PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Louis Leon Thurstone, Fluid And Crystallized Intelligence

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
Chapter 10 Intelligence
- INTELLIGENCE => the ability to direct one’s thinking, adapt to one’s
circumstances, and learn from one’s experiences
How Can Intelligence Be Measured?
The Intelligence Quotient
- in France, psychologist Alfred Binet and physician Theodore Simon developed a
test that allowed educators to develop remedial programs for those children who
lagged behind there peers
- Natural intelligence => was their test that measured a child’s aptitude for
learning independent of the child’s prior educational achievement
- German psychologist William Stern in 1914 suggested that the mental level of a
child could be thought of as a child’s mental age and that the best way to determine
whether a child was developing normally was to examine the ratio of the child’s
mental age to the child’s physical age.
- American psychologist Lewis Terman in 1916 formalized this comparison with the
intelligent quotient or RATIO IQ => which is a statistic obtained by dividing a
person’s mental age by the person’s physical age and then multiplying the quotient
by 100.
- DEVIATION IQ => a statistic obtained by dividing a person’s test score by the
average test score of people in the same age group and then multiplying the
quotient by 100.
- problem with this is that it does not allow comparisons b/w people of different
- to solve this problem researchers compute the ratio IQ for children and deviation
IQ for adults
The Logic of Intelligence Testing
- measurement requires that we generate an operational definition of the property
we wish to measure
- property => intelligence consequences => getting good grades
- intelligence tests don’t really measure intelligence, they measure the ability to
answer questions and perform tasks that are highly correlated w/ the ability to get
good grades, etc
- “a measurement of a person’s performance on tasks that are correlated w/
the consequences that intelligence produces”
- widely used intelligence tests are the Stanford-Binet and the WAIS (the Wechsler
Adult Intelligence Scale)
- they require respondents to answer a variety of questions and solve a variety of
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The Consequences of Intelligence
- an intelligent test score is the best predictor of the number of years of education an
individual will receive which is in part why these scores also predict a person’s
occupational status and income
- its also the best predictors of how employees perform their jobs
=> job performance correlates highly w/ intelligence than w/ factors such as
performance during a job interview or education
=> “for hiring employees w/o previous experience in the job, the most valid
measure of future performance and learning is general mental ability”
- it also predicts how likely people are to commit crimes and to how long they are
likely to live
- it also predicts people’s performance on basic cognitive tasks
- people w/ high intelligence test scores have faster and less variable reactions to
almost any kind of stimulus
Is Intelligence One Ability or Many?
A Hierarchy of Abilities
- Charles Spearman invented a technique known as FACTOR ANALYSIS => a
statistical technique that explains a large number of correlations in terms of a small
number of underlying factors
- his reasoning was that, if there really is a single general ability called intelligence
that enables people to perform a variety of intelligent behaviors, then those who
have this ability should do well at EVERYTHING and those lack it should do well at
- TWO FACTOR THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE => every task requires a combination
of a general ability and skills that are specific to the task
- Louis Thurstone didn’t agree with Spearman
- he said that there is no such thing as general ability and that there were instead a
few stable and independent mental abilities such as perceptual ability, verbal ability,
and numerical abilities which were called the primary mental abilities
- these primary mental abilities were neither general or specific
=> for eg: in general a person might have strong verbal abilities and weak
numerical abilities and in specific a person who had strong verbal abilities tended
both to speak and read well
- he argued that we have no general ability called intelligence instead we have
abilities such as verbal and perceptual
- in 1980’s a mathematical technique called confirmatory factor analysis revealed
that Spearman and Thurstone had each been right in his own way
- this new technique showed that the correlations b/w scores on different mental
ability tests are described by a 3 level hierarchy
=> General factor at the top (like Spearman’s general ability)
=> set of factors called group factors ( like Thurston’s primary mental
=> specific factors (like Spearman’s specific)
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