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Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Motor Coordination, Fluid And Crystallized Intelligence, Subfactor

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Terry Biggs

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A concept that refers to individual differences in abilities to:
Acquire knowledge
Think and reason effectively
Deal adaptively with the environment
The Psychometric Approach to Intelligence
Psychometrics: the statistical study of psychological tests
The g factor (Spearman, 1923)
Intelligence performance governed by:
General intelligence (g)
Specific abilities
Thurstone’s primary abilities
Intelligence performance governed only by specific abilities
Spearman’s g factor (1904) - a theory of general intelligence termed g
G is a kind of mental energy which flows into everything a person does
A person who is good at mathematics is probably also good at reading
comprehension, has a wide vocabulary, etc.
Thus g or general intelligence is a type of mental energy which allows one to
be consistently good or poor at a variety of different tasks
In addition to g Spearman also proposed that there were special abilities
termed s
S is the mental energy specific to a particular task
Therefore if you are good at math it is a combination of g and s
S is necessary to account for variability across tasks (better at some than
Theories Cont
Thurstone’s (1938) Primary Mental Abilities
Seven Primary Mental Abilities
1 Spatial visualization 2 Perceptual Speed
3 Numerical 4 Verbal Meaning
5 Memory 6 Word Fluency
7 Reasoning
Abilities are viewed as relatively independent of one another
I.e., a person high in spatial ability maybe low in verbal meaning
Although more expansive than Spearman’s theory it is not incompatible with
Task analyses led Thurstone to believe these seven abilities were required
Many if not most activities require more than one primary ability
E.g., Reading requires verbal meaning, word fluency, memory and

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Theories Cont
Guilford’s (1961) Structure of Intellect
Recall Spearman’s g & s
Thurstones 7 Primary Mental Abilities
Guilford’s model proposed 120 factors
3 Basic: 1 Operations (act of thinking)
2 Contents (terms of thinking words, symbols)
3 Products (ideas we come up with)
Within each basic category there are several sub factors
Are composed of cognition, memory, divergent thinking, convergent thinking
& evaluation
Are composed of figural, symbolic, semantic, behavioral
Composed of implications, transformations, systems, relations, classes &
Guilfords model is conceived of as a three dimensional matrix
He postulates that at least one sub-factor from each category is
present/necessary to perform a task
E.g., Reading involves semantics (contents) cognitive, memory, evaluation
(operations) relations, implications (products)

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Theories Cont
Burt-Vernon Theory of Intelligence
Hierarchical Theory
Thus unlike Thurstone or Guilford the abilities are NOT viewed as
independent but rather certain abilities are nested within others
The Cognitive Approach to Intelligence
Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence
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