Chapter 12. Intelligence and creativity. PYSC 213
1. The Concept of Intelligence: Historical Background
- The concept of intelligence has been accomplished by means of intelligence tests.
The Binet-Simon Test
- Intelligence test, vary in form and content, but they tend to be similar to the original one
invented by Binet in collaboration with Theophile Simon.
Wanted to develop a test to measure the extent which a child could benefit from
Designed to discriminate between normally and subnormally intelligent children.
Intelligence was defined as: a fundamental faculty, the alteration or lack of which
is of the utmost importance for practical life.
Their items are arranged in a real order of increasing difficulty
Allows children to be compared in terms of mental age (age level of the items a
child can pass)
- Stanford-Binet: made the eqution for IQ (intelligence quotient) scale, a useful
measure of intelligence could be obtained by dividing the person’s mental age (MA) by
his chronological age (CA)
IQ= MA/CA x 100
Normal children will have the IQ of 100.
Widely accepted test of intelligence
Charles Spearman—Factor Analysis
- Begins with a set of correlations between several measures, like different mental test
Then apply statistical procedures to get a number of underlying factors that
describe the structure of the set of correlations - the result of his analysis of pattern of correlations between different tests of mental
abilities, he created a two-factor theory of intelligence:
A hierarchical model
General intelligence “g” (the part of intelligence that is common to abilities)
underlies a set of specific abilities
A statistical procedure that derives a number of underlying factors that may
explain the structure of a set of correlation
Study: specific factors are represented by the abilities to do well in different
school subjects, such as French, English, mathematics, and music. Spearman
found that these specific abilities all were correlated with each other, but the inter-
correlation between specific abilities is not perfect. Each specific ability was seen
as determined in part by general intelligence and in part by circumstances specific
to that ability. In other words someone could have a high level of general
intelligence but vary in specific abilities.
- He formulated a statistical criterion that enabled him to estimate the amount of general
intelligence that computed to each specific ability. BUT it was hard to interpret the
correlations between scales purporting to measure different abilities.
- He believed that general intelligence represented the amount of mental energy( a
general non-specific energy that could be directed towards a specific ability) available to
- He concluded that when estimating the effects of education on intelligence, heredity
was more important than education in determining general intelligence but specific
factors could be shaped by schooling. 2. General Intelligence (g)
- General intelligence predicts academic achievement and work performance but only for
approximately half of the variability in performance. For example it is still necessary for
even really smart people to be prepared to work hard to fulfill their goals and to work
harder to be the best at it
- General intelligence provides the foundation on which hard work can be built
- Now contemporary environments in technological societies are increasingly complex,
requiring abilities for coping with change, dealing with novelty, quickly grasping the
relevance of innovative ideas for staying ahead of the curve and anticipating change.
They are considered a characteristic of general intelligence, they can be the reason to the
ability to adapt to a constant changing environment.
Fluid Intelligence and General Intelligence
- A distinction in general intelligence is between fluid and crystallized intelligence.
- Crystallized intelligence: consists of things you have learned, and may increase
throughout your lifetime.
- Fluid intelligence: the ability to think flexibly, which may increase when you are
young but levels off as you mature.
- General intelligence is typically assessed using tests of the ability to grasp unfamiliar
relationships, rather then tests of the content of the knowledge.
- Eduction: draw out
- General intelligence may be the ability to draw out the relationships that obtain in the
novel situation. - Raven Progressive Matrices: The most widely accepted test of general intelligence.
- Education of relations and correlates: the ability to grasp how things are related to
one another and what goes with what.
Working Memory and General Intelligence
- Working memory capacity: theory that working memory capacity and general
intelligence are closely related, suggested it was synonymous with general intelligence.
- The central executive selects and integrates information, constituting a workplace where
solutions to problems are made. Also performs functions similar to fluid intelligence.
- To test working memory capacity would require a person to continue to work on a task
in the face of distraction. It would measure a person’s ability to remain goal-oriented and
not allow extraneous information to interfere with the task. For example, Operation
Span Task: participants are shown a arithmetic problem on a screen that needs a yes or
no answer. Then when they respond a word shows up and then another arithmetic
problem shows up. The person is doing a arithmetic problem and has to keep track of the
relationship between each problem and the corresponding word.
- Tests of working memory capacity correlate positively with tests like raven but not the
same as general intelligence. Argued that working memory capacity is the ability to
regulate attention and play an important role in bringing cognitive processes under
Neuro Plasticity and General intelligence
-Spearman’s concept of mental energy is not a useful concept in neuroscientific theories. - Neural Plasticity: underlies general intelligence. Plasticity is the ability of an organism
to adapt to changes in the environment. Neural plasticity changes in neuronal circuitry as
a function of experience. (ex phantom limb phenomena)
- Individual differences in neuroplasticity reflect the degree in which people can adapt to
a changing environment by forming and/or alternating connections between neurons.
- Individual differences in neuralplasticity are likely because of genetic variation
- Hypothesis is that people vary in the extent to which their brains are able to adapt their
neural circuitry to environmental stimulation during childhood.
- neuro plasticity is the ability to adapt to any circumstances the person is confronted,
there are some limitations.
-Neuro plasticity requires environmental stimulation in order to actualize its potential.
- Children low in neuro plasticity would be less able to adapt environmental change
- Children who are high in neuro plasticity would develop intellectually only to the
exstent that they are exposed to appropriate environmental stimulation
The Evolution of general intelligent
- Dedicated intelligence : Domain-specific modules that have evolved to solve recurring
- Improvisational intelligence: Deals with relatively unique problems that are
unpredictable. The ability to deal with surprises may enable survival
- Surprises can not be solved by dedicated preprogrammed mechanisms you need the
flexibility of general intelligence , argued that general and improvisational intelligence
are the same
3. The Flynn effect - An increase in IQ scores over historical time
- Rapid rise in general intelligence must be do to environmental factors
- The Flynn Effect could be due to an enriched environment enabling potential General
Intelligence to become actual General intelligence
Nutrition & Health
- Nutrition has improved in industrialized countries since 1930
- Improvements in nutrition has increased the growth of the brain and probably also its
neurological development and it has increased intelligence.
- Nutrition and health gains may contribute to IQ gains.
- Prasitic infections can have deleterious cognitive effects, simply removing the infection
is not enough to produce significant gains in cognitive abilities , academic remediation
and enrichment to unable them to attain the level acculturation by other individuals is
-Mathematics education may be expected to highten fluid intelligence
-exposure to complex visual media ( photographs, movies, computers , television) has
produced increases in a significant form of intelligence called visual analysis
-Study: training in video games led to gains on standard attention tasks
-complex visual experiences may enhance basic cognitive processes
Sternberg’s Theory of Succ