Intelligence 10/12/2012 6:18:00 AM
1. Definitions of intelligence
2. Recent advances in defining intelligence
3. Measuring intelligence
4. What do intelligence tests predict and how well?
5. Ethnic and socioeconomic variations in IQ
6. Explaining individual and group differences in IQ
7. Early intervention and intellectual development
8. Giftedness: creativity and talent
Psychometric approach: to cognitive development is the basis for the wide
variety of intelligence tests available for assessing children’s mental abilities.
Rather than focusing on the process of thinking (Piaget/Vygotsky)
Psychometric approach focuses on outcomes/results = product
1. Definitions of intelligence: Is intelligence one characteristic or is it made
up of many?
Alfred Binet: A holistic view.
o Intelligence corresponds to chronological age of the child
o Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
The factor analysts: A multifaceted view
o Factor analysis: to find out if intelligence is one trait or an
assortment of abilities. It identifies sets of test items that
cluster together, meaning that test takers who do well on one
item in a cluster tend to do well on the others. Distinct
clusters are called factors.
o Early factor analysts:
General intelligence (g)
To correlated tasks in factors (clusters)
Measures abstract reasoning capacity
Specific intelligence To make up for the difference between factors,
needing specific skills unique to the task.
o Contemporary extensions: (Spearman & Thurstone)
Combined both approaches of (g) + specific intelligence
= hierarchical model of mental abilities.
Highest level = (g) measured by subtests, groups
of related items.
o Crystalized vs. Fluid intelligence (Cattel)
Crystalized = Culture
Skills that depend on accumulated knowledge and
experience, good judgment, and mastery of social
Abilities acquired as they are valued by
o E.g. Language, Maths, General
Fluid intelligence = Brain > Culture
Depends more on basic information processing
Ability to detect relationships among
stimuli, the speed with which the individual
can analyze information, the capacity of
o Influenced more by conditions of the
brain, less by culture
E.g. Supported by crystallization
to perform effective reasoning,
abstraction + problem solving.
o The Three-Stratum Theory of Intelligence (Carrol)
Elaborates the models proposed by Spearman,
Thurstone and Cattel. Carrol represented the structure
of intelligence as having three tiers. 2. Recent Advances in Defining Intelligence
Need to identify the cognitive process responsible for doing well in
Combining Psychometric & Information-Processing Approaches
o Componential analyses: of a children’s test scores, looking for
relationships between aspects (or components) of information
processing and children’s intelligence test performance.
E.g. children whose CNS functions more efficiently by
taking info in faster, appear to have an edge in
Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory:
o Triarchic theory of successful intelligence:
Made up of 3 broad interacting intelligences:
1. Analytical intelligence (information processing
skills) 2. Creative intelligence (capacity to solve novel
3. Practical intelligence (application of skills in
Intelligence involves balancing all 3 intelligences to
achieve success in life, according to ones personal
goals and the requirements of ones cultural community.
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
o Defines intelligence in terms of distinct sets of processing
operations that permit individuals to solve problems, create
products, and discover new knowledge in a wide range of
culturally valued activities.
Dismissing the idea of (g), Gardner proposes at least
eight independent intelligences.
Belief that intelligences are separate, not correlating
E.g. Savant syndrome
E.g. Children with autism
Similar to core knowledge perspective of Ch.7
Intelligence Processing Operations End-state Jobs Possible
(Sensitivity to…) Linguistic Sounds, rhythms, Poet, journalist
meaning of words =
functions of language
Logico-mathematical Numerical patterns, Mathematician
long chains of logical
Musical Pitch, rhythm, musical Musician, composer
Spatial Visual-spatial world, Sculptor, navigator
aspects of visual
experience in the
absence of relevant
Bodily-kinesthetic Handle objects skillfully, Dancer, Athlete
use body for skill,
Naturalist Classify varieties of Biologist
Interpersonal Detect/respond to Therapist, salesperson
intentions of others
Intrapersonal Knowledge of oneself Person with detailed,
3. Measuring Intelligence
Some commonly used intelligence tests:
o The Standford-Binet Intelligence Scales:
Latest edition of his intelligence test measures general
intelligence and five intellectual factors:
Quantitative reasoning Knowledge
Usually measures crystalized (cultural) intelligence e.g.
For children of different age categories to be compared
against each other within their own group
o The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Used for 6-16 year olds
Four broad intellectual factors:
Designed to downplay crystalized intelligence (only ¼ -
verbal reasoning), and mainly test fluid intelligence
o Aptitude and Achievement Tests
Aptitude Tests: assess an individuals potential to learn a
Achievement Tests: Aim to assess actual knowledge
and skill attainment
o Tests for infants:
Because infant scores do not tap the same dimensions
of intelligence assessed in older children, they are
conservatively labeled “developmental quotients (DQs)”
rather than IQs.
Most infant measures emphasize perceptual and
motor responses to stimuli
Early language/cognition/social behaviour
Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Not very reliable as infants become distracted,
fatigued and bored during testing = so their
abilities are not accurately reflected.
Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence
Staring time at old vs. new images
Useful for identifying infants who may be at risk
for delays in mental development
o Computation and Distribution of IQ scores
Intelligence quotient (IQ): indicates the extent to which
the raw score (number of items passed) deviates from
the typical performance of same-age individuals
Standardization: giving the test to a large,
representative sample and using the results as the
standard for interpreting scores.
Normal distribution: most scores cluster around the
mean, with progressively fewer falling toward each
Bell shaped distribution
4. What do intelligence tests predict and how well?
Good indicators of future intelligence & scholastic performance?
o Stability of IQ scores: How effectively IQ at one age predicts
itself at the next.
Correlational stability: Correlate scores obtained at