Remaking the Concept of Aptitude: Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Remaking the Concept of Aptitude

Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow, 1st Edition

By Lyn Corno, Lee J. Cronbach


320 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138881174
pub: 2015-05-07
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780805835328
pub: 2001-09-01
SAVE ~$29.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781410604521
pub: 2001-09-01
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The unique perspective of Richard E. Snow, in recent years one of the most distinguished educational psychologists, integrates psychology of individual differences, cognitive psychology, and motivational psychology. This capstone book pulls together the findings of his own 35 years of research on aptitudes and those from (especially) European scholars, of which he had exceptional knowledge. A panel of experts and former associates completed this book after his death in 1997, expanding his notes on implications of the theory for instructional design and teaching practice. The panel developed Snow's ideas on where the field should go next, emphasizing promising research strategies.

Viewing intelligence as education's most important product, as well as its most important raw material, Snow stressed the need to consider both cognitive skills and affective-motivational characteristics. In this book, previously unconnected research and scattered theoretical ideas are integrated into a dynamic model of aptitude. Understanding the transaction between person and situation was Snow's primary concern. This volume draws from diverse resources to construct a theoretical model of aptitude as a complex process of unfolding person-situation dynamics. Remaking the Concept of Aptitude: Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow:

*presents historical and contemporary discussion of aptitude theory, illuminating recent ideas by pointing to their historic antecedents;

*provides evidence of how sound research can have practical ramifications in classroom settings;

*discusses the strengths and weaknesses of prominent research programs, including Gardner's "multiple intelligence," meta-analysis, ATI experiments, and information processing;

*describes in detail specific research that has developed important concepts--for example, Czikszentmihalyi on "flow"; Lambrechts on success in stressful training; Sternberg on componential analysis; and Gibson on tailoring affordances to match motivations; and

*keeps statistical complexities to a minimum, and includes a simply written Appendix that explains the interpretation of key technical concepts.

By characterizing sound research in the field, this volume is useful for psychologists and educational researchers. It will also be instructive for teachers seeking to deepen their knowledge of the whole child and for parents of children facing standardized testing.


"The authors have provided a succinct and accessible historical account of theoretical and empirical approaches to the related concepts of ability, aptitude and propensity….As an introductory overview for educational researchers, with its illustrative 'Exhibit' boxes and appendix which explains terms used in quantitative research, it is highly informative."

British Journal of Educational Psychology

"There are many reasons to commend this book. First, taken as a whole, the chapters provide a superb discussion of the landscape that an aptitude theory ought to cover and the research methods likely to be required to develop such a theory…Second, each chapter is solidly grounded in a critical examination of key empirical findings…Third, the book stays true to its intended purpose and target audience of young researchers in training."

Personnel Psychology

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. R.E. Snow, Preface. Aptitude: The Once and Future Concept. Conflicting Themes. Mapping the Terrain. Antecedents of Success in Learning. Analyses of Cognitive Process. The Cognitive-Affective-Conative Triad. The Education of Aptitude. Toward a Theory of Aptitude. Appendix: Terms Used in Describing Research Studies.

About the Series

Educational Psychology Series

This series has several goals:

  • to present the most significant contemporary theory and research on psychology as it is applied to education at all levels – elementary; secondary, and tertiary;
  • to present this research in a way that is relevant and accessible to both psychologists and educators;
  • to explore new ideas in instruction and assessment that are grounded in theory and tested in classrooms;
  • to inform and influence educational policy through the establishment of a solid base of theory and research rather than through the fads and fashions that come and go with the times but that have no base in the psychology of instruction;
  • to achieve further integration in the perspectives of education and psychology, as well as to draw together various fields of psychology in order to capitalize on their potential contributions to educational outcomes;
  • to explore notions of school reform that are linked to our knowledge about students’ learning, thinking, and motivation; and
  • to disseminate ideas from around the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as the Americas.


This series will publish monographs and edited books that advance these goals through new and innovative contributions to educational psychology. Edited books must have a sense of coherence, contain unifying introductory and concluding chapters, and be internally consistent in scope and level of writing.

Potential authors and volume editors are encouraged to take risks and to explore with the series editors nontraditional points of vie wand methodologies. Interdisciplinary contributions involving theory and methodology from diverse fields, such as computer science, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and neuroscience, are especially welcome, but all contributions must be readable and interesting to psychologists and educators of varying backgrounds. Authors and editors from all around the world are encouraged to submit proposals.

Examples of topics that would be of interest include, but are not limited to, creative techniques for instruction, nontraditional forms of assessment, student learning, student motivation, organizational structure and climate, teacher education, new conceptions of abilities and achievement, analyses of cognitive structures and representations in various disciplines, expertise in teaching and administration, use of technology in the schools, at-risk children, adult education, and styles of learning and thinking.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology