Why is it that those who most vigorously defend the importance of IQ are those who emphasize the biological basis of IQ?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 7, 2018 in Blog

I’ve been wondering something, and I’d love to genuinely hear some perspectives on this matter. It seems as though the ones who most vigorously defend the importance of IQ (outside the educational psychology realm) are those who study the genetic and biological foundations of IQ. But why is this the case? Certainly it’s possible to […]

IQ and Society

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 4, 2018 in Blog

On December 13, 1994, a group of fifty-two experts in the scientific study of intelligence and allied fields provided the following unified definition of intelligence in the Wall Street Journal: Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn […]

Beautiful Minds: The Next Generation

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

For the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of writing the Beautiful Minds blog, starting with Psychology Today in 2008 and moving the blog over to Scientific Americanin 2013. The blog has given me the opportunity to write about a wide range of topics that fascinate me– including intelligence, creativity, cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, narcissism, introversion, […]

Trigger warnings are least likely to help those who value them the most

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 1, 2018 in Blog

A new paper by Izzy Gainsburg and Allison Earl at the University of Michican dives deeper into the trigger warning phenomenon increasingly prevalent on college campuses (see the new book The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt). The researchers define trigger warnings as “statements that warn of a negative emotional response […]

The “Heritability of Intelligence” Probably Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 29, 2018 in Blog

In recent years, the field of behavioral genetics has made some important strides in unearthing some of the thousands of genes that are likely associated with IQ. While the association of any particular gene with IQ is minuscule, the more we discover their combined influence on the development of brain networks that support cognition (such […]

The Dark Core of Personality

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 5, 2018 in Blog

Over 100 years ago, Charles Spearman made two monumental discoveries about human intelligence. First, a general factor of intelligence (g) exists: people who score high on one test of intelligence also tend to score high on other tests of intelligence. Second, Spearman found that the g-factor conforms to the principle of the “indifference of the […]

STUDY ALERT: Are bigger brains smarter? Evidence from a large-scale pre-registered study

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Study Alerts, Blog

A positive relationship between brain volume and intelligence has been suspected since the 19th century and empirical studies seem to support this hypothesis. However, this claim is not uncontroversial because of concerns about publication bias and the lack of systematic control for critical confounding factors (e.g., height, population structure). We performed a pre-registered study of […]

STUDY ALERT: The development of the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S)

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 18, 2018 in Study Alerts, Blog

The development of the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S): A multifactorial measure for a complex emotion David B. Yaden, Scott Barry Kaufman, Elizabeth Hyde, Alice Chirico, Andrea Gaggioli, Jia Wei Zhang, Dacher Keltner Abstract Awe is a complex emotion composed of an appraisal of vastness and a need for accommodation. The purpose of this study was […]

STUDY ALERT: Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training

by Scott Barry Kaufman, June 13, 2018 in Study Alerts

Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training Anthony P. Zanesco1 & Brandon G. King2,3 & Katherine A. MacLean3 & Clifford D. Saron3,4 Abstract Sustained attention is effortful, demanding, and subject to limitations associated with age-related cognitive decline. Researchers have sought to examine whether attentional capacities can be enhanced through directed mental […]

Why Quieting the Ego Strengthens Your Best Self

by Scott Barry Kaufman, May 21, 2018 in Blog

We live in some times. On the one hand, things are better than they’ve ever been. Overall rates of violence, poverty, and disease are down. There have been substantial increases in education, longevity, leisure time, and safety. On the other hand… We are more divided than ever as a species. Tribalism and identity politics are […]

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