Scientific Inquiry into Human Potential : Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Across Disciplines book cover
1st Edition

Scientific Inquiry into Human Potential
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Across Disciplines

ISBN 9780367261368
Published December 10, 2020 by Routledge
312 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Scientific Inquiry into Human Potential explores the intellectual legacy and contemporary understanding of scientific research on human intelligence, performance, and productivity. Across nineteen chapters, some of the most eminent scholars of learning and psychology recount how they originated, distinguished, measured, challenged, and adapted their theories on the nature and nurture of human potential over decades of scientific research. These accessible, autobiographical accounts cover a spectrum of issues, from the biological underpinnings and developmental nature of human potential to the roles of community, social interaction, and systematic individual differences in cognitive and motivational functioning. Researchers, instructors, and graduate students of education, psychology, sociology, and biology will find this book not only historically informative but inspiring to their own ongoing research journeys, as well.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Human Potential Part 1: Evolutionary and Differential Perspectives on Human Potential 1. A Journey from Behavioral Ecology to Sex Differences to Mitochondria and Intelligence 2. A Long "Intellectual" Journey 3.Partnership: A Tale by the Tail of the Kite 4. Of Human Potential: A Forty Year Saga Part 2: Cognitive and Developmental Perspectives 5. Unleashing Clio: Tracing the Roots of My Journey in Cognition 6. Ignoring Boundaries between Disciplines 7. Optimal Expression of Human Potential as The Central Goal of Human Development 8. Capitalizing on Chance Opportunities 9. My Journey from the Humanities to Psychology Part 3: Perspectives on Human Creativity 10. Human Potential at the Achievement Pinnacle: A Lifelong Preoccupation with History-Making Genius 11. A Contrarian’s Apology and the Changing Contexts of Creativity Research 12. Female Teacher/Researcher: My Work in Talent Development Education and in Creativity Education 13. Business as Unusual: From the Psychology of Giftedness to Changing the World via Innovation 14. Creativity and Cities: A Personal and Intellectual Journey Part 4: Educational and Social Perspectives 15. Everything I Needed to Know about Human Intelligence I Learned Before I Even Went to College 16. Reflections On My Work: The Identification and Development of Creative/Productive Giftedness 17. Academic Achievement, Identity, and Hope: Investing In and Over Time 18. Intellectual Roots and Paths 19. Learning from Life: How I Became a Wisdom Researcher Epilogue: The Past, Present, and Future of (Research on) Human Potential

View More



David Yun Dai is Professor of Educational Psychology and Methodology in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, USA.

Robert J. Sternberg is Professor in the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, USA, and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University, Germany.


"David Yun Dai and Robert J. Sternberg have gathered a collection of nineteen articles that offer a rich variety of the scientific inquiry into human potential. This book will likely be of interest to seasoned colleagues and students as well as intellectually curious adults."

—Frances Degen Horowitz, Professor, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA

"Writing from their lifetime experiences as researchers, the contributors to this volume offer rich conceptions of human potential going beyond any single number or lucky gene."

—David Perkins, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA

"The study of human potential and related concepts is critically important to all areas of human endeavor, from education to business, from the arts to medicine, and everything in between. Dai and Sternberg have assembled a fascinating set of reflections in this volume, representing the work and thoughts of many of the top thinkers on human potential over the past several decades."

—Jonathan A. Plucker, Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development, Johns Hopkins University, USA