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How to assess critical aspects of cognitive functioning that are not measured by IQ tests: rational thinking skills.

Why are we surprised when smart people act foolishly? Smart people do foolish things all the time. Misjudgments and bad decisions by highly educated bankers and money managers, for example, brought us the financial crisis of 2008. Smart people do foolish things because intelligence is not the same as the capacity for rational thinking. The Rationality Quotient explains that these two traits, often (and incorrectly) thought of as one, refer to different cognitive functions. The standard IQ test, the authors argue, doesn't measure any of the broad components of rationality—adaptive responding, good judgment, and good decision making.

The authors show that rational thinking, like intelligence, is a measurable cognitive competence. Drawing on theoretical work and empirical research from the last two decades, they present the first prototype for an assessment of rational thinking analogous to the IQ test: the CART (Comprehensive Assessment of Rational Thinking).

The authors describe the theoretical underpinnings of the CART, distinguishing the algorithmic mind from the reflective mind. They discuss the logic of the tasks used to measure cognitive biases, and they develop a unique typology of thinking errors. The Rationality Quotient explains the components of rational thought assessed by the CART, including probabilistic and scientific reasoning; the avoidance of “miserly” information processing; and the knowledge structures needed for rational thinking. Finally, the authors discuss studies of the CART and the social and practical implications of such a test. An appendix offers sample items from the test.

Integrating a decade-long program of empirical research with current cognitive theory, this book demonstrates that psychological research has profound implications for current debates about what it means to be rational. The author brings new evidence to bear on these issues by demonstrating that patterns of individual differences--largely ignored in disputes about human rationality--have strong implications for explanations of the gap between normative and descriptive models of human behavior. Separate chapters show how patterns of individual differences have implications for all of the major critiques of purported demonstrations of human irrationality in the heuristics and biases literature. In these critiques, it has been posited that experimenters have observed performance errors rather than systematically irrational responses; the tasks have required computational operations that exceed human cognitive capacity; experimenters have applied the wrong normative model to the task; and participants have misinterpreted the tasks.

In a comprehensive set of studies, Stanovich demonstrates that gaps between normative and descriptive models of performance on some tasks can be accounted for by positing these alternative explanations, but that not all discrepancies from normative models can be so explained. Individual differences in rational thought can in part be predicted by psychological dispositions that are interpreted as characteristic biases in people's intentional-level psychologies. Presenting the most comprehensive examination of individual differences in the heuristics and biases literature that has yet been published, experiments and theoretical insights in this volume contextualize the heuristics and biases literature exemplified in the work of various investigators.

● 本書適用於初學心理學的學生,也適用於透過大眾媒體對心理學知識有些了解、又想知道如何評價這些資訊之合理性的廣大讀者。


♥ 解答「既然心理學實驗不同於實際生活,那麼這些實驗能告訴我們什麼呢?」「心理學不過是些一般常識而已。不是嗎?」「每個人都知道什麼是焦慮—為什麼還要費工夫去定義它呢?」「可是我在電視上聽一位臨床心理學家講的,正好與我們教科書上說的相反!」這些剛接觸心理學的人心中常有的困惑。


♥ 引導讀者將圍繞著科學麥穗的雜草剷除。這種批判思考能力是欲獨立評價心理學資訊所必須掌握的。


♥ 本書介紹的思維工具,可以幫助辨別在媒體中不斷湧現的心理學資訊的真偽。一旦掌握這些終身受用的思維技巧,就有助於我們評判各種理論主張。在獲取知識時,可以用來判斷專家觀點的可信度。


  在大眾媒體上,在書店的自助類書籍中,你一定經常看到一些「見人所未見」的所謂心理學家大放厥詞。小心上當!這些人大多是偽心理學家──因為他們不科學,因為他們宣揚的不是真正的心理學。


  那,什麼是心理學?本書作者指出,心理學是一套可以用來解釋、預測和控制人的行為與意識的知識體系。真正科學的心理學是以實徵研究為本,用可操作的程序定義理論中的概念,透過公開蒐集的資料、系統實徵的方法檢驗理論,允許其他科學家重複這些實驗並提出批評,以控制和操作的邏輯從事實驗研究,以統計為工具進行相關與因果研究的嚴謹評鑑。正是透過這樣的去偽存真,我們才得以看清心理學的真正面貌。


  本書是為有心應用心理學資訊的人所寫,適用於初學心理學的學生,透過大眾媒體對心理學知識有些了解、又想知道如何評價這些資訊之合理性的廣大讀者也很有幫助。從本書歷經11次修訂改版可知,有這種需求的讀者為數可觀。


  以科學的精神、用科學研究的方法與工具探討人類的行為,豐富我們對自身及環境的理解──這才是心理學! 


  在修訂版中,針對參考文獻、事例進行了更新;刪除過時內容,補充更多當代資訊;亦於每章起始處新增學習目標,增加閱讀的明確性:


1. 更新大量參考文獻:原190處更新為290處,資訊更完備。 

2. 用最新研究與議題替換過時的事例

3. 新增事例與說明(非取代原內容)

4. 調整敘述,避免爭議性事例

5. 章節起始處新增學習目標

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