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Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
  • Aug 11, 2003
    272 p., 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

    ISBN: 9780300101706
  • Paper: $25.00 tx
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Business
Political Science
Psychology
Social Science


Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid

  • Edited by Robert Sternberg
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Reviews

“This original book gathers together the best thinking and research on what causes smart people to do foolish things. A highly original work with an exceptional list of contributors.”—Martin Ford, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University

“One way to generate interesting, new research ideas in science is to take an old idea and turn it on its head (as Yale social psychologist, William McGuire once said, ‘the opposite of a great truth is also a great truth’). In this volume, Bob Sternberg and the experts he has assembled attempt to understand the psychological basis of narrow models of intelligence. Foolishness runs rampant—from the schoolroom to the boardroom to the bedroom—in part because we are afforded insufficient practice to hone our practical, emotional, and social competencies, what Jack Mayer and I like to call our ‘hot intelligences.’ By revealing the many ways in which smart people behave maladaptively and the social conditions that give rise to such bungling, the contributors to this volume stimulate new directions for theory, research, and practice with respect to human intelligence.”—Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Professor and Chair of Psychology, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University

"Professor Sternberg and the experts he has assembled attempt to understand the psychological basis of stupidity. They succeed admirably, and while doing so, reveal the limitations of our field’s traditional and rather narrow models of intelligence. By revealing the many ways in which smart people behave maladaptively and the social conditions that give rise to such bungling, the contributors to this volume stimulate new directions for theory, research, and practice with respect to human intelligence."—Peter Salovey, Yale University

"Marvelous, devilishly clever, and culturally timely book. . . . A fascinating exploration. . . All of the contributions are outstanding."—Choice

"Easily readable and well referenced. . . . For those of us who know we are smart yet we do stupid things, settling down one evening with this comfortable read may provide just enough momentum for change."—Lawrence J. Whalley, International Journal of Intelligence

“This collection of eleven loosely connected chapters provides a good foundation from which to launch an inquiry into why smart people commit serious goofs, and yet leaves plenty of room for the reader to continue with her or his own speculations. . . . This is a book well worth reading . . . a book designed to broaden the reader’s knowledge base and stimulate her or his own thoughts on the subject, rather than to present a tight, packaged account of stupidity.”—Keith S. Harris, Metapsychology

“This book is a serious attempt to understand a common phenomenon. Students of human behavior should find it appealing and may even learn how to avoid doing stupid things.”—Psychology Today

“This book’s intent is something that academia needs. Intelligence may be something of a cult, but stupidity only receives cursory treatment. . . . Precisely because the state of being dumb has no analogue to being smart, Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid provides valuable insight into a subject that eludes, but intrigues as well.”—James A. Crawford, The Harvard Crimson

Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid offers serious answers to a neglected conundrum, one with ramifications for understanding the very nature of intelligence itself. As always, Robert Sternberg takes on important issues in a creative way, and has gathered a strong band of contributors, each of whom offers an insightful analysis. A rewarding read.”—Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence

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