What is it about?
We asked two convenience samples about their knowledge about human intelligence. There were seven types of questions: (a) existence of intelligence, (b) the components of intelligence, (c) biology of intelligence and life outcomes, (d) education and intelligence, (e) interventions to permanently raise IQ, (f) group differences, and (g) plausible causes of group differences. The results indicated that both groups had a good grasp about the existence of intelligence and its components. However, there were a lot of misconceptions about the other sections. This is especially disturbing in regards to the sample of teachers because IQ is one of the best predictors of educational performance and teachers deal with intelligence differences every day.
Photo by Raghav Modi on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Intelligence is one of the most important psychological traits for people's daily functioning. Yet, it is understudied in psychology and widely misunderstood among non-experts. This study shows that there are parts of intelligence research that people generally understand and agree with (e.g., the importance of abstract thinking) and parts that they are unaware of. It's important to know which ideas are widespread and which are not in order to address the misconceptions properly when educating non-experts.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Beliefs About Human Intelligence in a Sample of Teachers and Nonteachers, journal for the education of the gifted, March 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0162353220912010.
You can read the full text:
Survey and raw data
Survey and raw data.
Supplemental tables summarizing results from all close-ended questions.
Open access version
Open access version of the manuscript.
Related study on how authors of introductory psychology textbooks discuss intelligence research. (Spoiler alert: the books are often wrong.)
Course catalog study
Related study showing that psychology departments rarely teach courses on intelligence and that courses on empirically unsupported ideas (e.g., multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence) are widespread.
Blog post: Teachers say the darndest things
Description of the most incorrect beliefs that teachers have about intelligence.
Interactive data exploration tool
Created by Jurij Fedorov, this Tableau tool allows users to explore most of the data and to see some cross-tabulations showing how different demographic groups responded to individual survey items.
In the Know: Debunking 35 Myths About Human Intelligence
My book about human intelligence, written for non-experts, that clarifies a lot of incorrect ideas about IQ and intelligence.
The following have contributed to this page