All posts by Robert J. Sternberg

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Academic Tribalism

When I was a younger scholar, a very famous cognitive psychologist came to my office to visit me during his colloquium trip to my university. I mentioned with pride that I had just written a new textbook in cognitive psychology. His quick response was, “Bob, you’re not a cognitive psychologist anymore.”

I was deeply hurt. I had been trained in cognitive psychology by some of the top scholars in the field and always had thought of myself as their protégé. True, I had strayed and done some resea…

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Our Fractured Meritocracy

Psst! Want to hear about the latest fiasco? Everywhere you look is another book, article, or blog post reminding us of the dubious success of meritocracy in the United States. Unending scandals—MF Global, Knight Capital, Madoffgate, Liborgate, Peregrine—suggest that the system ostensibly selecting and training society’s current leaders is seriously flawed. Even universities are not immune, as the recent scandal at Penn State has shown.

What’s wrong today is not meritocracy, per se, but rather ou…