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PSYC 2310 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Fluid And Crystallized Intelligence, Neuroplasticity, Twin Study

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof
Study Guide

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Chapter Summary Notes Midterm 2
Chapter 10 - Intelligence
-Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, and
to deal adaptively with the environment. Because cultural environments differ in the
skills most important for adaptation, cultural conceptions of intelligence may differ
-Galton's studies of hereditary genius and Binet's methods for measuring
differences in children's mental skills were important historical milestones in the
study of intelligence.
-The psychometric approach to intelligence attempts to map the structure of
intellect and establish how many different classes of mental ability underlie test
performance. A newer approach, the cognitive processes approach, focuses on
the specific thought processes that underlie mental competencies.
-Factor analysis can be applied to correlations among test scores to identify clusters
of measures that correlate highly with one another and therefore are assumed to
have a common underlying factor.
-Spearman believed that intelligence is determined both by specific cognitive
abilities and by a general intelligence (g) factor that constitutes the core of
intelligence. Thurstone disagreed, viewing intelligence as a set of specific abilities.
Thurstone's position is best supported by observed distinctions between verbal and
spatial abilities.
-Cattell and Horn differentiated between crystallized intelligence, the ability to
apply previously learned knowledge to current problems, and fluid intelligence, the
ability to deal with novel problem-solving situations for which personal experience
does not provide a solution. They argued that over our lifespan, we show a
progressive shift from using fluid intelligence to using crystallized intelligence as we
attain wisdom.
-Carroll's three-stratum model is based on reanalysis of hundreds of data sets;
mental abilities are represented at three levels, with general intelligence (g) at the
apex and highly specific cognitive and perceptual skills at its base. Carroll's model
may be the most accurate psychometric representation of human cognitive abilities.
-Cognitive process theories of intelligence focus on the elementary information-
processing abilities that contribute to intelligence. Sternberg's triarchic theory of
intelligence includes a components subtheory that addresses the specific cognitive
processes that underlie intelligent behaviour.

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-Sternberg and Gardner maintain that there are distinct forms of intelligence
beyond the traditional concept. Sternberg differentiates between analytical,
practical, and creative intelligence, and Gardner proposes nine different kinds of
intelligence. The theory of emotional intelligence refers to people's ability to read
and respond appropriately to others' emotions, to motivate themselves, and to be
aware of and in control of their emotions.
-Most modern intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler scales, measure an array of
different mental abilities. In addition to a global, or full-scale, IQ they provide scores
for each subtest and summary scores for broader abilities, such as verbal and
performance IQ's. Some recent tests are derived directly from theories of
intelligence. The Kaufman scale provides separate scores for crystallized and fluid
intelligence and Sternberg's STAT measures analytical, practical, and creative
-Achievement tests measure what has already been learned, whereas aptitude tests
are assumed to measure potential for future learning and performance. Most
intelligence tests measure combinations of achievement and aptitude, for it is
difficult to separate past learning and future learning potential.
-Three important standards for psychological tests are reliability (consistency of
measurement over time, within tests, and across scorers), validity (successful
measurement of the construct and acceptable relations with relevant criterion
measures), and standardization (development of norms, and standard testing
-IQ scores successfully predict a range of academic, occupational, and life outcomes,
including how long people live. Such findings indicate that intelligence tests are
measuring important adaptational skills
-The Flynn effect refers to the notable rise in intelligence test scores over the past
century, possibly due to better living conditions, more schooling, or more complex
-In dynamic testing, standard test administration is followed by feedback and
suggestions from the examiner and a retaking of the test, thus allowing an
assessment of how well he person profits from feedback and how intellectual skills
might be coached in the future. Dynamic testing does not, and retest score
sometimes relate more strongly to criterion measures.
-Intelligence testing in non-Western cultures is a challenge, One approach is to use
tests that are not tied to any culture's knowledge base. Another approach is to
devise tests of the abilities that are important to adaptation in that culture. These
cultural-specific abilities may bear little relation to the mental skills assessed by
Western intelligence tests.

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-Recent physiological evidence suggests that the brains of intelligent people may
function more efficiently. Brain size is not significantly related to intelligence, but
the neural networks laid down in the process of brain development may be
extremely important. One current theory is that differences in brain plasticity may
underlie intelligence.
-Intelligence is determined by interacting hereditary and environmental factors.
Genes account for between 50 and 70 percent of population variation in IQ. Shared
family environment accounts for perhaps 1/4 - 1/3 of the variance during
childhood, but its effects seem to dissipate as people age. Educational experiences
also influence mental skills. Heredity establishes a reaction range with upper and
lower limits for intellectual potential. Environment affects the point within that
range that will be reached.
-Intervention programs for disadvantaged children have positive effects on later
achievement and life outcomes if they begin early in life and are applied intensively.
They have little effect when applied after school begins or with middle or upper-
class children.
-Heritability estimates of intelligence can vary, depending on sample characteristics.
In impoverished families, shared environment was more important than genes,
whereas the opposite was found in affluent families Twin studies also show that
heritability effects on intelligence increase in adulthood.
-Cultural and ethnic differences in intelligence exist (though they may be
narrowing), but the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors are
still in question. Evidence exists for both genetic and environmental determinants.
Whether intelligence tests exhibit outcome bias in underestimating the mental
abilities of minorities is a point of contention, but the tests do no appear to have
predictive bias.
-Although the differences are not large, men tend as a group to score higher than
women on certain spatial and mathematical reasoning tasks. Women preform
slightly better than men on tests of perceptual speed, verbal fluency, mathematical
calculation, and fine-motor coordination. Both environmental and biological bases
of sex differences have been suggested.
-Even people with IQ's in the 150's often show discrepancies in specific skills. Those
who achieve eminence tend to have, in addition to high IQ's, high levels of interest
and motivation in their chosen activities.
-Cognitive disability can be caused by a number of factors. Biological causes are
identified in only about 28% of cases. Cognitive disability can range from mild to
profound. The vast majority of disabled individuals are able to function in the
mainstream of society, given appropriate support. Genetic factors seem relatively
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