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Ch. 9 Chapter 9 summary

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Eileen Wood

Ch 9 Intelligence Measuring mental performanceWhat is intelligencePiaget defined intelligence as adaptive thinking or actionPsychometric views of intelligenceIntelligence is an intellectual trait or a set of traits that differ among people and so characterizes some people to a greater extent than othersGoal to indentify precisely what those traits might be and to measure them so that intellectual differences among individual could be described Alred Binets singular component approachoDevised a large battery of tasks measuring skills presumed to be necessary for classroom learning attention perception memory numerical reasoning verbal comprehension oItems that successfully discriminated normal children from those described by teachers as dull or slow were kept in the final testoThis agegrading of test items for ages 313 allowed a more precise assessment of a childs level of intellectual functioningoMental age MA a measure of intellectual development that reflects the level of agegraded problems a child is able to solve oBinet and Simon had created a test that enabled them to identify slow learners and to estimate all childrens levels of intellectual developmentFactor analysis and the multicomponent view of intelligenceoIntelligence tests require people to perform a variety of tasks such as defining words or concepts extracting meaning from written passages answering general information questions reproducing geometric designs with blocks and solving arithmetic puzzles oOne way of determining whether intelligence is a single attribute or many different attributes is to ask participants to perform a large number of mental tasks and then analyze their performance using a statistical procedure called factor analysis a statistical procedure for identifying clusters of tests or test items that are highly correlated with one another and unrelated to other test items oEach factor presumably represents a distinct mental abilityEarly multicomponent theories of intelligence oCharles Spearman found that a childs scores across a variety of cognitive tests were moderately correlated and thus inferred that there must be a general mental factor which he called g that affects ones performance on most cognitive tasks oSpearman proposed that intellectual performance has two aspects g or general ability and s or special abilities each of which is measured by a particular test oThurstone found seven factors that he called primary mentalabilities spatial ability perceptual speed numerical reasoning verbal meaning word fluency memory and inductive reasoningConcluded that these seven distinct mental abilities really make up Spearmans idea of gLater multicomponent theories of intelligenceoJP Guilford 180 basic mental abilities oHe arrived at this figure by first classifying cognitive tasks into three major dimensions Content what must the person think aboutOperations what kind of thinking is the person asked to perform Products what kind of answer is required oFive kinds of intellectual contents six kinds of mental operations and six kinds of intellectual products oStructureofintellect model Guilfords factoranalytic model of intelligence which proposes that there are 180 distinct mental abilities oTests have been constructed to assess more than 100 of the 180 mental abilities in Guilfords model of intellect oThe scores that people obtain on these presumably independent intellectual factors are often correlated suggesting that these abilities are not nearly as independent as Guilford has assumed oRaymond Cattell and John Horn have influenced current thinking about intelligence by proposing that Spearmans g and Thurstones primary mental abilities can be reduced to two major dimensions of intellectFluid intelligence the ability to perceive relationships and solve relational problems of the type that are not taught and are relatively free of cultural influencesEg verbal analogies and number series testsCrystallized intelligence the ability to understand relations or solve problems that depend on knowledge acquire from schooling and other cultural influencesEg tests of general information A more recent hierarchical modeloHierarchical models of intelligence models in which intelligence is viewed as consisting of General ability factor at the top of the hierarchy which influences ones performance on many cognitive testsA number of specialized ability factors that influence how well one performs in particular intellectual domains oThreestratum theory of intelligence represents intelligence as a pyramid with a g at the top and eight broad intellectual abilities at the second levelImplies that each of us may have particular intellectual strengths or weaknesses depending on the patterns of secondstratum intellectual abilities we display Explains how a person of belowaverage general ability g might actually excel in a narrow thirdstratum domain if she displays an unusually high secondstratum ability that fosters good performance in that domain Hierarchical models depict intelligence as both an overarching general mental ability and a number of more specific abilities that each pertain to a particular intellectual domain A modern informationprocessing viewpointTraditional intelligence tests do not measure other attributes that people commonly think of as indications of intelligence such as common sense
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