Assorted links

1. How to raise smart kids

2. How the Chinese practice cheering; I liked best the field hockey chant in Spanish.

3. Is the entree headed for extinction?  Let’s hope so.

4. Is Iraqi progress fleeting?  Let’s hope not.


Of course, in France "entree" means "appetizer," as is logical from
its literal meaning of "entry."

Professor Cowen, when you say that you hope progress in Iraq isn't fleeting, are you referring to the progress the surge is said to hail?

I think I may have posted in this vein before, but good evidence shows that it's largely raw talent that determines outcomes, and I doubt the effects of the treatments Prof Dweck proposes will be shown to have an important, lasting impact.

Lubowski and Benbow's research, based long-term longitudinal studies, show that differentials in intelligence noted at age 12-14 are VERY highly predictive of success later in life. Downplaying talent, in this situation at least, is ignoring the elephant in the room, and in fact there is evidence that the highly intelligent benefit from special programs. (It is hard to believe that Prof Dweck's treatments would not be swamped by the prior condition of high intelligence - or not.)

See studies collected at:

The 'smart kids' piece reads rather like an advert.

I would endorse hwinva's point about IQ - and add that temperament is also hereditary and predictive (as argued by Judith Rich Harris in The Nurture Assumption) - for example the trait of conscientiousness varies quite widely between people and is a lifetime disposition, and a high level of C. is predictive of success in school and work.

Po Bronson wrote a good article about Dweck's and similar research in New York Magazine:

I don't have any specific knowledge about points raised by hwinva and Bruce Charlton, but would make a couple of points in response: (1) Making the starting point at age 12-14 may be rather late for considering development of attitudes formed in childhood... (2) Even if, hypothetically, 80 or 90 percent of children's future happiness and success were determined by fixed factors such as genes and parental socioeconomic status, parents may still be interested in affecting that last 10 or 20 percent...

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