Suggested reading material about intelligence research for newcomers

This post is mainly meant to be used as a thing that I can copypaste when I need to. I’m tired of having to find the same links over and over again to different people. So, I will just post it once here and copy it from here the next time.


Intelligence research is much misunderstood and is controversial within the general public. Most of the misconceptions that people have are due to them simply never taking the time to read anything about the subject. Not even the base minimum of reading the relevant Wikipedia articles. Below I have listed some papers and books on the subject that I consider introductory. These explain what IQ is, what intelligence is, what the g-factor is, how to measure it, and why it matters with many examples.

Very short (10 pages)

http://alturl com/i7cwx

Longer (54 pages)

Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life. Intelligence, 24(1), 79-132.

http://alturl com/rq8ur

Useful follow-up to the above (21 pages).

Gottfredson, L. S. (2002). Where and why g matters: Not a mystery. Human Performance, 15(1/2), 25-46.

http://alturl com/p5xht

More politically correct version of Gottfredson 1997:

Neisser, Ulric, et al. “Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns.” American psychologist 51.2 (1996): 77.

Longer and sociologically focused

Robert A. Gordon. (1997) Everyday life as an intelligence test: Effects of intelligence and intelligence context. Intelligence, Volume 24, Issue 1, January–February 1997, Pages 203–320.

http://alturl com/zwxa9

Light introduction to basic concepts. Useful for those not strong in math.

Deary, Ian J. Intelligence: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Very long and technical (660 pages)

Jensen, Arthur Robert. The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

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