Three Answers to the Question, "What Is Intelligence?"

The Quip: “Intelligence is what you need when you don’t know what to do”. Carl Bereiter coined this elegant phrase. [...]
The Explanation: “Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings — ‘catching on,’ ‘making sense’ of things, or ‘figuring out’ what to do.” Linda Gottfredson and 52 leading psychometricians agree with this explanation. [...]
The formula: g+group+specific skill+error, where g accounts for about 50% of the variance. [...]
That is from James Thompson's blog Psychological Comments, which I've added to my roll. It has what it says on the label with a focus on - you've guessed it - intelligence. I'm particularly grateful to him for providing me with a label for an error (popular with sociologists and the general public) that has long been getting on my nerves. The error is automatically interpreting correlations between socioeconomic status (not my favourite concept in the first place) and some outcome as an effect of the former on the latter, without even considering the possibility that there may be psychological constructs that influence both SES and the outcome (e.g., see my discussion here). He calls it the sociologist's fallacy. Not that imaginative, really, is it? Man, I really should have thought of that myself.

Anyway, the blog's recommended.

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