PSYC3850 Chapter 4: Chapter 4.docx

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Chapter 4: Understanding Intelligence and Adaptive
Although prenatal periods does appear opt have relationship to baby’s
temperament- the relationship isn’t that strong
Mothers should have good nutrition and not partake of certain substances during
pregnancy in order to give their developing baby the best possible change
Promote healthy lifestyle like healthy food, getting rest
Biggest aspect of human difference is intelligence
Scientists have tried to quantify intelligence but experience difficult keeping the
concept in focus
Two problems with this:
oA tendency to rush the development and marketing of instruments that
purport to measure intelligence
oA simplistic notion that test performance is valid and reliable regardless of
cultural or motivational influences
Psychologists “success” in developing tests actually presents a significant
problem, particularly if the instruments neglect other relevant aspects of
intelligent behavior – such as the influence of social and cultural mores, language
In mechanized times, individuals with limited intellectual ability often could
make significant contributions to society by performing work that did not require
a high level of skill
oAs technology advanced, the need for unskilled and semiskilled
individuals diminished
Any humane society must explore ways to reduce the social and economic
liability of all of its less gifted citizens, including those with intellectual
The concept of intelligence
Many people view intelligence in a quantitative sense however, it should be seen
in a more qualitative sense
Development of Intelligence
Intellectual disabilities triggered a main argument of nature vs. nurture when it
came to intellectual disabilities
No longer a matter of debate whether genetics affects human intelligence or
whether environmental factors play a part in the dynamics of intelligence as both
play a role
But controversy about how much each contribute
The AAMR definition of intellectual disabilities focuses significantly on adaptive
behavior areas, which attempt to address these important influences on personal
and social success.
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Social intelligence or social person competence – is about social aspect of
oExample, interpersonal interaction, forming relationships, communication,
self regulation and reacting appropriately to the subtle cues in ones
oMany of these behaviors reliably appear as limitations in the behavioral
repertoire of those with intellectual disabilities
Expectancy – considerable effect on how person behaviors and is really just the
expectation of an event
oThose with intellectual disabilities often have a lifetime of experiences
that shape their expectations towards failure and success – thus will enter
future situations with a negative expectation
oThus they have low motivation and this can influence their test results by
preventing the test taker from diligently trying to perform the tasks
Measurement of Intelligence
Some people take a factorial approach – attempting to isolate and identify the
component parts of the intelligence concepts
Others conceptualize intelligence – hypothetical or intermingled with total
It is difficult to construct tests that include all contextual factors and thus only
limited samples of behavior can measured at a given time and place
Past intelligence tests = successful test development occurs to the degree that a
test maker effectively identifies, measurable attributes (subtests) standardizes
them and provides validity and reliability
Current intelligence tests = attributes that test makers believe are the best of the
measureable aspects of intelligence now available
Early intelligence tests took a factorial approach rather than from holistic
approach (conceptual intelligence)
Charles spearmint = first factorial approach
oBelieved that intelligence could best be expressed through two factors
(a) A general or g factor
(b) A specific or s factor
oBelieved that g factor represented true intelligence in that various tests of
intelligence were consistently interrelated
oB/c consistencies weren’t perfect, came up with s factors = results from
those activities that could be associated with particular (specific) situations
Edward L. Thorndike
oBroader view
oIntellectual functioning was three factors
Abstract intelligence = verbal and mathematical symbols
Mechanical or concrete intelligence = ability to use objects in
meaningful way
Social intelligence capacity to deal with other persons
oAlso believes neural interconnections in the brain influence intelligence
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