Tag Archives: intelligence

Charles Brainerd

Reprinted from the Cornell Chronicle, March 8, 2017.

By Stephen D'Angelo

Charles Brainerd, professor and chair of the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology, and 13 other scholars nationwide have been elected the newest members of the National Academy of Education (NAEd) for their scholarly contributions in the field of education research.

NAEd advances high-quality education research and its use in policy and practice. It consists of 209 U.S. members and 11 foreign associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education.

“It was not something that I anticipated and came as a surprise,” Brainerd said. “For me, this is another indicator of the international stature of the human development department.”

Brainerd joins fellow Cornell NAEd members Stephen Ceci, Ronald Ehrenberg, Robert Sternberg and Kenneth Strike.

Brainerd has published more than 300 research articles and chapters and more than 20 books. His research covers human memory and decision-making, statistics and mathematical modeling, cognitive neuroscience, learning, intelligence, cognitive development, learning disability and child abuse.

Within the field, Brainerd’s research is known for having had deep impacts on educational, developmental and cognitive psychology, and he is credited with major breakthroughs across both his theoretical and empirical contributions.

His current research centers on the relation between memory and higher reasoning abilities in children and adults, also focusing on false-memory phenomena, cognitive neuroscience, aging and neurocognitive impairment.

Academy members are tapped to serve on expert study panels and are also engaged in NAEd’s professional development programs, including postdoctoral and dissertation fellowship programs.

“It’s an opportunity to serve,” said Brainerd. “The national academy forms committees and study groups of leading scholars to work on important issues in higher education – important and prominent questions of the day – and provides advice and leadership on those questions.”

Stephen D'Angelo is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.

Robert Sternberg

Reprinted from the Cornell Chronicle, March 6, 2017.

By Susan Kelley

Robert J. Sternberg, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, has been selected to receive the 2017 William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. The award is given annually and honors association members for their lifetime of outstanding intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.

Sternberg will receive the award and deliver an address during the association’s 29th annual convention May 25-28 in Boston. His address will discuss society’s promotion of intelligence at the expense of wisdom, resulting in an overpopulation of “smart fools:” people with decent or even stellar IQs whose preoccupation with themselves and others they perceive to be “like them” – at the expense of people “not like them” – imperils society and the world.

Sternberg transformed the study of intelligence with his “triarchic” theory of successful intelligence. It distinguishes among three aspects of intelligence: analytical, creative and practical. In a more recent augmented version of the theory, Sternberg has added a fourth aspect: wisdom. Within this framework, Sternberg and his colleagues have developed assessments to identify people who are gifted in ways that IQ and other standardized tests do not capture. According to Sternberg, successful intelligence is one’s developed ability to create and implement a meaningful life plan that enables one to achieve success according to one’s own concept of success, and to work toward achieving a common good.

“I’m honored to receive this award, which reflects in small part my contributions over the years and in large part the contributions of my advisers, students and family to making my career possible,” Sternberg said. “The award thus is really a collective one, as are all scientific awards, to the large network of colleagues and family who contribute to an individual career.”

Sternberg has tested and supported his intelligence theories using several kinds of methods. These include reaction time and error rate, cultural, convergent and discriminant, and instructional analysis, among other methods. His insights have had relevance for teaching, university admissions policy, the understanding of developmental processes and the prediction of leadership potential, the association said.

Sternberg is the author of more than 1,600 peer-reviewed research publications. His work has been cited by academic authors 124,410 times. He is the third-most frequently cited living author in introductory-psychology textbooks.

“His prolific efforts in bringing theories, methods and applications together in landmark handbooks and other publications have advanced our ability to facilitate human achievement,” according to a statement from the association.

Sternberg is past president of several national organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He is also the editor of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Sternberg previously won the James McKeen Cattell Award from the same association for his contributions to applications of psychological science.

 whitlock460Online course brings self-injury to the surface                                                                     Janis Whitlock, Ph.D. ’03, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (CRPSIR) and a research scientist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, hopes to spotlight the issue by launching a set of web-based                                   education and training courses.
sad girlEarly puberty in girls raises the risk of depression                                                                   Perri Klass interviewed Jane Mendle in her NY Times' column, The Checkup, about Mendle's research with girls who begin puberty earlier than their peers. Read here about her findings and the risks these girls face in adolescence. 
LRDM lab members and 4-H Career Explorations studentsLearning to reduce risky behaviors leads to STEM careers                                                          The Laboratory for Rational Decision Making, led by Dr. Valerie Reyna in Human Development, welcomed 24 high school students from 18 different counties in New York State as part of  the 4-H Career Explorations Conference.
gsalogoGerontological Society selects experts on aging as fellows                     Professors Corinna Loeckenhoff and Elaine Wethington of human development, were two of 94 professionals named on May 31 to the society, which is the largest of its kind seeking to understand aging in the United States.

Students in the News

Sarah MooreHD graduate student in the news: Sarah R. Moore                                                             Sarah R. Moore, Ph.D. student of Dr. Richard A. Depue, was awarded the Early Career Outstanding Paper Award in Developmental Psychology. Read her summary of research on how people differ in their interaction with their environment.
MorenoMarcos Moreno '17 is named a 2016 Udall scholar                                                                  The Udall Scholarship supports undergraduates with excellent academic records and who show potential for careers in environmental public policy, health care and tribal public policy. Moreno is a human development major concentrating in neuroscience in                               the College of Human Ecology.
tumblr_inline_oab7iaDzqM1tqatqb_1280Summer Scholar Spotlight: Deborah Seok ‘17                                                                              In faculty research labs, in communities across the state, and at jobs and internships around the globe, Human Ecology undergrads are making a powerful impact this summer as they apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

 Articles on the Web

Robert SternbergHow can current research inform the development of new methods to assess intelligence?                                                                                                                                    Read the fifth post from the six-part series, "Researching Human Intelligence" on fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press, with Robert Sternberg,                                           professor of human development.

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video play buttonVideo introduces the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), explaining it's mission and introducing key researchers and practitioners involved in the project.                                                                                                                                             
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How can current research inform the development of new methods to assess intelligence?

The fifth blog of a six-part series on Researching Human Intelligence. Posted on June 15, 2016  fifteeneightyfour, the blog of Cambridge University Press

Participants:

Sternberg

Robert Sternberg

James R. Flynn, University of Otago, New Zealand

Richard Haier, University of California, Irvine

Robert Sternberg, Cornell University, New York


James Flynn:

If we mean the kind of intelligence that IQ tests at present measure, the Wechsler tests plus Sternberg, I doubt there will be any new breakthroughs in measuring intelligence on the psychological level, at least in fully modern societies.  Measurements on the level of brain physiology are dependent on IQ test results to map what areas of the brains are active in various problem-solving tasks.  One suggestion should be set aside:  that we use measurements of things like reaction times (how quickly a person can press a button when perceiving a light or hearing a sound) as a substitute for IQ tests.  They are subject to differences in temperament between people, stop increasing far too young to capture the maturation of intelligence, and are much subject to practice effects.I do not know enough about creating tests for pre-industrial societies to comment.  However, even the use of “our” tests there can be illuminating.  In the Sudan, there was a large gain on Object Assembly and Coding, subtests responsive to modernity’s emphasis on spatial skills and speedy information processing.  There were moderate gains on Picture Arrangement and Picture Completion, subtests responsive to modernity’s visual culture.  As the “new ways of thinking” subtests, Block Design and Similarities, they actually showed a loss.  On the “school-basics” subtests of Information, Arithmetic, and Vocabulary, only a slight gain.  Diagnosis: no real progress to modernity. They still have traditional formal schooling based on the Koran, and have not learned to use logic on abstractions and to classify.  Their entry into the modern world is superficial:  just access to radio, TV, and the internet.  However, the profile of other nations (Turkey, Brazil) is more promising.  If they continue to develop economically, their average IQs will equal those of the West.

Robert Sternberg:

We have developed what we believe to be better tests that measure no only the analytical aspect of intelligence but also the creative, practical, and wisdom-based ones.  For example, an analytical item might ask an individual to write an essay on why her favourite book is her favourite book—or perhaps comparing the messages of two books.  A creative essay might ask what the world would be like today if the American Revolution had never taken place or if computers had never been invented or if weapons were made illegal throughout the entire world.  Another create item might ask people to draw something creative or to design a scientific experiment or to write a creative story.  A practical item might ask an individual how he persuaded someone else of an idea he had that the other person initially reacted to sceptically. Or it might ask the individual to say how he would solve a practical problem such as how to move a large bed to a second floor in a house with a winding staircase.  A wisdom-based item might ask a person how, in the future, she might make the world a better place; or an item might ask her to resolve a conflict between two neighbours, such as over noise issues.We have found that, through these tests, it is possible clearly to separate out distinct analytical, creative, and practical factors.  These tests increase prediction not only of academic achievement (compared with traditional analytical tests), but also increase prediction of extracurricular success.  Moreover, they substantially reduce ethnic/racial group differences.  Moreover, students actually like to take the tests, something that cannot be said for traditional tests.

Richard Haier:

There is research oriented to measuring intelligence based on using brain speed measured by reaction time to solving mental test items.

There are major advances using neuroimaging to predict IQ scores from structural and functional connections in the brain. Just after I finished writing my book detailing these advances and noting that none were yet successful, a new study found a way to create a brain fingerprint based on imaging brain connections. They reported that these brain fingerprints were unique and stable within a person. Amazingly, they also found these brain fingerprints predicted IQ scores—truly a landmark study. Fortunately, I was able to add it to my book in time. One implication of this kind of research is that intelligence can be measured by brain imaging. Interestingly, a brain image now costs less than an IQ test. If a brain imaging method to assess intelligence also turns out to predict academic success (as it should), an MRI scan might replace the SATs at a much cheaper cost than an SAT prep course (and you can sleep during the MRI).


Week 1 – Can We Define Intelligence?Week 2 – What role does neuroscience play in understanding intelligence and our capacity to learn?Week 3 – What role do IQ tests play in measuring intelligence?Week 4 –How are technological advances, access to instant information and media forces affecting human intelligence?Week 5 – How can current research inform the development of new methods to assess intelligence?Week 6 – What does the future hold in the research of intelligence? How much smarter will we be in 100 years’ time?


About the Author: James R. Flynn

James R. Flynn is the author of Does Your Family Make You Smarter? He is professor emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a recipient of the University's Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. He is renowned for the 'Flynn effect', the documentation of massive IQ gains from one generation to another....View the Author profile >

About the Author: Richard Haier

Richard J. Haier earned is Professor Emeritus at the University of California and author of The Neuroscience of Intelligence....View the Author profile >

About the Author: Robert J. Sternberg

Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, New York. Formerly, he was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University, Connecticut. He won the 1999 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award and the 2017 William James Fellow Award from APS. He is editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science. His main fields ...View the Author profile >

 

Traditionally, scholars viewed intelligence as a set of basic mental skills to be assessed by an IQ test, in much the same way that a yardstick measures height—but Robert Sternberg, professor of human development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology, believes this approach shortchanges people who perform poorly on tests and harms society by leaving their talents unrecognized and undeveloped. He has traveled to remote locations in Africa, Asia, Alaska, and elsewhere to develop alternatives to conventional measures of intelligence. Read more

By H. Roger Segelken
Reprinted from Cornell Chronicle January 17, 2014

Sternberg

Sternberg

Psychologist Robert J. Sternberg has been appointed professor of human development at the College of Human Ecology, effective Feb. 1.

Announcing the appointment, Alan Mathios, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology, called Sternberg an “outstanding scholar and engaging teacher” and said: “His work closely aligns with the strong tradition of scholarship in the fields of cognitive and social development that currently exist in the Department of Human Development. This appointment caps a series of new hires that will significantly increase the department’s footprint in developmental psychology and will contribute to the strength of psychology more broadly at Cornell.”

Sternberg, who served most recently as president and professor of psychology and education at the University of Wyoming, said: “What excites me about Cornell is that it combines a land-grant mission with a commitment not only to maintaining its overall excellence, but to striving constantly to be better and even the best at what it does.” He added: “My world view and my research are very closely aligned with the ecological/contextualist tradition espoused by Urie Bronfenbrenner, so I feel like a particularly good fit to the Department of Human Development, in particular, and the College of Human Ecology, in general.”

With research interests in intelligence, creativity, wisdom, thinking styles, leadership, ethics, and love and hate, Sternberg is a past president of the American Psychological Association. He also was president of the Eastern Psychological Association, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology, as well as treasurer of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Sternberg earned his B.A. in psychology (1972) at Yale University and his Ph.D. in psychology (1975) at Stanford University. He holds 13 honorary doctorates from 11 countries. Sternberg is the author or co-author of more than 1,500 publications and was principal investigator of grants totaling more than $20 million.

Before his tenure at the University of Wyoming in 2013, Sternberg was provost and senior vice president at Oklahoma State University 2010-2013, where he also served as Regents Professor of Psychology and Education and the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair of Ethical Leadership.

At Tufts University, Sternberg was dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and a professor of psychology and education 2005-10. At Yale University from 1975-2005, he served in a number of distinguished roles, including as a professor of psychology and of management, as the IBM Professor of Psychology and Education, and as founder and director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies and Expertise.

Calling his new department at Cornell “the top human-development group in the country,” Sternberg added: “I never have felt so welcome in my life. My wife, Karin, our just-turned 3-year-old triplets, Samuel, Brittany and Melody, and I are very excited and enthusiastic about our move to Ithaca.”

For as long as there's been an IQ test, there's been controversy over what it measures. Do IQ scores capture a person's intellectual capacity, which supposedly remains stable over time? Or is the Intelligent Quotient exam really an achievement test — similar to the S.A.T. — that's subject to fluctuations in scores?

Stephen Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology, comments on a study finding that adolescent intelligence is likely not hard-wired but fluctuates over time.  Listen to the NPR Morning Edition story or read the transcript