INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
Set #5 (Lectures 13, 14)
Good luck on your midterm!!
1 Lecture 13
October 13 2009
Intelligence and thinking:
Today I want to talk about intelligence. We begin with the notion that not everybody is alike.
This may seem obvious but lets be formal and systematic about it. We believe these sensory
processes because they are largely biologically based, dont vary much from person to
person. Things like your threshold to determine a change in illumination is well standard. If
we test a bunch of people we dont find a lot of variability, individual differences arent an
Personality is a set of behaviors or traits that a person has that tend to be stable over time more
or less and tend to distinguish a person from other people.
Intelligence is an individual difference. There are differences in intelligence. This is drawn
from intuition. Not everybody has the same abilities and skills. Intelligence is something like
your ability to learn new things, your ability to apply information youve learned.
Ability is something you can do and maybe other people cant and presumably something that
can be measured. Intelligence requires ability that society cares about: music, math, literature,
IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. What goes into an IQ test? They tend to compare
people by age group. They might have some sort of pattern that involves logic and particular
visual intelligence. It has a verbal and mathematical component. When youre all done, you
have a single number that represents your intelligence.
IQ is seen as a very important measure. Employers used it. It was supposed to be somewhat
robust under different conditions of learning. It is supposed to be the measure of your innate
Gardners point of view about IQ:
There was a huge revolution against IQ in mid 80s by Gardner. The kinds of qualities
Gardner says are very narrow views of what intelligence is. Consider somebody who is a
brilliant mathematician. Imagine a worst caricature, this person may not have any verbal
ability, but maybe he does amazing things with math. If you give this person a standard IQ
test, the IQ score is going to come down, and that doesnt seem right. Gardners intuition was
that these domains were separable and that you want to keep them separate not combine them.
He identified initially half a dozen of domains: math, verbal ability, musical ability, athletics,
The key is that they are independent. You can excel in one and not excel in the other.
Spielman and Bennett felt that there is a general quality that they called G. They tie together
2all the different aspects of a person because smart people tend to be smart about a lot of
things. The argument against Gardner is that in fact when you look in the real world, the
correlation is not zero. As the scores of one domain goes up, the other domain goes up also.
Not perfectly but there is some correlation. The real truth seems to be somewhere in between
Spielman and Gardner.
Gardners theory is multiple intelligences. You want to be able to give some kind of that
doesnt measure prior achievements, but that would predict some future capacity
achievement. The multiple intelligences idea was radical because it asked people to abandon
the idea that there was a single number and that there can be multiple ways to measure a
There are a couple of other kinds of intelligence that Gardner recognizes. One of them is
interpersonal intelligence. People who really understand people deeply. Often people like
these become leaders, politicians and organizers of things. The most effective leaders are not
does that go boss you around, the most effective leaders are those who make us feel that they
listen to us and they have our interest at heart. They have some sort of vision that motivates us
and make us feel valued. That requires a great amount of interpersonal skill.
Another thing Gardner mentions is intrapersonal intelligence: the knowledge of yourself.
Knowing yourself, what it is that makes you tick. Yo