Racionalidad vs. inteligencia

TORONTO – En 2002, el cientista cognitivo Daniel Kahneman de la Universidad de Princeton ganó el Premio Nobel de Economía por el trabajo realizado con su colaborador de mucho tiempo Amos Tversky (quien murió en 1996). Su trabajo tenía que ver con el criterio y la toma de decisiones -qué hace que nuestros pensamientos y acciones sean racionales o irracionales-. Exploraron de qué manera la gente hace elecciones y evalúa probabilidades, y descubrieron errores básicos que son típicos en el proceso de toma de decisiones.

Los errores de pensamiento que descubrieron no son errores triviales en un juego de mesa. Ser racional significa adoptar objetivos adecuados, emprender una acción apropiada frente a los objetivos y creencias, y tener ideas que sean acordes a la evidencia disponible. Esto implica alcanzar los propios objetivos de vida utilizando los mejores medios posibles. Violar las reglas de pensamiento examinadas por Kahneman y Tversky, por lo tanto, tiene la consecuencia práctica de que estamos menos satisfechos con nuestras vidas de lo que podríamos estar. La investigación realizada en mi propio laboratorio indicó que existen diferencias individuales sistémicas en las habilidades de criterio y toma de decisiones que estudiaron Kahneman y Tversky.

Irónicamente, el premio Nobel fue otorgado por el estudio de las características cognitivas que están completamente ausentes en el mecanismo de evaluación mental más conocido en las ciencias del comportamiento: las pruebas de inteligencia. Científicos y legos por igual tienden a coincidir en que el "buen pensamiento" encierra un criterio y un proceso de toma de decisiones serio -el tipo de pensamiento que nos ayuda a alcanzar nuestros objetivos-. Sin embargo, las evaluaciones de este tipo de buen pensamiento racional no se encuentran en las pruebas de cociente intelectual.

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