- Jan 2019
Investigating cultural beliefs about intelligence may be mildly interesting from an anthropological perspective, but it sheds little light on the nature of intelligence. One undiscussed methodological problem in many studies of cultural perspectives on intelligence is the reliance on surveys of laymen to determine what people in a given culture believe about intelligence. This methodology says little about the actual nature of intelligence.
After the manuscript was accepted for publication and the proofs turned in, I re-discovered the following from Gottfredson (2003, p. 362): ". . . lay beliefs are interesting but their value for scientific theories of intelligence is limited to hypothesis generation. Even if the claim were true, then, it would provide no evidence for the truth of any intelligence theory . . ."
Gottfredson, L. S. (2003). Dissecting practical intelligence theory: Its claims and evidence. Intelligence, 31, 343-397. doi:10.1016/S0160-2896(02)00085-5