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The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability

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Jensen provides a comprehensive treatment of one of the major constructs of behavioral science--general mental ability--labeled the g factor by its discoverer, Charles Spearman. The g factor is about individual differences in mental abilities. In factor analyses of any and every large and diverse collection of measures of mental abilities, however varied the content of kno Jensen provides a comprehensive treatment of one of the major constructs of behavioral science--general mental ability--labeled the g factor by its discoverer, Charles Spearman. The g factor is about individual differences in mental abilities. In factor analyses of any and every large and diverse collection of measures of mental abilities, however varied the content of knowledge and skills they call upon, g emerges as the largest, most general source of differences between individuals and between certain subpopulations. Jensen fully and clearly explains the psychometric, statistical, genetic, and physiological basis of g, as well as the major theoretical challenges to the concept. For decades a key construct in differential psychology, the g factor's significance for scholars and researchers in the brain sciences as well as education, sociology, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, economics, and public policy is clearly evident in this, the most comprehensive treatment of g ever published.


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Jensen provides a comprehensive treatment of one of the major constructs of behavioral science--general mental ability--labeled the g factor by its discoverer, Charles Spearman. The g factor is about individual differences in mental abilities. In factor analyses of any and every large and diverse collection of measures of mental abilities, however varied the content of kno Jensen provides a comprehensive treatment of one of the major constructs of behavioral science--general mental ability--labeled the g factor by its discoverer, Charles Spearman. The g factor is about individual differences in mental abilities. In factor analyses of any and every large and diverse collection of measures of mental abilities, however varied the content of knowledge and skills they call upon, g emerges as the largest, most general source of differences between individuals and between certain subpopulations. Jensen fully and clearly explains the psychometric, statistical, genetic, and physiological basis of g, as well as the major theoretical challenges to the concept. For decades a key construct in differential psychology, the g factor's significance for scholars and researchers in the brain sciences as well as education, sociology, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, economics, and public policy is clearly evident in this, the most comprehensive treatment of g ever published.

30 review for The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fred R

    Until very recently, I had not realized the enormous progress made in the field of differential psychology over the past 100 years, which makes for very different and more engaging intellectual study than the stale Freudianism that the humanities have been chewing on for the past 40 years. The g factor I found to be a thoughtful and thorough book, and I quite enjoyed Jensen's relaxed but serious voice. His discussion of the Flynn effect, for instance, was for me enormously comprehensive, and lef Until very recently, I had not realized the enormous progress made in the field of differential psychology over the past 100 years, which makes for very different and more engaging intellectual study than the stale Freudianism that the humanities have been chewing on for the past 40 years. The g factor I found to be a thoughtful and thorough book, and I quite enjoyed Jensen's relaxed but serious voice. His discussion of the Flynn effect, for instance, was for me enormously comprehensive, and left no stone unturned. That said, a fair amount was over my head (my mathematics are particularly deficient). The g factor itself is an amazingly vexing and mysterious "nexus," in the best tradition of scientific puzzles.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James Igoe

    I found the "The g Factor:..." to be an enlightening and thoroughly researched book on a fascinating topic. Although the basic premise, that intelligence matters and that it is primarily inherited was evident, the book was rarely boring. The basic premise regarding intelligence was broadened by Jensen to explain intelligence in statistical and physical terms with forays into g's manifestations in life. The book will not appeal to people without a strong interest in statistics; it will not appeal I found the "The g Factor:..." to be an enlightening and thoroughly researched book on a fascinating topic. Although the basic premise, that intelligence matters and that it is primarily inherited was evident, the book was rarely boring. The basic premise regarding intelligence was broadened by Jensen to explain intelligence in statistical and physical terms with forays into g's manifestations in life. The book will not appeal to people without a strong interest in statistics; it will not appeal to people who believe that the environment is the primary shaper of our personalities. I have two criticisms of the book. The book could have been composed better; sentences were sometimes very long with an excessive flourish. My second criticism concerns the author's purpose. Although I have no doubt as to the validity of the information presented, I wondered about the emphasis on black and white racial differences. I would have liked to see more balance in the examination of racial differences. Overall, I found the book to be fascinating and enlightening.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    The g Factor is a comprehensive analysis conducted by Jensen look at the general intelligence across a wide range of factors and their implications. He looked at gender difference (which found relatively little differences), heritability (some evidence suggesting this), job performance (highly predictive), etc. It may be complex for a non-psychological reader but worth a read to understand more about differential psychology.

  4. 5 out of 5

    William Smith

    The definitive, data-driven, scholarly exposition on the field of differential psychology, imperative for all who wish to have journeyman sharpness and clarity in our understanding of intelligence - it's nature, controversies, limitations, and future. The definitive, data-driven, scholarly exposition on the field of differential psychology, imperative for all who wish to have journeyman sharpness and clarity in our understanding of intelligence - it's nature, controversies, limitations, and future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kj Kim

    The most definitive account of psychometric I have ever read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Kasyoka

    The book is controversial.. keeps you asking questions but all in all a non-put-downer

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Townsend

  8. 5 out of 5

    Grace McCallion

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thad Jackson

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cymethyst Hyanex

  11. 5 out of 5

    B. B.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morten Christiansen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thomas S

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

  17. 4 out of 5

    Xenophon Hendrix

  18. 5 out of 5

    Garett

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  20. 4 out of 5

    vednt pol

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ruler

  22. 4 out of 5

    Razib Khan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lena

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charles Cresswell

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nhyyh

  26. 4 out of 5

    Doll Dodol

  27. 4 out of 5

    Drknownothing

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Magnussen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Bahareth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Wolpert-DeWitt

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