Wednesday, March 09, 2005

If Oprah's Book Club would focus on intelligence--2 recommended books

I'm frequently asked for recommendations regarding books on intellectual theories and assessments. All of those interested in intelligence theory and assessment should now be very can start your X-mas gift shopping early! Two new books (one new and one a revision) have just been, or will soon be, published.

First, Flanagan and Harrisons's second edition of Contemporary Intellectual Assessment (aka the "CIA" book) is a must read. Like the first editon, it is "the" must read on the application of contemporary intelligence theories to the applied science of intelligence testing. It is due out in March. This book is clearly one Oprah would have on her book club if she was wanting to help the field of applied intellectual assessment move forward. Kudos to Flanagan and Harrison!
(Potential conflict of interest note - I was paid 200 bucks for one chapter in the book).

The second is probably the best up-to-date book that delves deeper into contemporary research and theory. Handbook of Understanding and Measuring Intelligence (Wilhelm and Engle), IMHO, appears to be the best single integrative source that deals with the hard research side of theories of intelligence.

Together these books are very complimentary. Wilhelm and Engle's edited text provides the research and theoretical background upon which Flanagan and Harrison's edited CIA book then builds (not on all parts of Wilhelm and Engle's book...but many). So, if one could only read two books to get up-to-speed on the contemporary research and theory regarding human intelligence and then the translation of that research into the applied practice of intelligence testing, these are the two books I would recommend.

Oprah. Are you listening?


Anonymous said...

You seem to suggest that these books give an in-depth anaylsis of current thinking about intelligence and its measurement. Are these books comprehensive or do they focus on the particular theory of intelligence to which you subscribe?

Kevin McGrew said...

Both books are not CHC-specific and provide information across theories (e.g., information processing, PASS, Ackerman's PIKK, etc) and measures (K-ABC, KAIT, SB5, etc). This is particularly true of the Wlhelm and Engle's book.

Anonymous said...

I can't belive you left out Carroll's HCA and Jensen's g Factor. If someone was just going to read 1 book on intelligence, one of these would be the prime choice.

Kevin McGrew said...

Dear Anonymous. Of course Carroll's HCA and g-factor books are MUST readings for any serious scholar. What I am recommending are two books that provide the "broadest" coverage of the "widest" range of current intelligence research and case someone wants to get up-to-speed "in general" ASAP. Carroll's and Jensen's books are much more detailed in-depth books in certain areas of human intelligence but do not provide for a broad overview of all major research, competing theories, etc. For example, Carroll's book, which is the definitive piece on the status of psychometric theories, does not include anything regarding Ackerman's PIKK theory, Snows work (publislhed after his death) on aptitude complexes, etc. I would recommend HCA and g-factor to those who want to go beyond a broad overview as provided by the two books I'm suggesting. Also, keep in mind the focus and purpose of this blog....briding research-to-PRACTICE. Most practicing psychologists don't have the time, nor often the statistical expertise, to track the treatise of Jensen and Carroll. Thanks for your comments. The two books you recommend are definetly "classics" and "must reads" for the serious scholars of intelligence, but I would not recommend starting with them for those who are trying to get started or who are trying to refresh/update their general domain-specific knowledge in this area.

Anonymous said...

In theory these are great books. In practice they're wildly overpriced for the average practitioner raising a family. For those who may have limited means at their disposal I recommend IU's general overview at this link.

Sorry for the negative tone but such is life on the Internet. :) I appreciate your venture into the wolly world of flame wars.