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Book review of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Ungifted_KaufmanJust a cou­ple weeks ago I had a dis­cus­sion with sev­er­al psy­chol­o­gists and neu­rol­o­gists who seemed to share the opin­ion that “brain fit­ness” is a mean­ing­less con­cept and pur­suit. On the one hand, they thought, intel­li­gence is a fixed trait and no inter­ven­tion has shown so far to reli­ably increase it. On the oth­er hand, noth­ing has been shown to pre­vent the pathol­o­gy of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Accord­ing to this mindset…why both­er?

Well, what if such men­tal frame­work was wrong or, worse, mis­lead­ing? Read the rest of this entry »

Are we intelligent about developing human intelligence?

Ungifted_KaufmanWhen it comes to our under­stand­ing of human intel­li­gence, for too long, there has been a mis­match between the­o­ry and prac­tice. The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, the two main threads run­ning through def­i­n­i­tions of intel­li­gence have been (a) adap­ta­tion to the envi­ron­ment, and (b) the cog­ni­tive, affec­tive, and voli­tion­al char­ac­ter­is­tics that enable that adap­ta­tion. Prac­ti­cal­ly, IQ tests mea­sure an impor­tant but lim­it­ed slice of intel­lec­tu­al func­tion­ing in a very lim­it­ed test­ing envi­ron­ment. Why such a dis­con­nect?

Intel­li­gence tests were born out of neces­si­ty. Read the rest of this entry »

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