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Friday, October 11, 2019

Review: The Intelligence Trap - Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes

I checked out The Intelligence Trap from the library half expecting it to be a let-down. I thought it might turn out to be another rehash of Khaneman's book, but it turned out not to be that, though it did reference his work.

The interesting thing about this book is that it reveals a new area of study called evidence-based wisdom, a lot of the insights in this book are interesting:
  • higher humility scores appear to predict scholastic performance (and on-the-job performance as well) even better than IQ.
  • teams that have too many super-stars/high performers (more than about 30%) actually underperform teams of fewer super-stars.. In other words, you can actually build a team/company with too many super-stars. This is a counter-intuitive result, and is supported by examples in the book with references to literature.
  • once designated a leader, executives frequently become less likely to cooperate, reaching impasses at a far higher rate than less powerful employees lower down in the hierarchy
  • experts take many short cuts to get quick decisions fast. However, in that rush, they can fall prey to motivated reasoning, avoiding taking the hard decision to re-examine their work from first principles.
  • Asian educational systems are actually better at cultivating evidence-based wisdom, emphasizing thoughtfulness over quickness and confidence.
All in all, the book's well worth the time, and certainly for leaders looking to build teams, has important implications for team building. Recommended.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think that this book is even more powerful than this person did. This book revealed to me the cultural trap of leaving intellectual humility for the quick answer and how the fear of failure takes us away from exploration and the joy of discovery. I can see how this has been a negative influence in my life. I told my son yesterday that if I could have read this book when I was 20, my life would have been very different! But the good news is that I have read it now! ArtH (