The Handbook of Understanding and Measuring Intelligence provides an overview of recent studies on intelligence to help readers develop a sound understanding of results and perspectives in intelligence research. In this volume, editors Oliver Wilhelm and Randall W. Engle bring together a group of respected experts from two fields of intelligence research, cognition and methods, to summarize, review, and evaluate research in their areas of expertise. The chapters in this book present state-of-the-art examinations of a particular domain of intelligence research and highlight important methodological considerations, theoretical claims, and pervasive problems in the field.
Chapter 25: Understanding Intelligence: A Summary and an Adjustable-Attention Hypothesis
Understanding Intelligence: A Summary and an Adjustable-Attention Hypothesis
The Definition of Intelligence and Its Theoretical and Methodological Implications
To introduce two often-considered questions—whether there is intelligent life on Earth and, if so, what form it takes—consider these evolutionary points (from Bower, 2003):
The Stone Age was rough on community life, at least among animals trying to make a living in Africa. A range of species would move into a local habitat—gazelles, zebras, pigs, people, you name it—and take a few generations to establish the web of interactions that characterizes an ecosystem. After a millennium or so, dramatic climate shifts would then radically remodel the habitat, motivating the residents to leave. Eventually, a new collection of species would inhabit the area…. ...