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Chapter 10

Chapter 10.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Chapter 10- Intelligence Example: Anne McGarrah; couldn’t count due to William’s syndrome  Couldn’t count or add simple numbers  Neither could she distinguish left from right  Retardation was so severe that she was unable to care for herself or hold a full time job  Although people w/ Williams syndrome cannot complete simple daily tasks they typically have gifts for speech and music  Have distinct elfin facial appearance and diminished cognitive abilities  Williams syndrome; caused by absence of 20 genes on chromosome 7,  No one knows why the cause of this genetic glitch so profoundly impairs a person’s general cognitive abilities but leaves then w/ talent for music & language  Was she intelligent?  Odd to say someone is intelligent when she cant do simple addition  What exactly is intelligence? o 20 years ago, 52 scientific experts came together to answer this question o Concluded that intelligence: ability to direct one’s thinking, adapt to ones circumstances and learn from one’s experience How can intelligence be measured?  1920s; psychologist henry Goddard administered intelligence tests to arriving immigrants at Ellis island o Concluded that overwhelming majority of Jews, Hungarians, Italians, Russians were “feebleminded”  Used tests to identify feebleminded American families  Claimed they were responsible for nations social problems and suggested that gov’t should segregate them in isolated colonies  US passed laws restricting the immigration of people from southern and eastern Europe o 27 states passed laws requiring the sterilization of “mental detectives”  Intelligence tests have been used to rationalize prejudice and discrimination against people of different races religion and nationalities  IT tests have been used to further detestable ends but also such tests were developed for most noble of purposes: o Helping underprivileged children succeed in school The Intelligence Test  19 century; France instituted set of education reforms that made primary school education available to all children regardless of social class  More classes were filled with diverse kids different levels of learning  French gov’t called psychologist Alfred Binet and physician Theodore Simon to develop test that would allow educators to develop remedial programs for children who lagged behind peers  Set out to develop an objective test that would provide unbiased measure of child’s ability  Tasks that best students in a class could perform and worst students couldn’t  Tasks that would distinguish the best and worst students o Predict success in school  Included solving logic problems remembering words copying pictures distinguishing edible and inedible foods, making rhymes and answering questions  Settled on 30 of these tasks and assembled them into a test that claimed could measure child’s natural intelligence  Binet/Simon designed their test to measure a child’s aptitude for learning independent of child’s prior educational achievement  Suggested teachers could use the test to estimate child’s mental level simply by computing the average test score of children in different age groups o Example child who is 10 years but score was same as 8 year old is considered to have mental level of 8 year old and needs remedial education  William Stern: that this mental level 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  Lewis terman; formalized comparison w/ intelligence quotient or ratio IQ: o A statistic obtained by dividing a person’s mental age by the person’s physical age and then multiplying the quotient by 100  As a result of anomalies such Deviation IQ: statistic obtained by dividing a person’s test score of people in the same age group and then multiplying the quotient by 100  A person who scored the same as average person his or age would have a deviation of 100  Bad thing about deviation IQ is that it doesn’t allow comparisons b/w people of different ages  Modern researchers compute the ratio IQ for children and the deviation IQ for adults  Figure 10.1 percentage of people who typically score at each level of IQ on a standard intelligence test The Logic of Intelligence Testing  Binet and Simon’s test did a good job of predicting a child’s performance in school o Intelligence is one of the factors that contributes to that performance o Affability, motivation, intact hearing, doting parents [all of these seem likely to influence a child’s scholastic performance  Chapter 2; measurement always requires that we generate an operational definition of the property we measure o To design an intelligence test  Begin w/ assumption that a property called intelligence leads people to experience a wide variety of consequences [good grades]  B/c it would be highly impractical to actually measure these consequences, we instead devise an easily administered set of tasks [geometric puzzle] and questions whose successful completion is known to be correlated w/ those consequences o as long as we understand that what we mean by that phrase is “a measurement of a person’s performance on tasks that are correlated w/ the consequences that intelligence produces” o intelligence tests measure the ability to answer questions and perform tasks that are highly correlated w/ the ability to get good grades, solve real world problems and so on o have worked hard to construct intelligence tests that can predict the consequences of intelligence o today; standford-binet test based on original but modified by Lewis terman and colleagues at Stanford university and WAIS o example: WAIS 13 subtests involves seeing similarities and differences, drawing inferences and so forth  vocabulary, similarities, information, comprehension, picture completion, block design, matrix reasoning and more o only 3 of 13 require the examinee to write anything down, none requires writing words The consequences of Intelligence  IQ tests; test scores are highly correlated w/ just about every outcome that human beings care about; grades, jobs, money, health, longevity  Correlation b/w a person’s score on a standard intelligence test and his academic performance is roughly r=0.5 across a wide range of people and situations  It is the best predictor of the # of years of education an individual will receive, which is in part why they predict a person’s occupational status and income  Less intelligent sibling earned about half of what the more intelligent sibling earned  Predictors of how well employees perform in their jobs and job performance correlates more highly w/ intelligence [r=0.53]  Predicts wide variety of other important consequences how likely people are to commit crimes to how long people live  Predict peoples performance on basic cognitive tasks [predicting which vertical line is longer; high intelligence test scores require less time o Have faster and less variable reactions to almost any kind of stimulus  Good predictors of person’s religion or political attitude  Intelligent people more likely to be liberal and atheistic READ SUMMARY ON PAGE 396 Is Intelligence one ability or many?  Michael Jordan’s brilliance on basketball and his mediocrity on baseball field proved beyond doubt that these 2 sports require different abilities  Is intelligence a meaningless abstraction? A hierarchy of abilities  Charles spearman; student of Wundt o Invented technique known as factor analysis: a statistical technique that explains a large # of correlations in terms of a small # of underlying factors  If there 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 just about everything and those who lack it should do well at just about nothing  There should be a + correlation b/w peoples performance on all kinds of tests  spearman experiment: revealed that most of these measures were indeed positive correlated, even mice show same positive correlation/w different kinds of cognitive tests o not perfectly correlated; child who had the very highest score on one measure didn’t necessarily have the very highest score on every measure  combined these 2 facts into a 2 factor theory of intelligence o spearman’s theory suggesting that every task requires a combination of a general ability [which he called g] and skills that are specific to the task [which he called s]  Louis Thurnstone: notice that while scores on most tests were indeed positively correlated, scores on one kind of verbal test were more highly correlated w/ scores on another kind of verbal than they were w/ perceptual o Clustering of correlations; said no such things as g and instead a few stable and independent mental abilities such as perceptual verbal and numerical ability which he called primary mental abilities o They weren’t general nor specific o Therefore we have abilities such as verbal ability and perceptual but no general ability called intelligence  Debate among spearman, Thurnstone and other mathematical giants was quite technical raged for half century as psychologists debated the existence of “g”  New mathematical technique: confirmatory factor analysis o Showed that correlations b/w scores on different mental ability tests are best described by 3 level hierarchy with a general factor [g] at the top, specific factors at the bottom and a set of factors called group factors in the middle o This hierarchy suggests that people have a very general ability called intelligence, which is made up of small set of middle level abilities The Middle-level Abilities  Most psychologists agree that there are very specific mental abilities as well as a very general mental ability and that one important challenges is to describe the middle level abilities that lie between them  Data-based approach; peoples responses on I-tests then looking to see what kinds of independent clusters these responses form  Theory-based approach; starting w/ broad survey of human abilities and then to see which abilities I-tests measure or fail to measure Data-Based Approach  Compute correlations b/w the performances of a large number of people on a large number of tests and see how those correlations cluster  Example on page 400: pattern suggest that a person who can swat flies can also balance teacups well and that a person who understand Shakespeare well can also sun numbers well but that person who can swat and balance many or may NOT be able to sum numbers or understand Shakespeare o 2 middle level abilities; physical coordination and academic skill  psychologist john Carroll set out to discover in his landmark analysis of intelligence test scores from 500 studies conducted over half century  Carroll suggested existence of eight independent middle level abilities: o memory and learning, visual perception, auditory perception, retrieval, cognitive, speediness, processing speed, crystalized intelligence and fluid intelligence  fluid intelligence: ability to see abstract relationships and draw logical inferences  crystallized intelligence: the ability to retain and use knowledge that was acquire though experience  CI refers to information and fluid refers to processing part  CI is tested by vocab, factual info and so forth and fluid is tested by posing novel abstract problems that must be solved under time pressure [raven’s matrices test] Theory-base Approach  Data based: Attempts to discover the middle level abilities by analyzing people’s responses to questions on intelligences tests  Conclusions are based on hard evidence  Bad thing is that its incapable of discovering any middle level ability that intelligence didn’t measure already  Robert Sternberg: there are 3 kinds of intelligence he calls o Analytic; ability to identify and define problems ad to find strategies for solving theme o Creative; ability to generate solutions that other people don’t o Practical; ability to apply and implement these solutions in everyday settings o Standard intelligence tests according to Sternberg typically confront people with clearly defined problems that one right answer and then supply all the info needed to solve them o Only require analytical intelligence o He argued that tests of practical intelligence are better than tests of analytic intelligence at predicting a persons job performance  Howard Gardner: believes that standard intelligence tests fail to measure some important human abilities o Observations of ordinary people, people w/ brain damage prodigies [people
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