Applied Intelligence provides a contemporary and broad framework for understanding human intelligence needed for both individual and group success in the 21st Century. After a brief summary of theories of intelligence this research based and practical college level text defines, discusses, and summarizes Robert Sternberg's three part theory. According to this timely theory in order to succeed today and in coming years we need 1) to problem solve creatively and be able to envision the future, 2) to be able to use analytic skills to gather, process, and evaluate critical information, and 3) to be able to use practical skills necessary to bring forth visionary ideas into the world and communicate effectively so that others understand their importance.
Additionally, Applied Intelligence provides practical principles for becoming functionally smarter, thus illustrating perhaps the most important premise of Robert Sternberg's work - that we can become smarter through focused effort. As an example, in a chapter devoted to metacognition, readers learn how to improve their ability to define a problem. In this example, as well as throughout the book, the authors offer practical suggestions to such cognitive problems and many specific exercises to illustrate various aspects of problem solving across a variety of contexts. Other examples of content include knowledge-acquisition, performance components of cognition including logical reasoning and analysis of arguments, coping with novelty, creativity, practical intelligence, and automatizing information processing. Both verbal and perceptual examples are given throughout the book. It is important to note that the exercises are meant to be used not only to develop an understanding of cognition and intellectual performance, but also as a way to improve performance. An important final chapter discusses twenty stumbling blocks to success such as lack of motivation, failure to initiate, and blame that can keep individuals from actualizing their potential.
Donna Wilson, Ph.D.