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Chapter 10

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Steve Joordens

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 ages - 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 problems 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 NOTHING - 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 abilities) => specific factors (like Spearman’s specific) - this hierarchy suggests that people have a very general ability called intelligence, which is made up of a small set of middle – level abilities, which are made up of a large set of specific abilities that are unique to particular tasks The Middle – Level Abilities - psychologists agree that there are very specific mental abilities as well as very general mental ability and the challenge is to describe the middle – level abilities that lie b/w them - DATA – BASED APPROACH => starting w/ people’s responses on intelligence tests and then looking to see what kinds of independent clusters these responses form - THEORY – BASED APPROACH => by starting w/ a broad survey of human abilities and then looking to see which of these abilities intelligence tests measure or fail to measure The Data – Based Approach - to determine the nature of the middle – level abilities is to start w/ data and go where they lead us - we could compute the correlations b/w the performances of a large number of people on a large number of tests and then see how these correlations cluster - 2 middle – level abilities called “physical coordination” and “academic skill” => for eg: people who balance teacups well can also swat flies well but cannot understand Shakespeare and sum numbers - this suggests that different specific abilities such as fly swatting and balancing teacups are possible by a single middle – level ability and this middle – level ability is unrelated to the other middle – level ability which is to sum numbers and understand Shakespeare - John Carroll found that the pattern of correlations among the tests that he conducted suggest the existence of eight independent middle – level abilities => memory and learning => visual perception => auditory perception => retrieval ability => cognitive speediness => processing speed => crystallized intelligence => fluid intelligence - FLUID INTELLIGENCE => the ability to see abstract relationsips and draw logical inferences - refers to the “processing” part of the brain - assessed by tests that pose novel, abstract problems that must be solved under time pressure - relates to one’s natural (genetic) intellectual abilities - CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE => the ability to retain and use knowledge that was acquired through experience - refers to the “ information” part - assessed by tests of vocabulary, factual information - formed by environment The Theory – Based Approach - the good thing about the data – based approach is that its conclusions are based on hard evidence but the bad thing is that it is incapable of discovering any middle – level ability that intelligence tests didn’t already measure such as imagination or creativity - Robert Sternberg believes that there are 3 kinds of intelligence that are blind to the data – based approach: analytic intelligence creative intelligence practical intelligence - Analytic intelligence => the ability to identify and define problems and to find strategies for solving them - Creative intelligence => the ability to generate solutions that other people do not - Practical intelligence => the ability to apply and implement these solutions in everyday settings - standard intelligence tests confront people w/ clearly defined problems that have 1 right answer and then supply all the info needed to solve them - these kinds of problems require analytic intelligence - everyday life confronts people in which they must formulate the problem, find the info needed to solve it and then choose among m
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