Concepts of intelligence wield a powerful influence on research into the brain and on how individuals progress in society. Yet, remarkably, there is still no agreed scientific consensus about what this ubiquitous and adaptable concept means. In The Making of Intelligence, Ken Richardson looks at how intelligence has been characterized and measured in the past, explores current trends in our understanding and uses of the concept, and predicts what form they will take in the future. He argues that intelligence is not predetermined merely by factors such as genes and environment, but is created by self-organizing interactions. Finally, he considers the implications for society of this ?systems analysis? approach. As our understanding of the relationship between the mind and brain improves, the notion of intelligence as a single concept may, he predicts, disappear altogether.
Ken Richardson is a senior lecturer in the psychology of education at the Open University. He spent four years working on the National Child Development Study before moving to the Open University.