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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Intelligence.doc

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PSYC 100
Kevin Hamilton

Intelligence: • Intelligence is part of a much larger field of psychology that studies individual differences • As human beings we have many similarities but we also have many differences in terms of behaviour – for example:  Abilities  Beliefs  Attitudes  Motivations  Emotional characteristics  Personality traits  Psychophysiologically: i.e. chronobiological types including owl, lark, cat (a person who can switch between being an owl and being a lark)  Intelligence • Naturally we are intrigued by our differences more so than by our similarities • Individual differences are the result of biological and environmental factors and their complex interaction • Abilities are the genetic predispositions to excel in certain things, whereas skills are what you learn from practicing  Intelligence tests were developed to test abilities, but in reality they test skills as well Defining Intelligence: • Abilities, skills and achievement • Difficult to find an all encompassing definition of intelligence: • Different cognitive attributes may be valued differently across cultures  Hunter gather societies, for example, may value abilities related to cooperative behaviour and the development of successful hunting skills  Maritime societies (e.g. South Pacific) may place greater value on spatial abilities and intelligence that underlie the development of navigational skills • An early definition of intelligence: the capacity to understand the world and the resourcefulness to cope with its challenges Note: central to this definition is the concept of adaptability and even creativity (divergent thinking) • What constitutes resourcefulness and rationality can differ from culture to culture  E.g., North Americans’ emphasis on verbal abilities and problem solving don't necessarily constitute good coping strategies in other cultures • Many early intelligence tests focused heavily on language and verbal performance History of Intelligence Tests: • Intelligence tests have existed for over 100 years. • First tests developed by Galton (1884), who noticed some families become smarter and some become physically stronger generation after generation. He believed intelligence was inherited and fundamentally related to sensory/perceptual proficiency (note the relation to information-processing approach)  Reaction time is such a widely used measurement as it is believed to indicate the speed of a person’s cognitive information processing Modern intelligence tests • Binet (1881) is seen as the originator of modern intelligence tests  French academic living in Paris interested in individual differences  fascinated by differences in the behaviour of his 2 daughters  1905 commissioned by French Government to develop intelligence tests  Government wanted to be able to stream children in public school system  Government decided that slow learners (retarded) would no longer be educated at home  Binet's test had 30 questions focused on specific abilities: reasoning, problem solving, memory, imagination  His test did not include perceptual motor skill abilities • In 1916, Lewis Terman of Stanford University modified Binet's test for North America by testing thousands of children and establishing societal norms for knowledge in various age categories • German psychologist William Stern came up with the idea of expressing intelligence as a quotient IQ=MA/CA X 100 (MA = mental age, CA = chronological age) • Problems with U.S. government using intelligence tests in the 1930’s to screen immigrants coming to North America due to English language unfamiliarity  Test reliability (results would sustain if the same test is taken multiple times) and but not validity (as intelligence tests in English may not be adequate for testing those who are not fluent in the language) • Since the 1930's, Weschler, Cattlell, Thurston and others viewed intelligence as mode up of several components or dimensions • Factor analysis has been used as a statistical method to identify the various dimensions or types of intelligence • Gardner identifies 8 (and possibly 9) types of intelligence:  linguistic  biological  logical – mathematical  spatial  musical  body kinetic  intrapersonal (self)  interpersonal (others)  naturalist  (possibly)
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