In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Intelligence

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Journals
  • History
  • Measurement
  • Contemporary Theories
  • Achievement
  • IQ and Health
  • Cognition
  • Creativity
  • Intellectual Giftedness
  • Personality
  • Mind-Set
  • Genetic Factors
  • Neurobiological Factors
  • Environmental Factors
  • Training
  • Aging
  • Self-Regulation
  • Educational Interventions
  • Sex Differences
  • Group Differences

Education Intelligence
Scott Barry Kaufman
  • LAST REVIEWED: 29 July 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 December 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0021


What is intelligence? Most would agree that intelligence involves the ability to plan, solve problems, learn from experience, and adapt to a wide range of environments. Fewer people agree on how to measure intelligence, how many forms of intelligence there are, and how much intelligence can be increased. These topics are still as hotly debated today as they were thousands of years ago. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries scientists have increased our understanding of individual differences in intelligent functioning through a variety of modern techniques, including advancements in test measurement, brain scanning, and genome scanning. At the same time, educational psychologists and other researchers have developed training programs and educational interventions to increase the intelligence levels of all people. Other researchers from allied fields, such as personality psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive epidemiology, gerontology, and creativity, are also studying intelligence and the interactions between intelligence and related constructs in psychology. The citations in this entry are intended to help navigate through the many articles and books on intelligence. They were selected because of their comprehensiveness, historical significance, and current impact in the field.

General Overviews

A number of textbooks in general introductory psychology, cognitive psychology, and other disciplines include chapters on intelligence. The works listed in this section are specifically geared toward the topic of intelligence and provide comprehensive introductions to the main issues surrounding the scientific study of human intelligence. Brody 1992, Deary 2000, and Mackintosh 2011 are the main textbooks in the field and are aimed toward advanced undergraduates or graduate students. Of the three, Mackintosh 2011 is the most up-to-date textbook, providing well-balanced, impartial coverage of the key issues in the field. Even though Eysenck 1998 and Hunt 2011 are shorter overviews of the field, they may also be used as textbooks. Both are accessible to a wide audience, are entertaining, and are far-reaching in their approach. Deary 2001 is an excellent introduction to the field, accessible to a wide audience, and short and concise, thereby serving as a useful supplement to the other books listed in this section. Jensen 1998 is the most comprehensive review of studies conducted on the general factor of human intelligence, geared toward graduate students and professionals in the field. Sternberg and Kaufman 2011 is a comprehensive handbook of human intelligence providing a valuable resource for interested laypeople, undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals in the field.

  • Brody, Nathan. 1992. Intelligence. 2d ed. San Diego, CA: Academic.

    This is a slightly outdated overview of the latest research on intelligence from a psychometric perspective. Geared toward advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

  • Deary, Ian J. 2000. Looking down on human intelligence: From psychometrics to the brain. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524175.001.0001

    Good overview of the history of scientific research on intelligence with an emphasis on the biological basis of intelligence. Geared toward advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

  • Deary, Ian J. 2001. Intelligence: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    Brief, concise, and easily accessible summary of the major issues and findings in the scientific study of intelligence.

  • Eysenck, Hans J. 1998. Intelligence: A new look. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

    Brief, comprehensive, accessible, and engaging overview of the scientific study of human intelligence. Also discusses linkages among intelligence, creativity, genius, and psychopathology.

  • Hunt, Earl B. 2011. Human intelligence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    Up-to-date overview of the scientific study of human intelligence from intelligence testing, to the biological basis of intelligence, to environmental effects, to the functions of intelligence.

  • Jensen, Arthur R. 1998. The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    A comprehensive review of research conducted on the general factor of human intelligence from its discovery, to biological and cognitive correlates, to challenges.

  • Mackintosh, N. J. 2011. IQ and human intelligence. 2d ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press.

    An up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the scientific investigation of human intelligence and the main issues in the field. Recommended as a textbook for those teaching advanced undergraduates or graduate students. Written in an engaging, balanced, and witty style.

  • Sternberg, Robert J., and Scott Barry Kaufman, eds. 2011. The Cambridge handbook of intelligence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    This edition of the handbook of human intelligence includes contributions from leading researchers in the intelligence field. This is a comprehensive resource that includes research on intelligence and its many correlates.

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