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What Intelligence Tests Miss 10: Mindware Gaps


In short, people are irrational in part because they lack strategies or knowledge to act rationally- these are the “mindware gaps.” The basic mindware that accounts for irrationality is probabilistic reasoning skills and knowledge of how to conduct science (double blind placebo controlled trials for example).

Kindle Notes:

n the past several chapters, I have sketched some of the characteristics of the cognitive miser. But being a cognitive miser is not the only cause of poor thinking. People also fail to reach their goals because of mindware problems. Mindware is a generic label for the rules, knowledge, procedures, and strategies that a person can retrieve from memory in order to aid decision making and problem solving (1627).

The two classes of missing mindware that I have illustrated here-rules of scientific thinking and probabilistic thinking, respectively-were chosen deliberately because they account for much irrational thinking. The presence or absence of this mindware determines whether people are rational or not. It is mindware that is often missing even among people of high intelligence (1675).

To summarize the individual differences research, intelligence differences in myside bias in the Ford Explorer-type problem are virtually nonexistent (Stanovich and West, 2007, 2008a). In the argument generation paradigms, they are also nonexistent (Macpherson and Stanovich, 2007; Toplak and Stanovich (2897).

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