Intelligence: New Findings and Theoretical Developments

This is an important review article by several of the leading researchers in the world: individuals with a long time interest in the study of intelligence from a psychological point of view. It undermines many widely held views about intellect, such as those made famous thirty years ago in The Bell Curve. For example, the authors report that intelligence is on the rise around the world, that adoptions can significantly increase intelligence when children of working class background are raised in middle-class homes, and that efforts to locate the gene(s) that regulate measured intelligence remain elusive. The review also outlines issues that remain to be worked out; for example, whether ‘a general intelligence factor could arise from initially largely independent cognitive skills.’

Quoted is the authority W.T. Dickens who argues “even if these skills are initially largely independent of one another, after people interact with their environments, these skills will no longer be independent. Someone who is good at any intellectual skills is more likely to end up in environments where all skills will be practiced, which will lead to the development of all skills.” An intriguing hypothesis. I would raise an opposite possibility: that perhaps a variegated intellectual profile may emerge from initially similar cognitive potentials. I regret that the article does not discuss theories of the multiple intelligence variety. The gulf between my work and that of mainstream psychometricians remains large.

To read the article in its entirety click here.