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Chapter 9

PSY 202 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Nerd, Law School Admission Test, Specific Developmental Disorder

Course Code
PSY 202
Tsasha Awong

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Intelligence and IQ Testing - Chapter 9
Page 364
Karl Fredrich Gauss is a great German mathematician was the first to come up with
the concept of the "bell curve"
Today, we sometimes refer to the bell curve as the "Gaussian distribution"
This curve describes how people differ in their scores on intelligence tests
Gauss was a genius, with an IQ ("Intelligence quotient") of 180+
The average person's IQ is typically somewhere around 100
Gauss was a child prodigy
By the time he was 2 years old, he had taught himself reading and basic arithmetic
At age 3, he caught a calculation error that his father had made when adding up his
family's finances
What is Intelligence: Definitional Confusion (Page 366)
One of the problems that makes psychology so challenging is the lack of clear-cut
definitions for many of its concepts
Even today, psychologists can't agree on the precise definition of intelligence
Special Considerations in Interpreting Intelligence Research
Emotional reasoning: The tendency to judge the validity of an idea by our
emotional reactions to it
Intelligence As Sensory Capacity: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Sir Francis Galton was also a child prodigy, and learned to read at about age 2
Galton invented techniques that are still in use today: the method of studying twins
to determine the genetic bases of traits, the correlation as a measure of statistical
association, and criminal fingerprinting
Galton claimed that intelligence is the by-product of sensory capacity
According to him, most knowledge first comes through the senses (especially vision

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and hearing)
He assumed that people with superior sensory capacities (like better eyesight)
should acquire more knowledge than other people
Intelligence As Abstract Thinking
Early in the last century, the French government wanted to find a way to identify
children in need of special educational assistance
In 1904, the Minister of Public Instruction in Paris tapped two individuals (Alfred
Binet and Henri Simon) to develop a psychological test that would identify students
who might require additional instruction in certain scholastic abilities
Abstract thinking: Capacity to understand hypothetical concepts
That Controversial Little Letter: G
Developed by Charles Spearman - G, or general intelligence: hypothetical factor
that accounts for overall differences in intellect among people
G implies that some people are smarter than others
Spearman also proposed the existence of a factor called s or specific abilities that
refer to a particular ability level in a narrow domain
Even if we're really smart (high in overall g), we might flunk an item because we
have a specific deficiency when it comes to spatial problems
^ That deficiency may mean that we're inherently not adept at spatial tasks or that
we haven't had much experience with them
Fluid and Crystallised Intelligence
Later researchers found that Spearman's g wasn't as uniform as he'd believed
They discovered that some intelligence test items relate more highly to each other
than do other items: These items form clumps of related abilities
Among these investigators were Raymond Cattell and John Horn who distinguished
fluid from crystallised intelligence
Fluid intelligence: The capacity to learn new ways of solving problems. For
example, we rely on fluid intelligence the first time we try to operate a type of
vehicle we've never driven

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Crystallized intelligence: The accumulated knowledge of the world we acquire
over time. For example, we rely on our crystallised intelligence to answer questions
such as "what's the capital of Italy"
According to Cattell and Horn, knowledge from newly learned tasks "flows" into
our long-term memories, "crystallizing" into lasting knowledge
Fluid abilities are more likely to decline with age than are crystallized abilities
Some researchers have found that crystallized abilities increase with age
Fluid abilities ar emore highly related to g than crystallized abilities
Multiple Intelligences: Different Ways of Being Smart
Since the 1930s, some psychologists have argued for the existence of multiple
intelligences: different domains of intellectual skill
According to them, the concept of g is wrong, or at least incomplete
These psychologists maintain that we can't simply say that Sally is smarter than
Bill, because there are many ways of being smart
Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has been enormously influential
in educational practice and theory over the past two decades
According to Gardner, there are numerous "frames of mind," or different ways of
thinking about the world
Each frame of mind is a different and fully independent intelligence in it's own right
Gardner outlined a number of criteria for determining whether a mental ability is a
seperate intelligence
Gardner argued that different intelligences should be especially pronounced in
people with exceptional talents
Gardner also suggested that different intelligences should make sense from an
evolutionary standpoint: They should help organisms survive or make it easier for
them to meet future mates
Gardner proposed eight different intelligences ranging from linguistic and spatial to
musical and interpersonal
He's also proposed the existence of a ninth intelligence, called existential
intelligence: the ability to grasp deep philosophical ideas, like the meaning of life
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences:
1. Linguistic: Speaks and writes well (translator, editor)
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