What Intelligence Tests Miss
The Psychology of Rational Thought
Keith E. Stanovich
February 23, 2010
328 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 b/w illus.
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 cognitive domain. In this book, Keith E. Stanovich challenges this widely held assumption.
Stanovich shows that IQ tests (or their proxies, such as the SAT) are radically incomplete as measures of cognitive functioning. They fail to assess traits that most people associate with “good thinking,” skills such as judgment and decision making. Such cognitive skills are crucial to real-world behavior, affecting the way we plan, evaluate critical evidence, judge risks and probabilities, and make effective decisions. IQ tests fail to assess these skills of rational thought, even though they are measurable cognitive processes. Rational thought is just as important as intelligence, Stanovich argues, and it should be valued as highly as the abilities currently measured on intelligence tests.
“A compelling argument .What Intelligence Tests Miss illuminates the actions of everyone who affects our lives.”—Scientific American
“An original, well-supported, and brilliantly tied together book that reveals the misunderstood relationship between IQ, intelligence, and rationality.”—David Over, Durham University, Psychology Department
“In this smart and rational book, Keith Stanovich explains the difference between intelligence and rationality. Stanovich, one of psychology’s wisest writers about intelligence, also shows that IQ tests do not measure the full scope of mental ability because they fail to assess rational thought, which is central to happiness and fulfillment. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes us truly smart—and why smart people often behave irrationally.”—Carol Tavris, Ph.D., coauthor of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) : Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts
"In this dazzling synthesis about how well and poorly people think and why, Keith Stanovich drives a wedge between intelligence and rationality. This book demonstrates compellingly how rationality is more than intelligence and how those who are intelligent can be dismayingly irrational."—David Perkins, author of The Eureka Effect