We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Professor Robert A. Barton

Shuker, David M., Barrett, Louise, Dickins, Thomas E., Scott-Phillips, Thom C. & Barton, Robert A. (2017). General intelligence does not help us understand cognitive evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40: e218.

Author(s) from Durham


Burkart et al. conflate the domain-specificity of cognitive processes with the statistical pattern of variance in behavioural measures that partly reflect those processes. General intelligence is a statistical abstraction, not a cognitive trait, and we argue that the former does not warrant inferences about the nature or evolution of the latter.