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Chapter 9

PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Flynn Effect, Lewis Terman, Gene Knockout

Course Code
Dwayne Pare

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Chapter 9: Testing (pg. 385)
9.1- Measuring Intelligence:
Approaches to Intelligence Testing
Intelligence and Perception: Galton's Anthropometric Approach
Ppl learn about world through their senses
Sensory abilities should be an indicator of one's intelligence
Anthropometrics: "measurement of ppl"
--> methods of measuring physical and mental variation in humans
Problem: if two measure's don't correlate well with each other, then they can't both be
indicators of the same thing
--> Thus, Galton's approach to measuring intelligence was generally abandoned
Intelligence and Thinking: the Standford-Binet Test
Alfred Binet argued that intelligence should be indicate by more compelx thinking
processes like memory, attention and comprehension
Intelligence: ability to think, understand, reason, and adapt to or overcome obstacles
Colleague = Theodore Simon
Binet argued a child's test score measure their Mental age: average intellectual ability
score for children of a specific age
Belief: Child with a mental age lower than chronological age would be expected to
struggle in school and require remedial education
Standford-Binet Intelligence Scale named by Lewis Terman
Standord- Binet test: test intended to measure innate levels of intelligence (*described
by Terman)
-->Binet instead viewed this test as a measure of a child's current abilities, not a measure of innate
Intelligence quoitient (IQ): calculated by taking a person's mental age, dividing it by their
chronological age, and then multiplying by 100
--> William Stern's built this concept of the 'IQ'
--> Terman adopted this to reflect people's presumably innate fixed levels of intelligence
--> if child's mental and chronological ages were the same = IQ is automatically at 100 --> 100
became standard for the "average child"
--> therefore, some kids could have a higher "mental age than chronological" ex) 10 year old with
7 year old brain (3 years behind)
Problem: Binet's mental age concept and Stern's IQ didn't make sense when applied to
--> If IQ scores remained constant after age 16, adults would lose their smartness with every year
that they age
-->To solve this, researchers created the Deviation IQ: calculates IQ od adults by comparing the
persons' test score with the average score for people of the same age
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
David Wechsler --> Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS): remains the most common
intelligence test in use today
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Full Scale IQ: WAIS provides ingle IQ score for each test taker, and breaks intelligence
into 1) General Ability Index (GAI)
2) Cognitive Proficiency Index (CPI)
GAI measures intellectual abilities without focusing on how fast he/she can solve a
problem and make decisions.
--> Visual comprehension and perceptual reasoning indices
CPI emphasis how greater working memory capacity and processing speed allow more
cognitive resources to be devoted to reasoning and solving problems.
-->Working memory and processing speed subtests
Raven's Progressive Matrices
Key problem with intelligence tests = cultural bias
--> psychologists tried to develop a more valid, "culture free" tests
Raven's Progressive Matrices: intelligence test based on pictures, not words, thus
making it unaffected by language or cultural background
The Chequered Past of Intelligence Testing
Lew Therman, develpoper of Standford-Binet Test
Belief: identifying students who should be channelled into more "advanced" academic
topics that would prepare them for higher education and others who should be channelled into
more skill-based topics that would prepare them for direct entry into the skilled trades and the
general workforce
--> in other words, Therman believed intelligence tests should be administered at schools (and
even in military settings)
IQ Testing and The Eugenics Movement
Darwin established the idea of evolution by natural selection
Had unfortunate outcomes --> like how colonialism affected non-Western cultures and
people of non-Caucasian ethnicities
Francis Galton (Cousin of Darwin) made an extensive study of the heritability of
intelligence and coined the term 'eugenics'
Galton believed genes were the basis of the family patterns he observed
Lewis Therman argued for the superiority of his own "race"
Concluded that ppl from non-Western cultures and non-White ethnicities did not have
high IQ's
--> believed that it was ok to put them into low-end, less challenging academic jobs
The Race and IQ Controversy
Root issue: clear and reliable hierarchy of IQ scores across different ethnic groups
Hernstein and Murray argue: human intelligence is a strong predictor of many different
personal and social outcomes, such as workplace performance, income and the likelihood of being
involved in criminal activities
Based on the race differences in IQ: they believed America was becoming an
increasingly divided society, populated by small "cognitive elite" class, and large under class with
lower intelligence
--> argued a healthy society would be a meritocracy
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--> Meritocracy: ppl who had ability and worked hardest would receive most wealth, power and
--> on the contrary: those with "lower IQ's" (supposed lower class) they believed should live out
their fates and not be helped by any programs
Problems with the Racial Superiority Interpretation
Cultural background affects many aspects of the testing process such as: 1) how
comfortable ppl are in a formal testing environ.
2) how motivated they are to perform well on such tests
3) their ability to establish rapport with the test administrators
Stereotype threat: when negative stereotypes about a group cause group members to
underperform on ability tests
--> 3 reasons why this may happen:
Stereotype threats increase arousal that individuals are aware to that specific negative
-Poor performance may reflect poorly on their group; arousal undermines their test performance
Causes ppl to be more self-focused, paying more attention to how well they are
performing, thus leaving fewer cognitive resources for them to focus on the test itself
Increases one's tendency to actively try to inhibit negative thoughts, which reduces the
cognitive resources that helps them focus
Concerns cast doubt on validity of IQ scores; suggesting test scores reflect IQ and other
factors like linguistic or cultural bias in the testing situation
--> genetic interpretation issue --> even if one accepts that the tests are valid (that intelligence
differences in social groups exist), this may not reflect innate, genetic differences
Thus, one can conclude: the Race-IQ gap is explained by differences in environ. (not
genetics), stereotype threat effects, and mos to the process of testing itself
2 influential beliefs about the nature of intelligence
-->Entity theory: belief that intelligence is a fixed characteristic and relatively difficult (or
impossible) to change
-->Incremental theory: belief that intelligence can be shaped by experiences, practice and effort
9.2- Understanding Intelligence:
Savant: individual with low mental capacity in most domains but extraordinary abilities
in other specific areas such as music, math or art
Intelligence as a Single, General Ability
Charles Spearman: developed techniques to measure mental abilities
--> Factor Analysis: statistical technique that examines correlations between variables to find
clusters of related variables, or "factors"
Spearman's General Intelligence
General intelligence factor ('g'): Spearman believed 'g' represented a person's "mental
energy," reflecting his belief that some people's brains are simply more "powerful" than others
-->Found that general intelligence test scores predict how efficiently we conduct impulses along
nerve fibres and across synapses
--> allows for more efficient info processing overall
--> To sum up, high IQ brains show less overall brain activation that others for the same task
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