Posts filed under ‘intelligence’

What intelligence tests miss…

Well, maybe I exaggerate a little, but I am v. interested at mo’ in cognitive biases, the frailty of the two pounds of jello made up of reptile bits and mammal bits with a thin layer of “human” bits. And so this book…

What intelligence tests miss : the psychology of rational thought by Keith E. Stanovich New Haven : Yale University Press, 2009

looks amazing.

Inside George W. Bush’s mind : hints at what IQ tests miss — Dysrationalia : separating rationality and intelligence —
The reflective mind, the algorithmic mind, and the autonomous mind — Cutting intelligence down to size —
Why intelligent people doing foolish things is no surprise —
The cognitive miser : ways to avoid thinking —
Framing and the cognitive miser —
Myside processing : heads I win, tails I win too! —
A different pitfall of the cognitive miser : thinking a lot, but losing — Mindware gaps —
Contaminated mindware —
How many ways can thinking go wrong? A taxonomy of irrational thinking tendencies and their relation to intelligence —
The social benefits of increasing human rationality, and meliorating irrationality

The dust jacket says
“Critics of intelligence tests – writers such as Robert Sternberg, Howard Gardner, and Daniel Goleman – have argued in recent years that these tests neglect important qualities such as emotion, empathy, and interpersonal skills. However, such critiques imply that though intelligence tests may miss certain key noncognitive areas, they encompass most of what is important in the cognitive domain. In this book, Keith E. Stanovich challenges this widely held assumption.”
“Stanovich shows that IQ tests (or their proxies, such as the SAT) are radically incomplete as measures of cognitive functioning. They fail to assess traits that most people associate with “good thinking,” skills such as judgment and decision making. Such cognitive skills are crucial to real-world behavior, affecting the way we plan, evaluate critical evidence, judge risks and probabilities, and make effective decisions. IQ tests fail to assess these skills of rational thought, even though they are measurable cognitive processes. Rational thought is just as important as intelligence, Stanovich argues, and it should be valued as highly as the abilities currently measured on intelligence tests.”


January 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Unrelated facts don’t equal knowledge, or intelligence, or wisdom

This we know.

But it’s rarely been said better than by Joe Queenan, in his awe-inspiring (no, really) take-down of AJ Jacobs.

”The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World” is mesmerizingly uninformative. But this is hardly surprising, because the premise of the book is completely wrong. The animating idea of this misguided endeavor is that corralling a vast array of unrelated facts will, in and of itself, make a person more interesting. This is idiotic. Facts absorbed without context merely magnify the intellectual deficiencies of the autodidact, because a poorly educated person does not know which facts are important.

Though to be fair to Jacobs, I think the title of his book kind of points to the ludicrous nature of what he’s trying to do and that he KNOWS that loads of facts don’t equal “smart.” Queenan suffering from a bit of green-eye, much?

January 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

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