Smarter Book Summary - Smarter Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Smarter summary

Dan Hurley

The New Science of Building Brain Power

3.7 (72 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

'Smarter' by Dan Hurley is a book that delves into the science of how we can improve our intelligence. Through extensive research and interviews with experts, Hurley explores the latest techniques and methods for enhancing cognitive abilities.

Table of Contents

    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Intelligence is notoriously difficult to define, but we’re getting there!

    It’s a little like love: We all know about it, but where is it? What is it? Among the seemingly endless questions, we’re starting to make some headway in understanding intelligence.

    Psychology research has proposed two general categories of intelligence. In 1971, psychologist Raymond Cattell coined the terms fluid and crystallized intelligence, differentiating between the two ways we think.

    Fluid intelligence is our ability to think logically, and solve novel problems. This type of thinking underpins the act of reasoning. It allows us to see patterns, and solve things that we haven’t been taught explicitly.

    Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, is the storehouse of information or how-to knowledge that we accumulate throughout our lives. Crystallized intelligence helps us with many things, from answering those general knowledge questions at pub quizzes, to ensuring we remember how to ride a bicycle.

    While our crystallized intelligence is constantly growing, scientists agreed that fluid intelligence was unchangeable. Up until now.

    It was understood that fluid intelligence reached its peak in early adulthood, around the time you might go to university. A peak at that age explains why most of the influential work done by mathematicians, musicians and physicists occurs in their twenties, and rapidly slows after that.

    Moreover, fluid intelligence is closely linked to how our brains are physically structured. So, just as we’d never be able to go to the gym to train our eyes to change from brown to blue, we can’t memorize numbers and then solve equations we’ve never seen before! Or can we?

    New evidence suggests we can. To find out, we need to overcome one sizeable hurdle: how can we measure fluid intelligence in the first place? The next blink covers the methods that work.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Smarter?

    Key ideas in Smarter

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Smarter about?

    Smarter questions our understanding of intelligence in this new age of brain-training games. From the traditional adage of “healthy body, healthy mind,” to the latest advances in computerised brain training games, these blinks explore scientifically established methods of improving cognitive abilities.  

    Smarter Review

    Smarter (2013) by Dan Hurley is a compelling exploration of the science behind intelligence and how we can make ourselves smarter. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents fascinating research studies and experiments that shed light on the mysteries of the human brain and intelligence.
    • Featuring interviews with leading scientists in the field, the book provides valuable insights into the various factors that contribute to intelligence.
    • With its engaging narratives and relatable anecdotes, Smarter brings complex ideas to life and ensures that readers won't find it boring.

    Who should read Smarter?

    • Psychology students and those interested in cognitive science
    • Anyone who’d like to learn tricks to increase their intelligence
    • Anyone skeptical that we can improve our IQ

    About the Author

    Dan Hurley is an award-winning science journalist. He has written nearly twenty-four articles for the the New York Times Magazine since 2005, including “Can You Make Yourself Smarter?” one of the most read articles in 2012.

    Categories with Smarter

    Book summaries like Smarter

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Smarter FAQs 

    What is the main message of Smarter?

    The main message of Smarter is that intelligence can be improved through various techniques and strategies.

    How long does it take to read Smarter?

    The reading time for Smarter varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Smarter a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Smarter is worth reading for anyone interested in enhancing their intelligence. It provides valuable insights and practical advice to boost cognitive abilities.

    Who is the author of Smarter?

    The author of Smarter is Dan Hurley.

    What to read after Smarter?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Smarter, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Remember by Lisa Genova
    • Why We Make Mistakes by Joseph T. Hallinan
    • On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
    • Metahuman by Deepak Chopra
    • How We Learn by Benedict Carey
    • The Seven Sins of Memory by Daniel L. Schacter
    • Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass
    • Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
    • Third Millennium Thinking by Saul Perlmutter