Intelligence in Everyday Life

Due October 9 (Rewrite due October 23)
Typed, double-spaced, stapled, and with pages numbered
2 copies

Length is flexible, but aim for 4-5 pages.

Please attach a completed Writer Response form to the copy for your fellow.



You ran into an old friend yesterday and happened to mention to him/her that you had once had a job doing __(fill in with some job you have had)____. S/he replied “A caveman could do that! I mean, it’s a no-brainer.” Your reply was, “It may not have required an Einstein, but you are wrong that brain power didn’t matter in my job. I found that being smarter helped workers do better because____(the gist of your argument)___. Here are some specific, worm’s-eye examples to illustrate exactly why.”


Your Task


Provide a well-developed argument to answer your friend. Back up your argument with tight logic, scientific evidence where available, and specific examples from your job.


1.      That is, explain why your job actually made cognitive demands and therefore gave higher-g people an edge in performing it better. Here are some goads to thinking beyond the obvious. Be specific and back up your claims with either strong logic or relevant research findings.


·         Think back on the job’s challenges, the kinds of mistakes that you and others made on the job, the kinds of tasks that tended to trip people up, and what was it about some workers than made them better at the job.

·         Think about which tasks called upon g, and why? In what specific ways were they complex? What specific sorts of mental processing did they require of you?

·         How—specifically—did/would being brighter enhance performance of the job? Which particular “critical incidents” (successes or failures on some worker’s part) might illustrate your point? Cite specific research findings (not just general conclusions) to support your points wherever possible.


2.      Conclude by briefly putting the job’s cognitive demands (its demands for g) in broader context. How important are they relative to the job’s demands for other personal attributes in order to perform the job well. After all, g isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. Give g its due but put it in its place!


Evaluation criteria


Provides clear thesis, coherent argument, supporting evidence, and specific examples.

Stays focused, doesn’t confuse the reader with vague, fuzzy words or sloppy sentences. 

Cites research findings where possible to support claims.




Carefully reread the readings for Days 6-9. This is where you will get most of your evidence.


Reread this assignment after you have written your paper. Did you actually address it, fully?

Do your best on the first version; it is not just a “draft.” You will regret it at rewrite time if you treat it as just a rough draft.

Cite evidence where relevant! Any bibliographic style is OK for the references list.