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Evolution of Intelligence, The

Definition

Definitions of intelligence in the scientific literature center around the idea that that intelligence refers to cognitive processes that allow humans and other animals to solve novel problems in their environments. Thus, Jerison (1973, pp. 16–17) notes that “Although experts differ with regard to the nature of human intelligence, a more or less common ground is that it is a dimension of cognitive behavior – the way one knows the world and the way one uses that knowledge when adapting to changing conditions.”

Introduction

However, intelligence is not the only set of mechanisms designed to enable organisms to cope with environmental novelty. Intelligence is usually distinguished from learning which subsumes a variety of mechanisms that allow the organism to take advantage of temporary regularities in its environment – paradigmatically classical and operant conditioning (MacDonald 2013). Social learning is also usually distinguished from intelligence. Unlike classical and...

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Evolution of Intelligence, The, Fig. 1

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MacDonald, K., Woodley of Menie, M.A. (2021). Evolution of Intelligence, The. In: Shackelford, T.K., Weekes-Shackelford, V.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19650-3_3093

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