionary, developmental, social, positive, and cognitive psychology, to challenge the conventional wisdom about the childhood predictors of adult success. He reveals that there are many paths to greatness, and argues for a more holistic approach to achievement that takes into account each young person’s personal goals, individual psychology, and developmental trajectory. In so doing, he increases our appreciation for the intelligence and diverse strengths of prodigies, savants, and late bloomers, as well as those with dyslexia, autism, schizophrenia, and ADHD.

Combining original research, anecdotes, and a singular compassion, Ungifted proves that anyone - even those without readily observable gifts at any single moment in time - can become great.

©2013 Scott Barry Kaufman (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"Fascinating… A smart, lucid, and down-to-earth exposition of the underlying neuroscience and the contentious history of theories of intelligence…. Blending incisive analysis with a warm sympathy for intellectual insecurities - and potential - Kaufman demonstrates that even the most ordinary mind is a strange and wondrous gift." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Great content for the intellectually curious

..but the audio could be read by a robot..it would be nice of the author had time to read the book.

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  • FEAA
  • 08-02-17

Interesting reading

I am a Inclusion coordinator (special education needs) and I am interested in the measuring of intelligence, how children are identified as having learning difficulties, how children are identified as gifted and talented and neurodiversity. As such I found this book to be a fascinating insight into the history of these topics. I only wish the author could compare his study of the American education system to other systems around the world such as England but that might be a good idea for a separate book entirely. Overall a very thorough and interesting read.

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  • Joachim
  • 04-22-15

An emotional journey through human intelligence

A truly enjoyable audiobook. There is definitely more to human intelligence than IQ, thanks for pointing out a good knapsack of others.

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  • Gawaian Bodkin
  • 05-01-14

Question Intelligence, Motivating Intellect

Would you listen to Ungifted again? Why?

Despite an excellent narrator (probably the best I've heard), I'd have to read this again rather then listen to it, simply to catch what I may have missed. Very inspirational, and makes me wish I was more fluent in this topic area (although that could be a curse in itself, and further credit to the author for moving outside the box).

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ungifted?

This is the type of book that puts those near infinite self-help/waffle books to shame. Rather than conning you with biased, ideological, narcissism, the author, through a refreshing combination of intimate personal experiences and detailed research breaks down our limited knowledge of IQ and intelligence, and makes room for hope, perseverance, and open-mindedness.

What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Character. What more can I say. Excellent work.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I think it would be better as a documentary.... Maybe "Deconstructing IQ, encouraging diversity in intellect"

Any additional comments?

A must read/listen. Whilst the book may be a little too academic for the laymen, the message is loud, powerful, and inspirational.