Does Technology Make Us Smarter?
Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005). Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of, and Through Technology. I n R. J. Sternberg, & D. D. Preiss (Eds). Intelligence and technology: The impact of tools on the nature and development of human abilities (pp. 71-86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
In their 2005 article, Salomon and Perkins seek to amend their former publication about effects with and effects of technology and add a third dimension: effects through technology. Each of these aspects is defined and elaborated upon and then brought back together to determine if “technologies expand our cognitive capabilities in any fundamental sense?”(p. 71, 84) They argue that technology provides new metaphors to think with and can be considered mankind’s latest ‘tool.’
One of the strengths of this article is the breadth of viewpoints from which it considers technology. Not only are computers and advanced statistical methods considered technology, but literacy and mathematics are included as well. These technologies are all inventions that do or facilitate the doing of cognitive work. They also define ‘smarter’ as a way of functioning as opposed to standard methods of intelligence.
This article reformed the way that I view technology’s effects on cognitive capabilities. Technology is presented here as a sort of process improvement throughout time that allows us to make further cognitive leaps with each new invention. I had never thought to view tech as a tool just like any other tool used by humans. I read this article AFTER the debate between Kozma and Clark, which really got down into the trenches of technological usefulness and attributes. By the end of the article, I absolutely agreed with the authors that technology indeed makes us smarter.