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2-165 - Time Bomb: How the Western Conception of Intelligence is Taking Down Humanity

Fri, March 22, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 3, Room 310

Session Type: Invited Address

Integrative Statement

In this talk, I will discuss the evolution of my thinking about intelligence. In the process, I will try to show how scientific thinking evolves over the course of a career, discarding or elaborating upon earlier ideas in favor of newer ones. I will discuss, in turn, the componential theory of intelligence, the triarchic theory of intelligence, the theory of successful intelligence, the augmented theory of successful intelligence, and the new theory of intelligence serving as a mental immune system. I will suggest that conventional views of intelligence have had a catastrophic effect on societies, resulting in the promotion of incompetent and often malign individuals into positions of leadership and authority, and leaving marginalized far more competent and benign people. Societies may not have much time to change their practices.

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Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg. His PhD is from Stanford and he holds 13 honorary doctorates. Sternberg formerly was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education and Director of the Center for Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise at Yale University. Sternberg has won both the William James and James McKeen Cattell Awards from the Association for Psychological Science and the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology. He is a past-president of the American Psychological Association and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sternberg’s main interests are in intelligence, creativity, wisdom, love, and hate. Sternberg is the author of College Admissions for the 21st Century (Harvard University Press, 2010) and What Universities Can Be (Cornell University Press, 2016).