Time Bomb: How the Western Conception of Intelligence is Taking Down Humanity
13th January 2021, 4pm GMT
In this talk, I will argue that the Western conception of intelligence is taking down humanity. Alfred Binet, the creator of the first intelligence test, recognized that intelligence is defined by adaptation to the environment. His main later competitor, David Wechsler, recognized the same thing. But as often happens, followers lose the main message of the founders. They see the trees but not the forest. In the rush for quantification, imitation of the hard sciences, and commercial profits, IQ testers have produced tests that measure only a small fraction of the abilities needed for successful adaptation to the environment. During the 20th century, IQs rose 30 points (the "Flynn effect"), and yet people with these higher IQs have degraded the environment in ways that have threatened not only their own lives but those of future generations. The higher IQs have also been useless in solving other serious problems, such as problems of weapons of mass destruction, violence, increasing income disparities, hunger, and prevention and coping with pandemics. The reason is that IQ tests measure kinds of problem-solving skills that are actually antithetical to the skills needed to solve serious worldwide problems. I propose in this talk a notion of adaptive intelligence--going back to how intelligence was originally conceived of--and show how it can be assessed and developed.
Robert Sternberg, Cornell University, USA
Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University, Germany. Sternberg was briefly President and Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Wyoming. Before that, he was Provost, Senior Vice President, Regents Professor of Psychology and Education, and George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair of Ethical Leadership at Oklahoma State University.
He was cited in an APA Monitor on Psychology report as one of the top 100 psychologists of the 20th century (#60) and in a report in Archives of Scientific Psychology by Diener and colleagues as one of the top 200 psychologists of the modern era (#61). According to Google Scholar, he has been cited over 190,000 times, has an h index of 210, and an i10 value of 1134; his most frequently cited publication, according to Google Scholar, has been cited over 7300 times. He has been cited by ISI for being one of the most highly cited (top ½ of 1%) among psychologists and psychiatrists.
He has received roughly two dozen national and international awards, including the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology and the James McKeen Cattell and William James Awards from APS, and has held about $20 million in research grants and contracts.