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Chapter 9

PSYA02H3 Chapter 9: Module 9.1 - Measuring Intelligence (Textbook Notes)

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Steve Joordens

9.1 Measuring Intelligence Leilani Muir She found that her fallopian tubes had been surgically destroyed, permanently sterilizing her She was given an intelligence test, which she scored 64 (below the 70 point cut off required by law for forced sterilization) Forced sterilization gave doctors the power to sterilize people deemed genetically unfit without their consent One criteria for someone to be genetically unfit was a low score on an IQ test She later sued the government of Alberta and received 750K Different Approaches to Intelligence Testing Intelligence is a difficult concept to define Intelligence and Perception: Galtons Anthropometric Approach o Attempts to measure intelligence that began with Sir Francis Galton (18221911) o Galton believed that sensory abilities should be an indicator of a persons intelligence o In 1884, Galton created a set of 17 sensory tests To test: highest and lowest sounds people could hear or their ability to tell the difference between objects of slightly different weights o Anthropometrics (the measurement of people): methods of measuring physical and mental variation in humans o Galtons colleague, James McKeen Cattell, found that peoples abilities on different sensory tests were not correlated with each other Such as exceptional eyesight and exceptional hearing If 2 measures dont correlate well with each other, they cant both be indicators of the same thing, in this case Galtons sensory definition of intelligence Thus, Galtons approach to measuring intelligence was abandoned Intelligence and Thinking: The StanfordBinet Test o French psychologist, Alfred Binet, argued that intelligence should be indicated by more complex thinking processes such as memory, attention, and comprehension o This view has influenced most intelligence researchers o Intelligence: the ability to think, understand, reason, and adapt to or overcome obstacles o In 1904, Binet and his colleague, Theodore Simon, were hired by the French government to develop a test to measure intelligence o They chose 30 tasks (arranged in order of increasing difficulty) to capture the complex thinking processes that comprise intelligence Simple tasks included repeating sentences and defining common words like house More difficult tasks included constructing sentences using combinations of certain words (ex. Paris, river, fortune), reproducing drawings from memory, and being able to explain how two things differed from each other Very difficult tasks included being able to define abstract concepts and to logically reason through a problem o Binet and Simon gave their test to samples of children from different age groups o Binet argued that a childs test score measured hisher mental age Mental age: the average intellectual ability score for children of a specific age
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