FYS 101 Intelligence: What Is It & What Is It Good For?

This course will address multiple aspects of the construct of intelligence. Students will explore differing definitions/descriptions of the nature of intelligence, both historical and contemporary. Consideration of historical and cultural factors, "expert" and “common” opinions, and cognitive and socioemotional abilities will be highlighted. In addition, students will discuss the extent to which intelligence refers to a static or developable capacity. Links will be drawn between definitions of intelligence and methods for measuring the construct, and controversies in the field of intelligence testing will be addressed. Students will examine research findings regarding the different types of intelligence and their correlation with various life outcomes—e.g., how much of success is due to IQ versus EQ? Also, students will delve into popular media depictions of both genius (e.g., Matilda, A Beautiful Mind) and low intelligence (e.g., The Simpsons, Dumb and Dumber).