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The Nature of Intelligence and Its Development in Childhood

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2020

Robert J. Sternberg
Affiliation:
Cornell University

Summary

In this Element, I first introduce intelligence in terms of historical definitions. I show that intelligence, as conceived even by the originators of the first intelligence tests, Alfred Binet and David Wechsler, is a much broader construct than just scores on narrow tests of intelligence and their proxies. I then review the major approaches to understanding intelligence and its development: the psychometric (test-based), cognitive and neurocognitive (intelligence as a set of brain-based cognitive representations and processes), systems, cultural, and developmental. These approaches, taken together, present a much more complex portrait of intelligence and its development than the one that would be ascertained just from scores on intelligence tests. Finally, I draw some take-away conclusions.
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Online ISBN: 9781108866217
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 03 December 2020
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© Robert J. Sternberg 2020

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