Intelligence and Human Value

And why do psychologists call it intelligence? Who gave them the right to define and then own that term? Surely many of them do well on these standardized tests. But just because they do well, does that mean that we must all accept that the thing they are measuring—which they are really good at—is the pinnacle of human intelligence? Why do we listen to them? …What if these careful, objective scientists had completely different experiences as children? What if they grew up being denied opportunities because of a low score on one of their very own tests? Would they be so quick to label their tests as intelligence tests? … Maybe they would hold different views about the development and nurturance of intelligence, and focus more research on how IQ interacts with the many other important life traits that are on offer, many of which aren’t neatly captured by a single brief test administered one slice in time?

I firmly believe we can recognize and value every kind of mind without diminishing the value of others. I don’t see intelligence as a zero-sum game: just because someone is talented (whatever that means) by the standards set by society doesn’t mean that the person who isn’t doesn’t have dynamic potential for intellectual functioning. There are so many different paths to success.

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined by Scott Barry Kaufman

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