Special Issue "If Intelligence Is Truly Important to Real-World Adaptation, and IQs Have Risen 30+ Points in the Past Century (Flynn Effect), then Why Are There So Many Unresolved and Dramatic Problems in the World, and What Can Be Done About It?"

A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert J. Sternberg

Department of Human Development, Cornell University, B44 MVR, 116 Reservoir Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 (607) 255-1452
Fax: +1 (607) 255-9856
Interests: intelligence; creativity; wisdom; ethics; leadership; thinking styles; love; hate; jealousy; envy; organizational modifiability; teaching and learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Examples of topics that could be included in this Special Issue are the following: the potential role in solving societal problems of (a) intelligence, (b) rational thinking, (c) emotional intelligence, (d) creativity, (e) wisdom, (f) complex problem solving, (g) complex decision making, (h) mindfulness, (i) moral reasoning, and (j) common sense. Considerations of other skills or knowledge bases would also be welcome. There will be some invited submissions, but all submissions are welcome. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Papers should be roughly 20–25 pages long, double-spaced, and speak about what the role of one (or more) variables could be in solving the serious problems that the world faces. Papers should be draw on psychological theory and research, and should make specific suggestions as to how the mentioned skills and knowledge could be used to address serious problems that have, up to now, defied solution.

Prof. Dr. Robert J. Sternberg
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Intelligence is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Open AccessEditorial
Why Real-World Problems Go Unresolved and What We Can Do about It: Inferences from a Limited-Resource Model of Successful Intelligence
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
In this article I suggest why a symposium is desirable on the topic of why, despite worldwide increases in IQ since the beginning of the 20th century, there are so many unresolved and dramatic problems in the world. I briefly discuss what some [...] Read more.
In this article I suggest why a symposium is desirable on the topic of why, despite worldwide increases in IQ since the beginning of the 20th century, there are so many unresolved and dramatic problems in the world. I briefly discuss what some of these problems are, and the paradox of people with higher IQs not only being unable to solve them, but in some cases people being unwilling to address them. I suggest that higher IQ is not always highly relevant to the problems, and in some cases, may displace other skills that better would apply to the solution of the problems. I present a limited-resource model as an adjunct to the augmented theory of successful intelligence. The model suggests that increasing societal emphases on analytical abilities have displaced development and utilization of other skills, especially creative, practical, and wisdom-based ones, that better could be applied to serious world problems. I also discuss the importance of cognitive inoculation against unscrupulous and sometimes malevolent attempts to change belief systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Individual Mental Abiities vs. the World’s Problems
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective
The Strengths of Wisdom Provide Unique Contributions to Improved Leadership, Sustainability, Inequality, Gross National Happiness, and Civic Discourse in the Face of Contemporary World Problems
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present evidence for the strengths of the intellectual virtues that philosophers and behavioral scientists characterize as key cognitive elements of wisdom. Wisdom has been of centuries-long interest for philosophical scholarship, but relative to intelligence largely neglected in public discourse on educational science, [...] Read more.
We present evidence for the strengths of the intellectual virtues that philosophers and behavioral scientists characterize as key cognitive elements of wisdom. Wisdom has been of centuries-long interest for philosophical scholarship, but relative to intelligence largely neglected in public discourse on educational science, public policy, and societal well-being. Wise reasoning characteristics include intellectual humility, recognition of uncertainty, consideration of diverse viewpoints, and an attempt to integrate these viewpoints. Emerging scholarship on these features of wisdom suggest that they uniquely contribute to societal well-being, improve leadership, shed light on societal inequality, promote cooperation in Public Goods Games and reduce political polarization and intergroup-hostility. We review empirical evidence about macro-cultural, ecological, situational, and person-level processes facilitating and inhibiting wisdom in daily life. Based on this evidence, we speculate about ways to foster wisdom in education, organizations, and institutions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Creativity as a Stepping Stone toward a Brighter Future
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
If IQs continue to rise over generation, why has the world been unable to solve basic recurrent problems? This paper argues that creativity, which is overlooked in IQ tests and showing no signs of a similar increase, may be part of the reason [...] Read more.
If IQs continue to rise over generation, why has the world been unable to solve basic recurrent problems? This paper argues that creativity, which is overlooked in IQ tests and showing no signs of a similar increase, may be part of the reason of why the Flynn Effect has not led to a better world. Creativity’s predictive power for traditional positive outcomes, such as school or work performance, is significant but slight. However, there are other ways that creativity can help to make a better world. Two exemplar ways that are discussed in this paper are how creativity can (a) help people lead happier and more meaningful lives and (b) focus a spotlight on talented members of underrepresented groups who are overlooked by traditional measures. Both of these directions can lead to a world that is better equipped to solve larger issues. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
Inequality, Education, Workforce Preparedness, and Complex Problem Solving
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Economic inequality has been described as the defining challenge of our time, responsible for a host of potential negative societal and individual outcomes including reduced opportunity, decreased health and life expectancy, and the destabilization of democracy. Education has been proposed as the “great [...] Read more.
Economic inequality has been described as the defining challenge of our time, responsible for a host of potential negative societal and individual outcomes including reduced opportunity, decreased health and life expectancy, and the destabilization of democracy. Education has been proposed as the “great equalizer” that has and can continue to play a role in reducing inequality. One means by which education does so is through the development of complex problem solving skills in students, skills used to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings. These are highly valued in the workforce and will likely continue to be so in the future workforce. Their importance is evident in results from employer surveys, as well as by their inclusion in large scale international and domestic comparative assessments. In this paper, I review various definitions of complex problem solving and approaches for measuring it, along with findings from PISA 2003, 2012, and 2015. I also discuss prospects for teaching, assessing, and reporting on it, and discuss the emerging importance of collaborative problem solving. Developing and monitoring complex problem solving skills, broadly defined, is a critical challenge in preparing students for the future workforce, and in overcoming the negative effects of inequality and the diminishment of individual opportunity. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
When Irrational Biases Are Smart: A Fuzzy-Trace Theory of Complex Decision Making
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
I take a decision-making approach to consider ways of addressing the “unresolved and dramatic problems in the world”. Traditional approaches to good decision-making are reviewed. These approaches reduce complex decisions to tradeoffs between magnitudes of probabilities, and outcomes in which the quantity and [...] Read more.
I take a decision-making approach to consider ways of addressing the “unresolved and dramatic problems in the world”. Traditional approaches to good decision-making are reviewed. These approaches reduce complex decisions to tradeoffs between magnitudes of probabilities, and outcomes in which the quantity and precision of information are key to making good decisions. I discuss a contrasting framework, called “fuzzy-trace theory”, which emphasizes understanding the simple gist of options and applying core social and moral values. Importantly, the tendency to rely on meaningful but simple gist increases from childhood to adulthood (or, in adulthood, as people gain experience in a domain), so that specific irrational biases grow with knowledge and experience. As predicted theoretically, these violations of rationality in the traditional sense are associated empirically with healthier and more adaptive outcomes. Thus, interventions that help decision makers understand the essential gist of their options and how it connects to core values are practical approaches to reducing “unresolved and dramatic problems in the world” one decision at a time. Full article
Open AccessCommentary
Intellectual Brilliance and Presidential Performance: Why Pure Intelligence (or Openness) Doesn’t Suffice
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years it has become popular on the internet to debate the IQ of the incumbent president of the United States. Yet, these controversies (and hoaxes) presume that IQ has some relevance to understanding the president’s actual performance as the nation’s leader. [...] Read more.
In recent years it has become popular on the internet to debate the IQ of the incumbent president of the United States. Yet, these controversies (and hoaxes) presume that IQ has some relevance to understanding the president’s actual performance as the nation’s leader. This assumption is examined by reviewing the empirical research on the intelligence–performance association in political leadership, with a special focus on U.S. presidents. The review starts by discussing at-a-distance assessment techniques, a method that has yielded reliable and valid measures of IQ, Intellectual Brilliance, and Openness to Experience; three correlated even if separable concepts. The discussion then turns to the reliable and valid measurement of presidential performance—or “greatness”—via successive surveys of hundreds of experts. These two lines of research then converged on the emergence of a six-predictor equation, in which Intellectual Brilliance plays a major role, to the exclusion of both IQ and Openness. The greatest presidents are those who feature wide interests, and who are artistic, inventive, curious, intelligent, sophisticated, complicated, insightful, wise, and idealistic (but who are far from being either dull or commonplace). These are the personal traits we should look for in the person who occupies the nation’s highest office if we seek someone most likely to solve the urgent problems of today and tomorrow. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
How to Think Rationally about World Problems
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I agree with the target essay that psychology has something to offer in helping to address societal problems. Intelligence has helped meliorate some social problems throughout history, including the period of time that is covered by the Flynn effect, but I agree with [...] Read more.
I agree with the target essay that psychology has something to offer in helping to address societal problems. Intelligence has helped meliorate some social problems throughout history, including the period of time that is covered by the Flynn effect, but I agree with Sternberg that other psychological characteristics may be contributing as well, particularly increases in rationality. I also believe that increasing human rationality could have a variety of positive societal affects at levels somewhat smaller in grain size than the societal problems that Sternberg focuses on. Some of the societal problems that Sternberg lists, however, I do not think would be remedied by increases in rationality, intelligence, or wisdom, because remedy might be the wrong word in the context of these issues. Issues such as how much inequality of income to tolerate, how much pollution to tolerate, and how much we should sacrifice economic growth for potential future changes in global temperature represent issues of clashing values, not the inability to process information, nor the lack of information, nor the failure to show wisdom. Full article
Open AccessCommentary
Speculations on the Role of Successful Intelligence in Solving Contemporary World Problems
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, I argue that conventional views of intelligence and its measurement have contributed toward at least some of the societal problems of today. I suggest that to escape from a degenerative process, society needs to consider the importance not only of [...] Read more.
In this article, I argue that conventional views of intelligence and its measurement have contributed toward at least some of the societal problems of today. I suggest that to escape from a degenerative process, society needs to consider the importance not only of intelligence, as conventionally defined but also of successful intelligence, involving in addition to conventional analytical intelligence, common sense, creativity, and wisdom. Full article
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