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Open AccessArticle

Individual Mental Abiities vs. the World’s Problems

Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 3720 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
PDF [272 KB, uploaded 16 April 2018]


The major problems in the world today are problems of government or the lack of it. Thus, the relevant parts of intelligence are those that make for good citizenship, such as supporting the best candidates and policies. I argue that dispositions, as well as capacities, are part of intelligence, and that some dispositions are the ones most crucial for citizenship, particularly the disposition to engage in actively open-minded thinking (AOT) and to apply it as a standard for the evaluation of the qualifications of authorities and leaders. AOT is a general prescriptive theory that applies to all thinking. It affects the aptness of conclusions and the accuracy of confidence judgments, and it reduces overconfidence when extreme confidence is not warranted. AOT may be affected by different factors from those that affect other components of intelligence and thus may undergo different changes over time. Whatever has happened in the past, we need more of it now. View Full-Text
Keywords: Flynn effect; actively open-minded thinking; cognitive style; political judgment Flynn effect; actively open-minded thinking; cognitive style; political judgment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Baron, J. Individual Mental Abiities vs. the World’s Problems. J. Intell. 2018, 6, 23.

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