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Adaptive Intelligence
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Book description

Adaptive Intelligence is a dramatic reappraisal and reframing of the concept of human intelligence. In a sweeping analysis, Robert J. Sternberg argues that we are using a fatally-flawed, outdated conception of intelligence; one which may promote technological advancement, but which has also accelerated climate change, pollution, the use of weaponry, and inequality. Instead of focusing on the narrow academic skills measured by standardized tests, societies should teach and assess adaptive intelligence, defined as the use of collective talent in service of the common good. This book describes why the outdated notion of intelligence persists, what adaptive intelligence is, and how it could lead humankind on a more positive path.


‘This book is a must-read and not just for the usual academic reasons. While most other academics are busy installing the stepping-stones on the scholarly path, Robert J. Sternberg is looking at the horizon. All of us will benefit from his expanded, more ethical conception of intelligence.’

Don Ambrose - Professor of Graduate Education, Rider University, USA, and Editor of the Roeper Review

‘This critical analysis is given by a scholar who revolutionised our understanding of human intelligence. In charting the evolution of his thinking, Robert J. Sternberg provides a conception of adaptive intelligence that will inform and guide our attempts to overcome the social, political, and environmental challenges that confront us.’

Julian G. Elliott - Professor of Educational Psychology and Principal of Collingwood College, Durham University, UK

‘If you want to read a provocative reckoning with classical theories and conventional tests of intelligence, you should read this book.’

Joachim Funke - Professor of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

‘The author states that the only way to ensure a better world is to replace our faulty notion of intelligence with one that centers on how we can improve the world around us. This book contains thought-provoking ideas for anyone interested in intelligence and the survival of our planet.’

Diane F. Halpern - Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, USA

‘This book gives a new and practical meaning to what it really means to be intelligent in today’s complex world.’

Joseph S. Renzulli - Director of the Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development and Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, USA

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  • Chapter 2 - What Is Intelligence? A Panoply of Views
    pp 27-73


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