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Intelligence and Intellectual Development

Modern Conceptions of Intelligence

The modern history of theory and research on intelligence has its twists and turns largely due to the unwieldy nature of the concept. On one hand, intelligence is a concept that has high currency, a valued human resource that people try to cultivate or harness for advancing their causes and agendas, individually or collectively. In the meantime, it is also an abstract, elusive concept with many faces. When a task force put together by the American Psychological Association (APA) reported “knowns and unknowns” about intelligence, it was not able to come up with a uniformly agreed-upon definition of what intelligence is, other than the following statements by Ulrich Neisser:

Individuals differ from each other in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt ...

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