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

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Why Are Psychopaths Thought Of As Highly Intelligent?

There is a popular lay belief that psychopaths are highly intelligent, but this is not so. What could account for this misconception? Are people distrustful of high intelligence?

5 Tips to Detox Your Workplace

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on December 09, 2016 in Happy Trails
Emotional intelligence can help you cope with difficult people.

How Technology Is Enabling Leaders to Listen Better

By Michael Woodward Ph.D. on December 09, 2016 in Spotting Opportunity
A founder of Glint talks about artificial intelligence and leadership.

Excellence Gaps In Education: A Major, But Solvable, Problem

Are talented but disadvantaged students performing lower than their full potential? And if so, what can we do to help them?

Why Did Hillary Lose the Election?

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on December 06, 2016 in Seeing What Others Don't
Too many commentaries on the 2016 election offer single-cause explanations. A Causal Landscape may help us maintain perspective and draw the right lessons for the future.
Michael Arthur

What Is an Intelligent Career?

What does the term "an intelligent career" mean? Do you have one? Do the people you care about have one? In this introductory post, the authors weigh in on a fundamental question.

A Politician's Guide to Clear Thinking

By Neel Burton M.D. on December 05, 2016 in Hide and Seek
Avoid these 26 logical fallacies and we'll all live in a much better world.

Sedentary Lifestyle May Undermine Boys’ Academic Performance

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
The combination of excessive sedentary time and limited physical activity is linked to lower odds of young boys' success in elementary school.

Study: Aerobic Exercise Leads to Remarkable Brain Changes

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A revolutionary neuroimaging technique reaffirms that aerobic exercise significantly increases brain volume and improves cognitive function.

The Big Three

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 30, 2016 in How To Do Life
A life key: Surround yourself with people who are intelligent, driven, & ethical.

Vanishing Grandmothers and the Decline of Empathy

Find out why empathy is declining, why grandmothers matter, and why disappearing cultures can show us a unique recipe to nurture compassionate children and happy people.

Hire Emotionally Intelligent People

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in A Sideways View
It is not difficult to spot those who are, or are not, emotionally intelligent. Certainly emotional intelligence is a high benefit in the work place for all concerned

Emotional Intelligence Doesn't Translate Across Cultures

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Adaptation
Emotions are tricky business when crossing cultures. Here's your cheat sheet for success.

The Dangerous “Reveries” of HBO's Westworld Series

By Amy Fries on November 28, 2016 in The Power of Daydreaming
What do Stephen Hawking and HBO's new series Westworld have in common? Dire warnings of ways in which artificial intelligence can learn to out-maneuver us.
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When Robots Reign: Getting Along with Robo Sapiens

Immortality lies not in identifying with any one model of Homo or Robo Sapiens, but in participating in the progression.

Test Anxiety? Want to Get Better Grades? Take More Tests.

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on November 25, 2016 in Cravings
Do you or your children suffer from test anxiety? One study technique appears to help more than others.

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Replace Managers

By Ray Williams on November 24, 2016 in Wired for Success
Artificial intelligence (AI) will replace many blue-collar and white-collar jobs. It may also have a big impact on all levels of management, right up to the C-suite.

What Factors Go Into the Development of Expertise?

Here's where the science of expertise is to date.

Should You Tread on That Bee?

By Michael Tye, Ph.D. on November 22, 2016 in Genuinely Conscious
Walking along the path to your house, you see a honeybee crawling along the ground in front of you. Is there anything wrong with your deliberately treading on it?

How Does Brain Symmetry Influence the Workings of Your Mind?

By Christopher Bergland on November 18, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Is symmetry between the 'left brain-right brain' a good thing? It depends. New research suggests that a blend of symmetry and asymmetry between various brain regions may be ideal.

The Machiavellian Boss

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on November 18, 2016 in A Sideways View
How do we define and understand the Machiavellian approach to life? Is it a personality trait or a belief system? What does psychology have to say about this 500-year-old concept?
Nagarujun Kandukuru/Flickr Creative Commons

The Biology of Bigotry

By James M Sherlock on November 18, 2016 in Great (Ape) Expectations
It is commonly assumed that prejudice is purely a product of society; however, substantial evidence indicates that bigotry may be more deeply rooted than we thought.

Think Like a Cat

By John Bradshaw Ph.D. on November 17, 2016 in Pets and Their People
Since cats' brains are evidently not like our own, the way they think could be very different from the way we do.

What Makes People Easy or Hard to Get Along With?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
A brand new meta-analysis brings together two lines of research about human traits: personality and emotional intelligence. Are these labels just two names for the same thing?

Bridging Our National Divide Demands Empathy and Compassion

Bridging divides requires humanizing "the other" by discovering our shared humanity in spite of our different lived experiences.

12 Steps for Adjusting to the Election of Donald Trump

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on November 11, 2016 in Laugh, Cry, Live
If you feel stunned and distraught at the presidential election of Trump, take these 12 positive steps toward adjustment & hope.

Minds in the White House—Update

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on November 07, 2016 in BrainSnacks
We need to pay attention to how our political leaders think as well as what they think. The unique cognitive style of the person who occupies the White House will shape our lives.
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Intelligence and Stupid Behavior

By Stephen Greenspan Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in Incompetence
Smart people often do dumb things. Is the explanation due to a failure of logic, or do other factors play a role?

What Depression May Be Telling You

Hidden in depression's feelings, moods, and thoughts is a deep intelligence. How can we explore its depths? What does it have to teach us?
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How Aging Affects Our Memory

What is the upper limit for aging and creativity?