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Lecture 2

PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nomothetic, David Wechsler, Normal Distribution

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Dwayne Pare

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Dark Blue: Statements made by the professor
PSYA02 – Lecture 2 – Measuring Intelligence
Studying Individual Differences
Most psychological research aims to understand the “average” human… this is
sometimes called nomothetic research
But some areas of research tries to understand way and how some humans differ from
others… this research is said to focus on “individual differences” work
But we are all very unique. The field of intelligence and personality is more of a field
where we study individual differences
oCan raise controversy
Name some intelligent people… what is it about them that you are relating to intelligence
Teacher. Someone who is disseminating knowledge. They know the right words to use
and know how to answer questions properly
Einstein. Stereotypical person who we think of as intelligent. Revolutionized a lot of
ideas we hear about in physics.
Describing intelligence is not an easy task to talk about/to define. We then have to ask
can we even measure intelligence? What is the benefits that can be gained from
measuring intelligence?
Before it was believed that intelligence was innate. That it was inherited from our
parents. If its environmental, we can nurture and cultivate it.
Benefits & Controversies
What is intelligence?
How does one measure intelligence?
An ability to measure “intelligence” might be beneficial in a number of ways of ways...
but also can be very controversial
Benefit: It allows you to assess whether certain educational approaches lead to higher
levels of success
oTeachers can find this useful to measure intelligence to see if students are
learning and understanding material.
Controversy: Sterilization based on IQ score
oBettering society
Assessing Intelligence
Psychologists define intelligence testing as a method for assessing an individual’s
mental aptitudes and comparing them with others using numerical scores
find more resources at
find more resources at
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