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Beyond IQ

May 23, 2007

There’s much more to excelling in school than just having a high IQ.


Beyond IQ. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Kids need more than just high IQs to do well in school. In fact, kids’ ability to regulate their thinking and behavior may be more important—especially when they’re young. This is from developmental psychologist Clancy Blair of Penn State, who studied students in Head Start preschools. He found that kids who could best control their impulses, attention, and emotions did better on academic tests— especially in math. He says unlike innate intelligence, this is something kids can get better at with practice—and help.

CLANCY BLAIR (Penn State University):
You know, I would say to a parent: You want your child to do well in school? Don’t worry so much about intelligence. Really think about your child’s ability to be well-regulated in the classroom.

He says this suggests that if schools want kids to learn facts, they need to teach these less tangible abilities first.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.