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See Inside October/November 2006

More Success Than IQ

Psychologist Robert Sternberg never forgot the low IQ score he earned as a child. Now his theory of “successful intelligence,” which he says is a better index of brain power, will be put to a real-life test. This fall undergraduate applicants to Tufts University, where Sternberg is the college dean, will be given a chance to write an optional essay and attend an in-person session where they will respond to videos and pictures, leading to an index for each volunteer.

In a recent study Sternberg matched the successful-intelligence scores of 777 college students at 13 U.S. colleges against their first-year grade point average, the common yardstick used to judge the predictive power of an applicant’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores. The successful-intelligence quotient was twice as effective as the SAT number.

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