Introduction to Psychology II - complete course notes

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3 Apr 2012
- Galton: knowledge is a measure of our sensory capacity because it comes through the senses one with
sharp senses acquires knowledge better
o However, different types of sensory capacity are weakly correlated
o Measures of sensory ability are weakly correlated with other assessments of intelligence
o Helen Keller
- Binet & Simon: developed a test to measure abstract thinking to assist children who may need additional
schooling measured through the capacity to understand hypothetical rather than concrete concepts
(eg. constructing sentences using 3 given words, determining the similarity between 2 items); they were
strongly correlated as a measure of intelligence
- “G” – general intelligence: a single factor that underlies performance on a variety of mental tests,
explaining the strong correlations of abstract thinking the test subjects are just generally all-around
“S” – specific intelligence
- Intelligence measured by:
Fluid: ability to solve, reason and remember not influenced by experience or school; decreases
with age, associated with general intelligence
Crystallized: knowledge and abilities acquired from experience and schooling memorizing
statistics, terms, dates, etc.; increases with age
- Gardner: multiple intelligences interpersonal/social, visual/spatial, local/mathematical,
verbal/linguistic, musical/rhythmic, etc.
- Sternberg: multiple intelligences, but narrowed down into a triarchic model:
1. Analytic intelligence most closely related to general intelligence (book smarts) math, critical and
analytical thinking, etc.
2. Creative intelligence ability to come up with novel answers
3. Practical intelligence ability to solve real-world problems; adaptability, independent of schooling
(street smarts)
Biological bases
- Brain capacity /volume correlates positively correlates to intelligence but is it the whole brain that
matters, or just specific parts? (eg. Einstein’s brain was smaller than the average, but his parietal cortex
was larger) important to remember that correlation doesn’t equal causation nutrition could be the
cause of both
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- Reaction time to a novel stimuli - Intelligence correlates negatively with reaction time (less time taken to
react = higher intelligence)
- Prefrontal cortex activated during reasoning tasks & sophisticated thinking (eg. planning, impulse
control, short-term and working memory holding information in the mind while using it in collaboration
with other information)
Measuring intelligence
- Intelligence quotient: invented by Stern: 
 
Measures mental speed/reaction time, span of working memory, mental self-government (of the
different components of the brain that carry out different tasks)
- Deviation intelligence quotient: determining IQ based on how performance compares with other subjects
in the same age range it was found that mental age levels off with chronological age, meaning
inaccurate IQ results over time
- Reliability: consistency of the test is nearly perfect in test-retest reliability
Validity: how much does the test really measure what it should? Does it correlate with other measures
of intelligence? (eg. correlation of IQ with school or work achievement/performance is high)
- Mental retardation: <70 IQ and poor adaptive functioning
Affects 1 3% of population; most cases are mild and can still be mainstreamed
Causes: genetic abnormalities (mutation of X chromosome or extra chromosome 21)
Higher severity = lower inheritability
- Giftedness: >130 IQ
Savant: extremely high special intelligence with low general intelligence
- Terman: identified 1500 high school students with >135 IQ, found that they have above average physical
health, prestigious careers, low rates of mental illness
Genetic influences
- Galton: proportion of relatives with high intelligence in relation to a gifted individual decline the further
away in relation they are intelligence seems to run biologically in families
Twin studies: compare IQ correlations in identical (share 100% of genes) and fraternal (share 50% of
genes) twins; identical twins share the same IQ , with less correlation in fraternal twins
40 70% of IQ is decided by genetics, which increases with adulthood
- Bouchard: studied identical twins raised apart vs. together to compare performance on IQ tests the
two sets did the same, showing environment doesn’t have much impact
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- Adoption studies: study whether children have closer IQ to biological/genetic or adoptive/environmental
parents adopted children’s IQs initially resemble that of adoptive parents’, but are closer to biological
parents with age; environment only affects IQ early on, then genes take over
Environmental influences
- Zajonc: IQ declines with increased number of children larger families = lower IQ children
There is no regression within families (child 5 wouldn’t have lower IQ than child 1)
- Schooling = higher IQ
- Socio-economic status: Jensen found that blacks had older siblings with lower IQ than their younger
siblings showed more intellectual deprivation with time due to low status & accumulation of negative
- Nutritional supplements = higher school test scores
Historical influences
- Flynn: there is a rise in IQ over time historically; probably due to increased test sophistication/better
measures most pronounced in “culture-fair” tests about fluid intelligence, which people have less
exposure to
- Changes in home and school smaller families = more time to spend on children and more time spent by
children in school
- More stimulating environment & growing complexity of the modern world growing technologies must
be kept up with
- Better nutrition affects lower tail of the bell curve
- Subsidizing after the 100s, these results level off and even decline
Sex as an influence
- A few studies show there is a minimal increase in men’s IQ; male test scores are more widespread (have
a wider/more variable distribution of scores lowest male score is lower than that of the females’, and
the highest male score is higher), where women’s test scores cluster at a more compact range
- Specific mental abilities:
Women do better in verbal (spelling and writing), arithmetic, and recognizing emotions
Men do better with geography, directions, spatial ability, mental rotation may be environmental,
since both sexes of infants show the same spatial and counting abilities
o The difference may not be innate, but maybe is about problem-solving and approach
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