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Nature vs Nurture, Revisited: Can Persistence Be Taught?

Complete video at: The Genius in All of Us author David Shenk addresses the question of whether behavioral traits are learned, or are based on genetic predispositions. Shenk cites a study that found seventh graders who were praised for hard work challenged themselves more than their peers who were praised for their intelligence, describing this as an example of a behavior that can be taught. ----- With irresistibly persuasive vigor, David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us, debunks the long-standing notion of genetic "giftedness." Forget everything you think you know about genes, talent, and intelligence. In recent years, a mountain of scientific evidence has emerged suggesting a completely new paradigm: not talent scarcity, but latent talent abundance. Integrating cutting-edge research from a wide swath of disciplines—cognitive science, genetics, biology, child development—Shenk and The Genius in All of Us portrays a highly-optimistic new view of human potential. Genes are not a "blueprint" that doom some and bless others. Instead, genes are dynamic actors in a complex developmental process—dynamics that we can influence. - Commonwealth Club of California David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting, Data Smog and The Immortal Game. He is a correspondent for, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS. Shenk's new book, The Genius in All of Us was published by Doubleday on March 9, 2010. Shenk's book The Immortal Game: A History of Chess (Doubleday, 2006), was hailed as "superb," by The Wall Street Journal, "fresh and fascinating" by The Chicago Sun-Times, "engaging" by The Washington Post, and "a thrilling tour" by Entertainment Weekly. Shenk speaks frequently on the history, biology and social urgency of Alzheimer's disease. He has also advised the President's Council on Bioethics on dementia-related issues. Prior to that, Shenk published two books and dozens of essays on the emotional, social and political ramifications of the information revolution.
Length: 04:08


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