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Chapter 8

PSYC 251 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Moodle, 6 Years, Standard Deviation

Course Code
PSYC 251
Stanka A Fitneva

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Chapter 8
Pgs: 299- 323
What is Intelligence?
Difficult to define; part of the difficulty is that intelligence can be defined as one
thing, a few things, or many things
Intelligence as a Single Trait
Some researchers think that intelligence is a single trait that influences all aspects
of cognitive functioning—supported by positive correlation on intellectual tasks,
those that do well on one tend to do well on others
Hypothesis that we possess a certain amount of general intelligence (g) that
influences our ability to think and learn
General Intelligence (g): Cognitive processes that influence the ability to think
and learn on all intellectual tasks
Measures of g correlate positively with school grades, information processing
speeds, speeds of neural transmission and brain volume
Intelligence as a Few Basic Abilities
Two types of intelligence: fluid and crystallized
Fluid Intelligence: Ability to think on the spot, closely related to adaptation to
novel tasks, speed of information processing, working-memory functioning and
ability to control attention, solve novel problems, intelligence peaks around 20
and slowly declines after, active most in prefrontal cortex
Crystallized Intelligence: Factual knowledge about the world, word meanings,
state capitals, reflects long-term memory for prior experiences and is closely
related to verbal ability, increases steadily from early life to old age, prefrontal
cortex not as active
Children who do will on tests of fluid intelligence will often do better on fluid
than another type
Primary Mental Abilities: Thought that human intellect is composed of 7 mental
abilities, world fluency, verbal meaning, reasoning, spatial visualization,
numbering, rote memory and perceptual speed
Intelligence as Numerous Processes
Many processes involved with intelligence including remembering, perceiving,
attending, comprehending, encoding, associating, generalizing, planning,
reasoning, forming concepts…etc.
Viewing intelligence as multiple processes allows a more precise specification of
mechanisms involved in intelligent behaviour
Three- Stratum Theory of Intelligence: Carroll’s model that places g at the top
of the intelligence hierarchy, 8 moderately general abilities in the middle (include
fluid, crystallized, broad visual perception) and many specific processes at the
Therefore general intelligence influences all moderately general abilities and the
two in turn influence specific processes
Intelligence is therefore a single trait, a few abilities and many processes

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Measuring Intelligence
Binet said that the best way to measure intelligence is by observing people’s
actions on tasks that require a variety of types of intelligence (problem solving,
memory, language comprehension)
The Contents of Intelligence Tests
Weschsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC): Widely used test designed
to measure the intelligence of children 6 years or older, yields overall score as
well as separate scores on verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working
memory and processing speed
Intelligence tests have the greatest success and widest application with children
who are at least 5 years old
The Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence tests (WISC and Stanford-Binet) provide an overall quantitative
measure of childrens intelligence relative to other children of the same age, this
summary measure is IQ
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): Quantitative measure, typically with a mean of 100
and a standard deviation of 15, used to indicate a child’s intelligence relative to
that of other children of the same age
IQ follows a normal distribution with a SD of around 15 points
IQ scoring system makes different ages easy to compare since a score of 130 at
age 5 means that the childs performance is better than 98% of peers and this
means the same thing at age 20
Continuity of IQ Scores
IQ scores remain the same as you age, high degree of continuity
The closer the time between the tests, the higher the degree of continuity, for
example tests taken when a child was 5 and then 9 correlated 0.79 and when the
child was 5 and 6 correlated 0.87 of the time
IQ scores although similar are rarely identical with a person, can change based on
mood, alertness, changes in environment, neighbourhood, parental divorce…etc.
IQ Scores as Predictors of Important Outcomes
IQ scores correlate positively with school grades and achievement test
Positive relation between IQ score and occupational and economic success
Often this is due to the fact that IQ scores stem from standardized tests that serve
as gatekeepers that determine which students gain access to training and
credentials required for entry into lucrative professions
Although IQ is a big predictor of academic economic and occupational success,
other characteristics such as motivation to succeed, conscientiousness, intellectual
curiosity…etc. are also important
Self-Discipline: Ability to inhibit actions, follow rules, and avoid impulsive
actions, more predictive of changes in report card grades than IQ scores although
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