January 3, 2012

Can Everyone Become Highly Intelligent?

Can Everyone Become Highly Intelligent? Cultural Differences in and Societal Consequences of Beliefs about the Universal Potential for Intelligence

by Aneeta Rattan, Krishna Savani, N. V. R. Naidu, and Carol S. Dweck (2012)

Abstract: We identify a novel dimension of people’s beliefs about intelligence: beliefs about the potential to become highly intelligent. Studies 1-3 found that in U.S. American contexts, people tend to believe that only some people have the potential to become highly intelligent. In contrast, in South Asian Indian contexts, people tend to believe that most people have the potential to become highly intelligent. To examine the implications of these beliefs, Studies 4-6 measured and manipulated Americans’ beliefs about the potential for intelligence and found that the belief that everyone can become highly intelligent predicted increased support for policies that distribute resources more equally across advantaged and disadvantaged social groups. These findings suggest that the belief that only some people have the potential to become highly intelligent is a culturally shaped belief, one that can lead people to oppose policies aimed at redressing social inequalityRead more

1 comment:

  1. In business, and doubtless other fields, the line, 'be careful about what you measure', advises us to think about the conclusions and outcomes of what we study. My guess is the same about intelligence. David Beckham, the football star has body intelligence - it earned him a great deal of income. Would we consider him to have high intelligence? In one area - his use of his mind/body - he had lots. Through good management and luck he demonstrated his intelligence.
    In organizations we run into people who have one form of intelligence and make the most of it, but we over estimate their capabilities. For example, hospitals are sometimes managed by doctors - without good results. The assumption that the doctor's intelligence transfers to managing people vs people's health creates difficulties.
    Can we redress social inequality by re-framing intelligence? Sure - by making it a less hierarchical assumption and not assuming that intelligence is simply a matter of measurement by exams. Instead, that we are surrounded by intelligence of all forms.

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