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

Kenneth Arrow

By Eyal Winter Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in Feeling Smart
From the Impossibility Theorem to Ken's WWII story.

Greed Is Good?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in The Human Beast
Greed is good! Sharing is for Communists and losers! Do such maxims capture the essence of human social behavior?

Trivia Quiz: How Well Do You Know Psychology’s Pioneers?

When he delivered his now classic book to his publisher, which author apologized that it was a "loathsome, distended, tumefied, bloated, dropsical mass?"

Highly Creative People Have Well-Connected Brain Hemispheres

By Christopher Bergland on February 21, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
People who are highly creative have better connectivity between the left and right brain hemispheres, according to a new study by a team of international researchers.

Personality Traits, Emotional Intelligence and Collaboration

There is a strong connection between certain personality traits, emotional intelligence and collaborative potential.
Gage Skidmore

The Science of Solving Alternative Facts

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Worried about the dominance of "alternative facts" in politics? This article has some tips for solving this problem!

Motor Skills, Movement, and Math Performance Are Intertwined

By Christopher Bergland on February 10, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
There is growing evidence that children who are physically active do better in school. A new study found that kids who move their bodies while learning math get higher test scores.
Can Stock Photo Inc. /Alexmit, used with permission

Could a Zombie Be Elected President?

Can philosophical zombies tell us something about the deep mystery of consciousness?

Why English Is Such a Difficult Language to Learn

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on February 05, 2017 in Language in the Mind
Why is English such a difficult language to learn for non-native speakers. We explore some of the peculiarities of English, including baffling spelling, making it tough to learn.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Everything you thought you knew about the history of people with disabilities in the United States is wrong.

Your Brain Is A Muscle You Can Strengthen: Here's How

What if I told you that you can rewire your brain no matter your age? A few adjustments can go a long way.

Self-Compassion, Growth Mindset, and the Benefits of Failure

By Christopher Bergland on January 30, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A groundswell of new research reaffirms the importance of believing that intelligence is never fixed, practicing self-compassion, and embracing the hidden benefits of failure.

When Will Smart Girls Believe They're Smart?

By Jen Kim on January 30, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
The war on women's intelligence starts earlier than we thought.

What a Century of Research Reveals About Gifted Kids

What have we learned from the findings of two major longitudinal studies of the gifted that span a century?

What Makes Your Child Happy? Make It Part of Their Education

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on January 28, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
How can we enrich our children’s education to ensure they have the best options available throughout a constantly changing future?

How Sure Are You About Your Memories?

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on January 28, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Your memories may be lying to you! This article helps you be honest with yourself.

Does Torture Work?

Surveying professional interrogators in the USA and other countries reveals that ‘rapport-based’ interrogation techniques are viewed as generally the most effective, not torture.

A Time to Keep Silence

Solitude. Discovering the essential nature of one's individuality.

"The Dunning-Kruger President"

By William Poundstone on January 21, 2017 in Head in the Cloud
The Internet is calling Donald Trump the Dunning-Kruger President. Here's the science behind the term.

Montessori: A Good School Choice for Smart Kids?

Montessori schools vary widely, as do individual children’s temperaments, abilities, and learning needs. Here are some criteria to consider in school decision-making.
K. Ramsland

The Measure of Cunning

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on January 15, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
We have many instruments for measuring IQ and personality traits, even psychopathy, but we need a precise instrument to learn more about criminal street smarts.

Pessimism of the Intelligence, Optimism of the Will

Can we combine pessimism of intelligence and optimism of will in confronting the devastation to environmental policy and regulation that many fear from the incoming administration?

Dog Smarts: If We Were Smarter We'd Understand Them Better

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Studies of dog behavior, dog-human interactions, and dog intelligence are burgeoning. Despite attempts to talk about "the dog," significant variability is the name of the game.

Taylor Swift Analyzed by Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is deployed to analyze Taylor Swift's personality from her Twitter account. She seems like a good person to be friends with.

Why the Pundits Can't Figure Out Donald Trump

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on January 05, 2017 in BrainSnacks
Those who despise Trump, and even those who worship him, can't seem to grasp the simple truth, which is: He Is Actually As Simple as He Appears. What you see is what you'll get.

The World According to Intelligent and Emotional Chickens

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 03, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new review article by Dr. Lori Marino called "Thinking chickens" clearly shows these birds are as cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex as many mammals, including dogs.

Clinton Psychoanalyzed by Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence can predict people's personality traits and psychological states from social media text. This week, we profile Hillary Clinton.

How Therapists and Coaches May Become Obsolete

By Ray Williams on January 02, 2017 in Wired for Success
AI and automation will not only eliminate jobs but will transform every aspect of work including the jobs of therapists and coaches.
Cozy Home/Shutterstock

Dreaming Linked to Bursts of Brain Activity During Sleep

By Michelle Carr on December 31, 2016 in Dream Factory
A new study finds a link between dream recall and short bursts of brain activity occurring during sleep; both may reflect a 'memory replay' function of sleep.

50 Poets You Should Read Now: An English Professor's List

Let me know what poets from this list whose work you love and let me know, too, what names you think I should have included.