Much of the information probed for in intelligence tests reﬂects knowledge gained from living in a speciﬁc social and educational milieu. For instance, the ability to deﬁne tort or to identify the author of the Iliad is highly reﬂective of the kind of school one attends or the tastes of one’s family. In contrast, intelligence tests rarely assess skill in assimilating new information or in solving new problems. This bias toward “crystallized” rather than “ﬂuid” knowledge can have astounding consequences. An individual can lose his entire frontal lobes, in the process becoming a radically different person, unable to display any initiative or to solve new problems—and yet may continue to exhibit an IQ close to genius level.
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