On two lists to which I subscribe the question has come up within the last six months, "What is Intelligence?" To be truthful, on one of those lists, it was my own series of posts on the subject that got things going, but the heated discussions on both lists suggest that a certain passion for the issue exists.
While these discussions are often eloquent, they typically rely on persuasive argumentation rather than on empirical data. I want to change all that.
I have designed (and one of our research assistants (Thanks, Kathleen!) has created) a short online survey to gather some data about what kinds of activities are "intelligence-like" and which kinds are not.
Click here to take the "What is Intelligence?" Survey
Clicking on the link above will take you to the survey which contains 14 examples of different kinds of activity. You are asked to rank how closely the described activity matches your own internal definition of intelligence on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 meaning that it does not fit your definition at all and 5 meaning that it fits it extremely well). You don't need to come up with a definition; just read the question and let your instincts guide you.
No personally identifying information will be collected. From the compiled results I expect to be able to spot areas of broad agreement and disagreement so that, in the end, we will hopefully be able to focus the debate somewhat.
What is intelligence? I say, "Let's find out!"