Trade in Yours
For a 0.25 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence [Hardcover]

David Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Trade In this Item for up to 0.25
Trade in Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 0.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

1 Mar 1995 0029252121 978-0029252123
Since the turn of the century, the idea that intellectual capacity is fixed has been generally accepted. But increasingly, psychologists, educators, and others have come to challenge this premise. "Outsmarting IQ" reveals how earlier discoveries about IQ, together with recent research, show that intelligence is not genetically fixed. Intelligence can be taught. David Perkins, renowned for his research on thinking, learning, and education, identifies three distinct kinds of intelligence: the fixed neurological intelligence linked to IQ tests; the specialized knowledge and experience that individuals acquire over time; and reflective intelligence, the ability to become aware of one's mental habits and transcend limited patterns of thinking. Although all of these forms of intelligence function simultaneously, it is reflective intelligence, Perkins shows, that affords the best opportunity to amplify human intellect. This is the kind of intelligence that helps us to make wise personal decisions, solve challenging technical problems, find creative ideas, and learn complex topics in mathematics, the sciences, management, and other areas. It is the kind of intelligence most needed in an increasingly competitive and complicated world. Using his own pathbreaking research at Harvard and a rich array of other sources, Perkins paints a compelling picture of the skills and attitudes underlying learnable intelligence. He identifies typical pitfalls in multiple perspectives, and neglecting evidence. He reveals the underlying mechanisms of intelligent behavior. And he explores new frontiers in the development of intelligence in education, business, and other settings. This book will beof interest to people who have a personal or professional stake in increasing their intellectual skills, to those who look toward better education and a more thoughtful society, and not least to those who follow today's heated debates about the nature of intelligence.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 390 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press (1 Mar 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029252121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029252123
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.6 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 967,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Israel Scheffler Harvard University A brilliant and also a hopeful book about learnable -- and even teachable -- intelligence. Everyone concerned with finding a path through the IQ wars -- and that means parents and policymakers as well as teachers -- ought to read this book by a master educator.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I was a child, my family lived in a large sprawling house in a small town in Maine, a former schoolhouse in fact, with a couple of the blackboards still in place. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
What is the nature of intelligence? How and to what extent can intelligence be developed? What aspects of intelligence can de identified and what aspects especially demand attention? While the classic view of intelligence implies that intelligence is a fixed, genetically determined characteristic of individuals this book presents a different perspective: a theory of learnable intelligence clarifying to what extent and how our intelligence can be amplified.
Three dimensions of intelligence are identified: 1) neural intelligence: neurological speed and precision; in large part genetically determined, 2) experiential intelligence: extensive common knowledge and skill and specialized knowledge and skill; learned, 3) reflective intelligence: strategies for memory, problem solving, mental self-monitoring, meta-cognition; learned.
Perkins argues that reflective intelligence offers the best opportunity for improving intelligent thought and behavior. Perkins identifies important pitfalls in human thinking and reasoning and shows how to avoid them. The author acknowledges that intellectual talent is a real phenomenon and does not deny any intellectual differences in intellectual talent. He argues that most people can learn to use whatever intellectual talents they have much better than they normally do. This book, which reminds of the work of Robert Sternberg, is a true must for anyone interested in theories of intelligence.
Coert Visser
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book presenting a theory of learnable intelligence 3 Sep 2001
By Coert Visser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What is the nature of intelligence? How and to what extent can intelligence be developed? What aspects of intelligence can de identified and what aspects especially demand attention? While the classic view of intelligence implies that intelligence is a fixed, genetically determined characteristic of individuals this book presents a different perspective: a theory of learnable intelligence clarifying to what extent and how our intelligence can be amplified. Three dimensions of intelligence are identified: 1) neural intelligence: neurological speed and precision; in large part genetically determined, 2) experiential intelligence: extensive common knowledge and skill and specialized knowledge and skill; learned, 3) reflective intelligence: strategies for memory, problem solving, mental self-monitoring, meta-cognition; learned. Perkins argues that reflective intelligence offers the best opportunity for improving intelligent thought and behavior. Perkins identifies important pitfalls in human thinking and reasoning and shows how to avoid them. The author acknowledges that intellectual talent is a real phenomenon and does not deny any intellectual differences in intellectual talent. He argues that most people can learn to use whatever intellectual talents they have much better than they normally do. This book, which reminds of the work of Robert Sternberg, is a true must for anyone interested in theories of intelligence.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant vision of human thinking abilities and their improvement 31 July 2010
By Todd I. Stark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Profound Thinking By Example

This is the single best book I've come across on the potential for improving human thinking ability. I give it my highest recommendation; I think it should be read by everyone interested in problem solving, decision making, and human abilities in general. It is amazingly broad in its coverage of data, profoundly deep in its treatment of specific lines of relevant evidence, and ingenious in its vision of the future.

What impressed me most about this book is that the author, David Perkins, demonstrates the power of deep reflective thinking by his own example in the organization and treatment of evidence throughout this book, in his critical treatment of his own evidence and ideas, in his creative original ideas, and in his effective consolidation and filtering of massive amounts of research. Showing how asking the right questions can help us understand seemingly contradictory data about intelligence, Perkins gives an engaging plausibility proof for the kind of reflective intelligence he argues for in this book.

The Concept of Realms of Thinking

To give away the ending, the book culminates in a model of problem solving ability based on the metaphor of a map. Human thinking ability results from learning our way around. Navigation is fundamental to all sorts of human thinking. Perkins suggests that all intelligent human thinking results from navigation of various kinds, which can be thought of in terms of levels of realms. Perkins organizes the realms in an overall map or "mindscape" from the lowest level of specific contexts of thinking to the highest level dealing with thinking itself.

In learning to solve problems we not only learn our way around physical realms geographically, but we learn our way around specific contexts we find ourselves in such as the realm of buying a house or the realm of choosing a career. We learn our way around different situations like resolving conflicts or making purchases in general. We learn our way around professional fields like law, physics, and mathematics, and areas of technical expertise such as probability and statistics, game theory, and business. We learn our way around the use of tools. We learn our way around various basic kinds of challenges like problem solving, decision making, planning, and learning. Finally, at Perkins' top level, which he calls thinking dispositions, and we learn our way around thinking itself in terms of the qualities and attitudes that make it more or less effective.

Perhaps the central thrust of this book is that in organizing human problem solving areas into navigational realms, Perkins is not just providing a training map for learning problem solving skills a million different areas, he is also making a case for the learning the critical skills of navigation itself.

Perkins' realms are very similar to the traditional concept of domains of expertise, but different in one critically important way: realms emphasize the central skills of navigation rather than just the use of repetition or rote memorization or even just the use of deliberate practice. The concept of realms makes it more explicit that all areas of ability that we learn share some commonality in terms of key skills and attitudes we need for navigation itself.

It is learning to be a better navigator; in all realms of human thinking and not just certain subset of them; that is the central message of Perkins' book. This is encapsulated in his concept of "reflective intelligence." Reflective intelligence is the aspect of intelligence that can be most improved for the greatest effect across the range of all realms of thinking. Perkins reviews a number of different attempts to improve human thinking and makes various suggestions based on their results regarding specific kinds of changes that can be made to educational curricula in order to teach children to be better navigators in all areas.

Getting Perspective on Intelligence through 3 Dimensions

In giving away Perkins' final model, I've skipped over two very important and interesting aspects: his argument for the model he uses and for the prospect of learnable intelligence through better navigation, and his predictions for important areas of the evolution of learnable intelligence.

The bulk of Outsmarting Intelligence deals tightly with the subject of the title, the legacy of how intelligence has been envisioned and researched so far. Perkins deals in equally deep, reflective, careful, and often fascinating manner with: (1) the evidence for a single common problem solving ability from psychometric data, (2) the evidence showing us how novices think differently from experts, and (3) the evidence showing us what happens when we try to learn general skills and rules for solving problems in general and how computers solve problems.

From these three bodies of evidence, Perkins derives three corresponding dimensions of human intelligence: (1) a neural intelligence dimension which respects what psychometric data gets right and is most closely associated with what we typically assume IQ tests are measuring, (2) an experiential intelligence dimension which respects what expertise research data gets right, and (3) a reflective intelligence dimension which respects what we have learned about metacognition and from the various programs that have tried to teach thinking skills in general.

Neural intelligence, Perkins concludes, is a real dimension of human ability and very important in some situations especially, but it is simply the wrong target for attempts at improvement for various reasons.

Experiential intelligence represents most of our actual problem solving abilities in practice.
Faced with novel and complex situations where we have no relevant experience, our neural intelligence gives us our best chance at solving the challenges presented. But once we have been acquiring experience in an area, a difference in expertise will make people better problem solvers in that area than will a difference in general intelligence.

So experiential intelligence and neural intelligence work together to make us the generally good problem solvers that we are in most situations: neural intelligence helps us deal with novelty and complexity, and experiential intelligence helps us acquire the knowledge and skills we need to deal with specific domains.

So the obvious question is: what role does reflective intelligence play and why does Perkins consider it so important?

The Significance of Reflective Intelligence

Perkins reviews various lines of research into the wide variety of situations where otherwise powerful problem solving abilities seem to fail us in systematic ways. He looks at social psychological effects, cognitive shortcuts, and so on, similar to other reviews of blind spots in human thinking by many other authors except that Perkins attempts to characterize these foibles specifically in terms of side effects of our experiential intelligence.

Perkins suggests that the human mind is mostly akin to a pattern seeker and pattern-driven problem solving engine and as a result its weaknesses are also those we would expect from a pattern-driven process. The human mind often tends to be hasty, narrow, fuzzy, and sprawling.

HASTY. The goal of a pattern seeking intelligence is to find the right response that most closely matches the current situation rather than making an exhaustive search. As a result, our experiential intelligence tends to mislead us to jump to hasty conclusions when the situation is an unusual variation of a known situation.

NARROW. As a result of efficiently seeking patterns we have already seen, the domain-specificity of expertise tends to make us think in narrow ways when we think we have grasped the situation rather than to broaden our thinking.

FUZZY. Part of the power of pattern-matching is that we can so often generalize the lessons from one situation to another similar one. In situations where the appearance is very similar but the underlying principles are different, again our pattern matching effectiveness leads to mistakes: we overgenerallize from our experience.

SPRAWLING. When a pattern-seeking process does not have a single clear path to follow, as often happens in very complex situations, it will tend to follow one path after another and keep switching back and forth rather than working toward an overall goal.

Experiential intelligence, Perkins concludes, is an elegant system for long-term moderate success. When situations are new to us or complex, we get help from our neural intelligence and we have also learned various tricks for getting around our weaknesses, and these are largely accounted for in reflective intelligence. Reflective intelligence represents realms where we think about our own thinking in order to avoid settling on hasty conclusions, to broaden our thinking beyond the initial scope we assumed, to use precision to distinguish similar looking but different things, and to stay on track when notice we are sprawling.

This explains why reflective intelligence is so important to us in tricky situations where we have inadequate experience and where experience misleads us. But it also helps explain, in Perkins' view, why reflective intelligence is so important for us to learn to be better thinkers in general. Neural intelligence does not replace experiential intelligence, it tends to reinforce it.

When we don't have experience, neural intelligence helps us grasp the situation, but when we do have experience, we tend to use our neural intelligence to reinforce what our experience already tells us. That's one big reason why genius is not simply high IQ. That's why reflective intelligence is so important, it is the tool we use to remind us of the weak points in our own thinking and help us compensate for them regardless of our experience and general intelligence. The abilities and traits we need in order to overcome our blind spots are learnable. A large and crucial aspect of intelligence is learnable.

Existing Approaches: How they Compare

There are various approaches to teaching reflective intelligence, and Perkins reviews the best known and the best studied among them such as Project Intelligence, Reuven Feuerstein's Instrumental Enrichment, Edward de Bono's CORT, and Matthew Lipman's Philosophy for Children, and others, reviewing their approaches and their results and comparing and contrasting them in order to get a sense of what it takes to enhance reflective intelligence.

One of the things that distinguishes Perkins as a deep reflective thinker himself is that he anticipates, researches, and deals fairly with opposition to his arguments. The very idea of learnable intelligence has in the past come under attack from several angles such as past failures of various programs which tried to teach improved thinking, the implications of expertise and psychometric research data, the apparent weakness of general methods for problem solving, and the challenge of transfer between learning domains. Perkins addresses each of these concerns in turn, resulting in a very persuasive case for the very real improvability of intelligence through changes in education.

The Future of Learnable Intelligence

Toward the end of the book, Perkins reveals the ingenuity of his vision through his discussion of several areas for the future evolution of reflective intelligence: areas which ended up being (remarkable for a book written in 1995) accurate predictions of areas that have since become central areas of interest for science and human improvement in general:

1. Intelligence can become distributed -- good thinking depends upon artifacts to offload the limitations of our attention and memory, and we can use our symbol systems and tools to help us keep track of things we could not track individually. This is a wonderful general description of how we are attempting to use computer networks to help us manage complexity (as opposed to some of the more superficial books in recent years which imply that networks somehow replace rather than enhance individual thinking).

2. Intelligence can embrace complexity -- through information visualization tools, effective use of classification, tagging, and finding things by meaning, consolidation, filtering, the mathematical tools for finding large scale patterns in complex phenomena, and by eliminating narrow information silos, we can use our intelligence to solve increasingly complex problems.

3. Intelligence can be dialectical -- this means raising the level of thinking from lower level more concrete concerns to higher order patterns by recognizing the properties specific to complex systems. Perkins offers Peter Senge's "The Fifth Discipline" and Murray Gell-Mann's "The Quark and the Jaguar" as exemplifying ways of understanding dialectical intelligence.

Perkins covers a massive amount of data about intelligence and problem solving, summarizes it effectively, and applies it to a practical, powerfully supported, and exceptionally understandable approach to improving human life by teaching ourselves to be more intelligent. Thinking well in general is an unnatural act but we can learn to do it. All that is left is for us to overcome the ideological and political barriers. This book would make a wonderful, gentle manifesto for that grand effort.
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every intelligent person must read this book 18 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really didn't expect this book to be this book. I was kind of expecting a book that would increase my intelligence. However, I found myself stumbling into an area that has been for years my interest, but not my field of pursuit. I'm just a high school student (1999) and I believe that this book opened to me a portal to a subject that is uncommon yet inherent in all human beings. This book gives a history of the many theories and proposals of intelligence and arranges and analyzes them into a conglomeration of understandable concepts weaved together. If you want to know everything (well, almost) about intelligence, how it works, and why researchers have different views on it, and why there is an argument of whether intelligence can be learned, this is a perfect book for you to be introduced, and be well-informed about the intricacies of human reasoning and processing. This book is quite long though, you have to read about 340 pages of almost pure text, which at times can be a bore. But who said this was for entertainment anyway? Reading this book is not a joke; it can't be. I gave this book a five not just because the writer is from Harvard but because his reasoning is Harvard. The author introduced me to a world of mystery (with psychological bases of course) and has, in a matter of speaking, made me an "intelligent" addict. It is to my sincere thinking that people who will read this book will never be the same again.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Start 4 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I own this book and it's a smart start to learning about intelligence. P.S. The boy from the Phillipines has a good assessment of this book. As to the reviewer who said he needed to go to college before he spoke or wrote--well at least HE can spell and type!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased with this books information. 9 Mar 2008
By Oliver Milton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book gave me a greater insight into the emergence of developing thought and reflection to gain intelligence.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback