Can Executive Intelligence be taught? Absolutely. Like any set of skills, it can be learned, practiced, and improved. Even though extensive research suggests that genetic influences determine roughly 50 percent of an individual’s intellectual capacity, that still leaves a large amount that can be improved upon. And there is evidence that training in better thinking skills can have considerable lasting, positive effects.

In the most impressive empirical study to date on improving cognitive abilities, Harvard University professor Richard Hernstein and several colleagues conducted a year-long study with 895 seventh-grade Venezuelan students.1 In order to establish baseline skills, the ...

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