What Is Intelligence?

Reading a road map upside-down and generating synonyms for the word "brilliant" are two very different skills. But each is a measurable indicator of general intelligence, a construct that includes problem solving abilities, spatial manipulation and language acquisition. Scientists generally agree that intelligence can be captured by psychometric tests. But the study of intelligence is dogged by questions of just how much IQ contributes to an individual's success and well-being, how genes and environment interact to generate smarts and why the average IQ score rose throughout the world during the twentieth century.

Recent Posts on Intelligence

Women in Science: What Explains Gaps? Part I

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on October 09, 2015 Rabble Rouser
A guest post by a female physicist argues against discrimination as the sole factor producing a gender gap in STEM and for scientific work practices that are compatible with raising families.

Your Dog is Smarter Than You Are

Seriously. For real. No kidding!

The Vicious Circle of Ignorance

Applying strategies for cancer denial to students who hide their ignorance

Homo Sapiens 2.0

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 Excellent Beauty
Humans' religious proclivities help make human existence into a mass extinction event. The best way to solve this problem is to build the better angels of our nature — our machine replacements — and then usher in our own extinction, leaving Earth in better hands.

To Be More Creative try Being a Little Silly

Everyone can be a little silly at times, and depending on the circumstances, you might be more creative as a result. “Clever silly” ones can bring tremendous payoff, as long as you know how to express them.

Test Stress in Children: Rx with Brain Friendly Studying

By Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. on September 25, 2015 Radical Teaching
Tests are often one of the most stressful experiences facing children. Because we can’t make them go away like bad dreams, we can help reduce that stress by guiding kids to study using brain-research based strategies that increase memory and understanding.

What to Do If You Think Your Child Is Gifted

Instead of asking "Is my child gifted?" or "What is his IQ?" it’s better to ask, "What does my child need in order to continue learning to the best of his ability?" "Does he have areas requiring special attention?" and "What can we do to help?"

Four Fun Facts About Your Peripheral Nervous System

Neurons outside your brain have lots of nerve!

My Teacher is a Computer?

There are pros and cons to computerized-learning environments.

One Powerful Tool to Help Your Child Learn Math

By Garth Sundem on September 23, 2015 Brain Trust
Executive function, school placement, math identity, reading skills, IQ and more: Here's what matters (and what surprisingly doesn't!) for improving math skills in elementary and middle schools.

Can Psychology Explain How To Become A Billionaire?

Billionaires came from extreme wealth and poverty, but the majority fell somewhere in between: comfortable middle to upper class backgrounds. Many of the individuals in this study may have been granted head starts in wealth, but also in personal traits such as intelligence, energy, drive, looks, charm, discipline, and conscientiousness that all helped them accumulate...

The Future of Standardized Testing?

In science fiction novel Ender’s Game, the talent and personality of each battle school student is adaptively assessed by the Mind Game, tailored to their interests and individuality. The game was used, in part, to select Ender Wiggin as the young commander who would save the world. What can this teach us about the future of testing?

What I Can Learn from My Students

Taking the time to look--and learn

Test Your Evolutionary Psychology IQ!

I’ve been teaching courses related to evolutionary psychology since 1999. Here are 10 multiple-choice items that assess understanding of the basics. Good luck!

Aren’t Some People Just Smarter Than Others?

The different races can be analogized to identical twins reared apart.

Learning to Soar: Your Intelligences + Character Strengths

Have you heard the story about the farmer finding an eagle’s egg?

Advocacy in Action: How to Change the World for Your Child

School doesn’t work well for every child. But by working together with others, parents can become knowledgeable about educational policies and practices, and learn to advocate effectively to get their child’s learning needs met. Here’s a 10-step action plan from Dona Matthews, PhD, and Joanne Foster, EdD.

Say Your Dog's Name and He May Form an Image of Your Face

Recent research suggests that dogs can recognize human voices and have an expectation, or mental image, of which faces go with which voice.

Who Invented Your Phone?

Gossipers and journalists alike greeted rumors then announcements this month about the latest variations-on-a-theme from Apple telephony with breathless excitement. A new weight was required when pressing on part of the phone! Astonishing! Hold the presses! Why are we so fascinated by these tiny 'improvements?' And who makes these changes?

Educated Serial Killers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 13, 2015 Shadow Boxing
Those serial killers who got college degrees tended to choose disciplines that could serve darker purposes.

Could Donald Trump Make Us More Informed?

Donald Trump, the stock market, and being irrational. Behavioral economics tells us that having "The Donald" in the race could actually make us more informed.

Does Emotional Intelligence Make a Person Smart?

A high IQ at one point was used to measure intelligence, but now employers and leaders alike are measuring intelligence in other ways and lot of it is based on emotional and mental maturity. An emotional intelligence quotient, better known as EQ, is the toll used to measure emotional intelligence.

In Praise of Being Judgmental

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 07, 2015 How To Do Life
We're allowed to say that an idea or a person is different but to say it or s/he is better is risky. What a shame!

A Call for Inclusion?

What is gained by changing expectations of participation? What shifts when intellectual disability is welcomed as an essential part of society? When we stop seeking out signs of competence, what else do we notice? How can patterns of exclusion be challenged to enable more accessible and inclusive futures?

Poison Apple II: How Smartphones Degrade Learning

Today’s students are less capable compared to their earlier counterparts. Education technology is an alluring cost-effective illusion that promises more efficient learning that real teachers provide.

Getting Along With Others: Parenting for Social Intelligence

Children and teens can experience social challenges at any point during the school year. Social context—including opportunities for interaction and collaboration with others—makes an enormous difference in what and how much children learn, and how quickly that happens. Here are eight practical tips for parents to help kids build positive relationships.

How Much Brain Tissue Do You Need to Function Normally?

Brain injuries typically lead to a loss of function. But sometimes people manage to recover fully, and some even develop new skills and personality traits. This raises the question: How much brain tissue do we really need to function normally?

Donald Trump Has a Sister Fixation

By Stanton Peele on September 01, 2015 Addiction in Society
Is Donald Trump laboring under some perceived childhood deficiency academically? Does that account for his ceaseless boasting?

Innovators: Beware the Hindsight Bias

By Drew Boyd on August 30, 2015 Inside the Box
Hindsight bias, also known as the “knew-it-all-along effect”, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place. Hindsight bias causes you to view events as more predictable than they really are. After an event, people often believe that they knew the outcome of the event before it actually happened.

Career Advice for Geniuses (Revised and Expanded)

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 How To Do Life
Smart people don't have it as easy as many people think. Help is here.