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What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought
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What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Critics of intelligence tests—writers such as Robert Sternberg, Howard Gardner, and Daniel Goleman—have argued in recent years that these tests neglect important qualities such as emotion, empathy, and interpersonal skills. However, such critiques imply that though intelligence tests may miss certain key noncognitive areas, they encompass most of what is important in the ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Yale University Press
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Michael Connolly
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about cognitive psychology. Its main points are that:

(1) Good thinking requires more than Intelligence; it also requires rationality,
(2) Intelligence tests do not measure rationality, they measure only intelligence,
(3) There is a poor correlation between intelligence and rationality
(4) There is currently no test for rationality,
(5) Rationality is a purely cognitive skill and is distinct from emotional intelligence and social intelligence

The author describes a tripartite framework
Esteban del Mal
Dear Psychology,

I really wanna be friends. You ALWAYS have the answers and are so much smarter than me.

But, well, with your "cognitive miser," "fluid intelligence" and "myopic loss aversion," you come off as kinda smug. And how many times are you going to say the same thing? Over and over and over again? Don't you know when to shut up? Or is just that you have nothing else to say? You're like my grandmother who goes on about her recipes. Don't get me wrong -- the food is great, but no matter
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
What is "intelligence"? How does reasoning go wrong? Why do smart people do the dumbest things? How did Dubya get such a high IQ?

Keith Stanovich has the answers in what is the most satisfying work of IQ revisionism I've read. While I agree with many of the criticisms of the psychometric construct of general intelligence (or "g") made by critics such as Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg, I always found their alternative models of multiple intelligences to be too reliant on loose semantics and
Alan Johnson
This is, to my mind, one of the most important books that has ever been published on rational thinking. It establishes that standard IQ tests (and tests like SAT that are similar to standard IQ tests) do not test for rational thought. The book is an extended discussion into the differences between intelligence (so measured) and rationality. It explains why people we deem highly intelligent are not always impervious to irrational thought and action.

The book is not perfectly written. It is often
Luc Beaudoin
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book.

Some of the key concepts are:

* Mindware: The software of the mind (following David Perkins).
* Fluid rationality:
* Thinking dispositions: habits and motivation to make use of one's fluid intelligence.
* Crystalized rationality: Crystallized facilitators and Crystallized inhibitors. Facilitators are reasonable skills and knowledge of rationality (e.g., logic, math). Inhibitors include false beliefs and belief in authority.
* The architecture of the mind in three parts: The reflective
Michael Hirsch
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
this book convincingly shows that there is a big difference between intelligence and rationality. intelligence tests like the SAT test whether the subject can successfully manipulate symbols in a test taking situation, but makes no attempt to answer the more interesting question as to whether the subject would be likely to make good decisions in real life. It turns out that rationality is, at best, only slightly correlated to intelligence.

The author does a good job of making the case, but in a
Curtis Gagliardi
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A little repetitive, particularly in the beginning, but once it gets into all the individual cognitive biases it's fascinating. I was surprised how often I got the example problems wrong even knowing I was reading a book about cognitive biases. I got this book from the Center For Applied Rationality's reading list, I'll probably go back and finish LessWrong's core sequences now:
Pablo Stafforini
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
One-sentence summary: IQ tests are reliable measures of intellectual ability, but intelligence is only one aspect of the cognitive mind; the other aspect is rationality, which is only weakly correlated with intelligence and is not adequately measured by intelligence tests.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
If you have read Thinking, Fast and Slow then this book doesn't seem to be so difficult to understand.
First of all, our IQ test is basically : General intelligence + Fluid intelligence. But this is crystallized
intelligence as well. ("Crystalized rationality: Crystallized facilitators and Crystallized inhibitors. Facilitators are reasonable skills and knowledge of rationality (e.g., logic, math). Inhibitors include false beliefs and belief in authority." ) So far there is no test for
Lawrence Chen
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is funny to find a joke about my professor as I was a Freshman in the fox school of Temple. Prof. Paulos for Math. Lol. Generally, good book. But not that good compared to Richard Thaler's Behavioral Economics research books I read earlier this year. Recommend write down some notes as you read it, it is not a simple book to understand. You need to think and you need a draft.
Carl Stevens
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Novelists need to know rational thought well and dysrationalia even better.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Vidur Kapur
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Unlike most detractors of IQ testing, Stanovich does not subject such testing to blatantly false criticisms ("everybody is intelligent in their own way", "IQ tests aren't important in the real world). Rather, he states that while IQ is important to a certain extent and is a reliable and accurate measure of intelligence, there is far too much emphasis placed on intelligence and not enough placed on rationality, and goes onto show how those with higher IQs will tend to be more rational when ...more
Shea Levy
Gave up mid-way through chapter 6. Seemed to just be "Intelligence is what's measured by IQ but it's not everything, there's also rationality" over and over and over, plus stuff you can get from Kahneman, and Stanovich's style is pretty mind-numbing. I was also really skeptical of the certainty with which he expressed his model, especially identifying (fluid) g with cognitive decoupling. Overall, did not come out of this impressed with Stanovich at all and I have no idea what he wants me to get ...more
Nov 19, 2011 rated it liked it
loved the content and think i will actually get a copy at some point because I would want to re-read parts of it (my thesis was related to heuristics so I was really interested in the subject). but it took me so long to read/was such a slog to get through. well written and clear and very readable at the sentence level... but so repetitive, lots of summarizing what had been said previously (without adding to it--just repeating). if there were a long article available by the same author, I would ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that changed my mind.

It's very common for intelligent people (and intelligent people interested in rationality) to associate intelligence with rationality. "Look how smart people are who are interested in this! Surely, intelligence must correlate with rationality!"

Interestingly, it doesn't.

This book was a good summary of some of the basic ways people make bad decisions (cognitive miserlyness and "lacking mindware").
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The key point faults current thinking about intelligence as being unduly influenced by what is tested on IQ tests rather than incorporating ways of expanding our ideas to include rational thinking. Tests could be devised that would assess this key aspect of our thinking resulting in a fuller way of thinking about thinking! Somewhat technical.
Feb 02, 2012 added it
Shelves: never-finished
Not written in a very readable style
Jack Zhao
The writing is too dry. Don't want to finish.
Read for one of my psych courses and YIKES what a dry read. Honestly, this book caused me so much grief.
Louis Bouchard
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent analysis of various aspects of intelligence, and their value. (including standard measures of IQ)
Jan 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't make it through this one, though I was intrigued by the first several chapters.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Explained why smart people make stupid mistakes, use a diagram to depicts how those irrational mistakes generated.

Daniel Frank
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wish this book was written for the popular audience, because it discusses such an important idea that nobody else is talking about. The book is fascinating and salient.

Grace Shaw
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2018
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Mar 16, 2013
Michael James Bowers
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Dec 25, 2015
Bobby Lin
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Apr 24, 2013
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Jan 17, 2016
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Keith E. Stanovich is Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and former Canada Research Chair of Applied Cognitive Science. He is the author of over 200 scientific articles and seven books. He received his BA degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 1973 and his PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1977.
“More intelligent people appear to reason better only when you tell them in advance what good thinking is!” 2 likes
“attribute substitution amounts to substituting an easier question for a harder one.” 2 likes
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