Richard Nisbett

Richard NisbettA person’s IQ—or Intelligence Quotient—is just one indicator of what he or she can accomplish, and may change through life, according to a Feb. 19 CNN Health article. Factors like poverty and stress can affect how well people score on IQ tests, which measure reasoning and problem-solving abilities, the article said. Studies by ISR researcher Richard Nisbett have shown that the IQ scores of poor kids adopted into middle-class families often increase by 15 to 20 points; a score of 100 is the average. “Heritability is not as great as some people (believe),” Nisbett said. “Environmental factors are very potent.” Those with high IQs also may lack creativity and other strengths, Nisbett said. And when it comes to predicting the ability to succeed in college, he believes high school grades are a better indicator than IQ tests such as the SAT. “GPA is raw smarts times how hard you work times self-control times a lot of other things,” he said. “I see graduate students with extremely high IQs who can’t achieve much because they’re lacking in curiosity…They’re lacking the ability to get along with people.”