New Book from Academy Fellow

Andreas Demetriou, along with George Spanoudis, has released Growing minds: A Developmental theory of intelligence, brain, and educationGrowing Minds is a unique and interdisciplinary work that guides the reader through an examination of the human mind's nature, performance, lifespan, and variations.



This book is about the human mind. It presents research about the organization and development processes involved in the human mind and about the reasons that make some individuals better than others in using them. The book is organized in three parts. In the first part we summarize and evaluate research conducted on the human mind by three traditions of psychological research. The first is experimental cognitive psychology. This tradition identified mental processes such as attention, working memory, and reasoning and specified how they work in real time. The second is differential psychology. This tradition viewed mental processes as dimensions of individual differences and tried to identify how and why humans differ in using mental processes. The notion of general intelligence, IQ, and the tests that measure intelligence are achievements of this tradition. The third is developmental psychology. This tradition focused on the development of the human mind and intelligence throughout the life-span mapping mental possibilities in different phases of life and specifying mechanisms of their change.

Obviously, the individual mind is one and undivided. Humans use mental processes, some better than others, and they change as they grow. Thus, we will be able to fully understand the human mind only when we have a common theory specifying the mental processes involved, their organization and development, and why individuals differ in how fast they develop and how far they go. This theory is presented in the second part of the book. This part summarizes our research integrating the cognitive, the differential, and the developmental theory of the mind into an overarching model. This theory specifies the mental processes involved, maps their development and interactions from birth to early adulthood, and connects development and attainment with factors causing individual differences. This part also integrates our theory with several important lines of research focusing on the human mind from several distinct but related perspectives: personality development, genetic and cultural influences, and brain development. The aim is to show how mind and intelligence come at the crossroad of nature and nurture and flourish as the expression of unique individuals.

The third part is devoted to education. It summarizes research on how education influences intelligence and intellectual development and how intelligence sets the frame for education to exert its influences. It also presents experiments designed to augment intelligence. Finally, this section uses this knowledge to advance a complete program for augmenting all aspects of intelligence and enhancing critical thinking from birth to young adulthood.

The book is addressed to anyone interested in the human mind. However, there are several audiences that may have a special reason to read this book. First are the researchers of human intelligence and cognitive development. As noted above, the book presents a new theory of intelligence integrated with a theory of cognitive development. The book is also addressed to people in education, both teachers and education policy makers. The book may help teachers better organize their activities in the classroom taking into account the understanding possibilities and difficulties of students at different ages. The book is also addressed to brain scientists, because it presents a theory of brain organization and growth matching the mind organization and growth. Brain scientists may find a frame for both interpreting their findings and producing new ones. Finally, the book may be of interest to personality researchers as it presents research on the relations between intellectual development and personality development.

Intelligence, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Intelligence and one of the top multidisciplinary journals publishing research on intelligence, recently published an extensive review of the book, written by Juan Pascual-Leone, the founder of the neo-Piagetian approach to cognitive development. Also, the book was selected by BookAuthority, an agency evaluating non-fiction books, as one of the top ten books of cognitive psychology published in 2018.