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What Intelligence Tests Miss 1: Inside George W. Bush’s Mind


Sets the stage, pointing out Bush’s relatively high intelligence (same as his opponent Kerry) as measured by SAT scores and IQ tests, which surprised his detractors and supporters alike. Clearly, there is something more to acting rationally than IQ.

Kindle Notes:

Rational thinking skills of the type studied by Kahneman and Tversky show only small-to-medium correlations with intelligence test performance (42).

I define dysrationalia as the inability to think and behave rationally despite having adequate intelligence. The president is, in fact, not unintelligent, but he may well be dysrationalic (96).

To think rationally means adopting appropriate goals, taking the appropriate action given one’s goals and beliefs, and holding beliefs that are commensurate with available evidence (100).

IQ tests are good measures of how efficiently a person processes information that has been provided, but they do not at all assess whether the person is a critical assessor of information as it is gathered in the natural environment (104).


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