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Appropriate selection. (Ross Ashby)
Originally, an innate general cognitive ability underlying all of an individual's processes of complex reasoning. Now, the dual ability to draw appropriate distinctions and to make appropriate, and to a degree better than chance, choices among the things distinguished. The first part of the process is creative (see creativity) and concerns the construction of a cognitive system limited by the amount of uncertainty tolerable. The second part of the process, largely attended to by Ashby, is reductive and concerns how much information is brought to bear on a situation, e.g., for giving the correct answer to questions on an intelligence test, for selecting a successful course of action out of all possible ones, for saying the right thing at the right moment to the right person. Culture bound intelligence tests assume predrawn distinctions, offer fixed numbers of alternatives and thus provide a normative measure of only the information processing ability part of intelligence. The constructive and uncertainty increasing ability part of intelligence is manifest in innovations, unconventional perspectives, avantgarde art but also in social deviance. (Krippendorff)
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