Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence 2v Set

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9780028974071: Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence 2v Set
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Interest in intelligence is shared by a range of scholars. The best-selling book, The Bell Curve, by Herrnstein and Murray, has reopened the controversy about the relationship of intelligence, social class, and race. Psychologists and educators continue to debate the determiners of intellectual ability. The subject of intellectual growth and decline challenges gerontologists. Interest in intelligence inevitably trickles down to students.

Examples of some of the subjects covered in the Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence are abilities and aptitude, achievement testing, age-to-age changes, the bioecological theory of intellectual development, gender differences in intellectual abilities, imaging techniques, clinical neuropsychology, practical intelligence, and spatial abilities. Editor Sternberg, IBM professor of psychology at Yale University, deserves no less than a platinum apple on his desk for his superlative editing abilities.

The 250 alphabetically arranged, signed articles represent a diverse array of topics. The effects of birth order, parenting, and socioeconomic status on intelligence are treated. There are also entries on important researchers in the field, such as Binet and Thorndike, and on intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler Scales of Intelligence. Some entries are illustrated with drawings, charts, or photographs that are useful in explaining anatomy and function of the brain and nervous system. Bibliographies follow each article, and entries are cross-referenced and indexed. Lists of articles and contributors precede the first volume. A 58-page index concludes the set.

There is surprisingly little direct competition for this work. The Oxford Companion to the Mind (Oxford, 1987) is an A-to-Z of nearly 900 pages, considering all aspects of the mind, from the nervous system to sex, from genius to language. The Encyclopedia of Learning and Memory (Macmillan, 1992) is a compendium of 189 articles prepared by scholars in neuroscience and psychology. Its focus is on the process of acquiring new information and the persistence of learning as stored information.

Reference librarians have long wanted a scholarly overview of intelligence. This set is recommended without hesitation for all academic and large public libraries.

From Library Journal:

The current furor over Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's The Bell Curve (Free Pr., 1994) is but the most recent skirmish in the war over the nature of intelligence and the public policy implications inherent in differing conceptualizations of the problem. Many such issues are covered in this title, heralded by editor Sternberg as "the most comprehensive and definitive compendium of information about human intelligence ever published." Indeed, there is much to admire here. Sternberg has assembled prestigious authors, e.g., Howard Gardner on his own theory of multiple intelligences, Arthur Jensen on race and IQ testing, and Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi on creativity. The text is generally jargon free and accessible to nonspecialists, and all articles include extensive bibliographies. There is, unfortunately, a tendency to break topics into a number of articles. For example, to explore that thorny topic of race, one would need to read at least six articles. The reasons for separation are sometimes unclear, e.g., Why separate articles on "Hyperactivity" and "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?" While generally adequate, the index and cross references do not fully link such separations. While these are not major problems, there is some question of the need for such compendia, which will not stay comprehensive or definitive for long. Academic libraries supporting graduate programs in psychology or education should certainly consider this title, although most four-year college library and large public libraries would probably get more bang for their bucks from the new edition of the standard Encyclopedia of Psychology (LJ 6/1/94), which covers the most vital material on intelligence but also works for a much broader audience. Smaller public libraries can get by with the latest edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has a good article on intelligence and a short bibliography.
Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Fullman, Wash.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by MacMillan Reference Books (1994)
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