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

The Artistic Side of Artificial Intelligence

By John Nosta on March 22, 2017 in The Digital Self
Need a portrait? Your fine artist might just be a computer.

The Caring Effect

Great leaders identify, measure, recognize, and reward meaningful efforts and achievements. Why should managers and leaders celebrate more?

Intellectual Humility Augments Nonpartisan Open-Mindedness

Regardless of your party or religious beliefs, new research from Duke shows that intellectual humility may be the key to breaking down barriers that divide us.

Kindling Your Child’s Enthusiasm for School

No other generation has had to cope with this ever-increasing fund of information. Improved technology and more information has led to more memorization & less meaningful learning.
Goldenarts/Shutterstock

Technology's Battle for IQ, EQ, or Something Very Different

By John Nosta on March 14, 2017 in The Digital Self
Enough with IQ and EQ. Technology is demanding its own score.

Can Intelligence or Personality Compensate for Disadvantage?

Can intelligence or personality compensate for background disadvantage in predicting later life outcomes?

Want to Avoid Bad Decisions? It’s All About Framing

No one wants to make bad decisions. These tips will help you avoid them.

Using a Process Approach to High Stakes Testing

Worried about a test result? Here's a few things you might want to know.
Charles Darwin/Public Domain

Why Does Autism Still Exist?

By Barb Cohen on March 07, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Some gene variants associated with autism are also significantly associated with high intelligence. “Smart” genes are advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, so they persist.

Tools That Aid Expert Decision Making

Critics want to automate the tasks of experts. Three reasons to keep experts central in decision making: Frontier thinking, social engagement, and responsibility for their actions.

Brain Dynamic Patterns and the Mind

The mystery of consciousness is approached from several materialistic or dualistic perspectives. Brain activity patterns play a critical role; could the patterns be fractals?

What Does Information Look Like in the Brain?

Does thinking harder or experiencing deep emotions like love, fear, or anguish light up more neurons? Probably not.

Disaster at Middlebury College

Middlebury College joins the list of academic institutions that are shouting down conservative voices. Along the way, the liberals are simply handing free speech to conservatives.

Climate Change, Inequality, and the Singularity

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Boundless
Technology is not a magical solution to all of the world's problems: We need to develop better ethical and political theories and build them into artificial intelligence.
"Intelligent Mud Counts" by author

Intelligent Mud

Emotions make our mud human—sometimes intelligently caring, often charming, on occasion—lovable.

A Crisis of Noise - Messages To/From Our Brains

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
Confusion and overwhelm reign! Our brains are battlegrounds where messages are vying for attention. What can we believe? Our physical, mental, and emotional health are at stake.

Intellectual Bullies: What You Need to Know About Them

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 27, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
When we think of childhood bullying, we’re likely to conjure images of a vulnerable child’s being mocked to tears, or having to endure some form of sadistic physical abuse. But...

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.