The University of Barcelona awards the Medal of Gold to Nicholas Mackintosh

Recently we have received news that on November 11 the award ceremony of the Medalla d’Or of the University of Barcelona will be held for Nicholas J. Mackintosh , professor emeritus of the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Cambridge from 1981 to 2002.

Mackintosh had been proposed for an honorary doctorate by the UB months before his death.

Nicholas Mackintosh’s Trajectory

Professor Mackintosh, who died in February 2015, was internationally recognized for his contributions in the field of psychometry, intelligence and the study of learning processes in animals . Some of his main works as an author are the books The Psychology of Animal Learning (1974), about Comparative Psychology, and Cyril Burt: Fraud or Famed (1995), although its most important text is possibly IQ and Human Intelligence (1998), which served to recognize and focus on the problem of low performance in multiethnic schools in the United Kingdom, and which also pointed to conclusions whose impact goes far beyond Experimental Psychology.

Nicholas Mackintosh helped uncover many of the psychological mechanisms through which intelligence is expressed and, through this type of research, made it possible to change our conception of the nature of cognition, learning and intellect. For his career as a researcher, he was awarded the Biological Medal and the President’s Award from the British Psychological Society in 1981 and 1986, respectively.

With regard to his relationship with the University of Barcelona, , he collaborated with Victoria Díez Chamizo , professor of the Department of Basic Psychology at the UB, in research focused on associative conditioning and learning, the results of which served to reinforce the hypothesis that spatial learning has many similarities with simple associative learning.

His role as a trainer and lecturer

Beyond his career as a researcher, from his role as a teaching mentor and lecturer, he emphasized the need to recognize the limitations of the research carried out on the concept of “intelligence” and the G-factor construct, so as not to draw conclusions simply because it coincides with the political or ideological motivations of each individual. Similarly, Nicholas Mackintosh was critical of the overdimensioned scope that the application of neuroscience could have in specific legal courses.

In addition, dedicated a large part of his life to giving university training classes and participating in conferences attended by younger students , both in Cambridge and in many other universities around the world that he attended punctually.

Where and when is the event held?

The medal ceremony will be held on Wednesday 11 November 2015 at 12 noon , in the auditorium of the historic building of the University of Barcelona (Plaça de la Universitat). You can find more information about the event by clicking on this link.