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The Psychology of Intelligence (Routledge Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Jean Piaget
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Think of developmental psychology, and the name of Jean Piaget immediately springs to mind. His theory of learning lies at the very heart of the modern understanding of the human learning process, and he is celebrated as the founding father of child psychology. A prolific writer, is the author of more than fifty books and several hundred articles. The Psychology of Intelligence is one of his most important works. Containing a complete synthesis of his thoughts on the mechanisms of intellectual development, it is an extraordinary volume by an extraordinary writer. Given his significance, it is hardly surprising that Psychology Today pronounced Piaget the Best Psychologist of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews


'He found, to put it most succinctly, that children don't think like grown-ups Einstein called it a discovery "so simple that only a genius could have thought of it."' - Time

'One of the great psychology classics of all time. One simply cannot be a serious student of intelligence without a careful reading and respectful appreciation of this book.' - Intelligence

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

Product Details

  • File Size: 824 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415254019
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (September 2, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000P0JMKE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,844 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great trip, LONG ride. July 14, 2011
By GaryM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My only complaint about this book is its lack of brevity.
(I should stop here to make my point, right?)

I prefer my hard core intellectual concepts handed to me in bite-sized pieces. Easy to digest. Piaget uses every word in his thesaurus to deliver the most trivial of thoughts. Its a hard read for the average brain.

Having said that, Piaget's ideas are solid and have provided this reader a brilliant look into the inner workings of the mind. He explains the how and why of the motives of thought, learning, emotions and an organism's interaction with the world around it.

His discussion of "perturbances to the equilibrium of an organism's environment", ..."cause a weighted reaction in an effort to restore balance..." is fascinating.

I read this book in the late 70's while studying psychology. I've read it again in recent days because I now work with artificial intelligence - Piaget's fundamentals are as solid today as they were long ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychology of Intelligence January 10, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was easier to read than "The Origins of Intelligence in Children" and held some of the same information. The translation was very good but held a few places where the English did not quite flow as well. Piaget discussed several theories of intelligence and cognition. This book is a very good source for a comparison of the development of intelligence.
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Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist known for his epistemological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are known as "genetic epistemology".

He states in the Preface, "A book on the 'Psychology of Intelligence' could cover half the realm of psychology. The following pages are confined to outlining one view, that based on the formation of 'operations,' and to determing as objectively as possible its place among others which have been put forward."

Here are some representative quotations from the book:

"Every psychological explanation comes sooner or later to lean either on biology or on logic (or on sociology, but this in turn leads to the same alternatives)."
"And, furthermore, even if stages of development simply mark successive approximations of intelligence in its conquest of immutable 'ideas'; what proof have we that the normal adult or the logicians of Russell's school have succeeded in grasping them and will not be continually surpassed by future generations?"
"Formal logic is, according to this view, not an adequate description for the whole of living thought; formal operations constitute solely the structure of the final equilibrium to which concrete operations tend when they are reflected in more general systems linking together the propositions that express them."
"But, granting all this and admitting that logical thought is necessarily social, the fact remains that the laws of grouping constitute general forms of equilibrium which express both the equilibrium of inter-individual interaction and that of the operations which every socialized individual is capable when he reasons internally in terms of his most personal and original ideas."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, cluttered delivery August 15, 2014
It's a good book by one of the great child psychologists. I gave it a 4 rather than a 5 because it is a difficult read. First of all the concepts are difficult but they are made especially harder by the esoteric style in which Piaget writes. He gives you no less than a dozen definitions (made up by himself) and you have to hold these definitions in your head during the entire read.

Some of his concepts are: intelligence is an equilibrium between conceptual relations that are reversible and abstracted (that is, not embodied in "concrete" objects)... Logic mirrors thought in the sense that logical thinking is a developmental contingency, rather than something that exists outside of human parameters... Intelligence is functionally capable of encompassing the entire universe in its abstractions, but has humble roots in the immediacy of an infant's sensory experiences.

If that sounded confusing to you, try reading it in Piaget's cluttered language.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very powerful book December 10, 2013
By Jordi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very powerful book. It contains some almost miraculous insights. Much of the best delivered within the first chapter.
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