Chapter 9 : Intelligence, Aptitude and Cognitive
9.1 - Measuring Apititude and Intelligence
Intelligent people are descirbed as “brainy”, “wise”, or “sharp”, while “dim,”
“slow,” and dense” are less flattering descriptors meant to indicate less
Intelligence is the ability to think, understand, reason, and cognitively adapt
to and overcome obstacle
Achievement and Aptitude
Achievement tests measure knowledge and thinking skills that an individual
has acquired. (ie. Quizzes and test you take in your college courses are
Aptitude tests are designed to measure an individual’s potential to perform
well on a specific range of tasks
Other aptitude tests are designed to test for specific job.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (AVSAB) measures
aptitude for the entire range of military jobs, from languages and
communications to tank and helicopter mechanics.
Achievement tests measure current abilies and aptitude tests predict future
Psychometrics, the measurement of psychological traits and abilites -
including personalitty, attitudes and intelligence
Two important concepts in psychometrics and research methods in general,
are reliability and validity.
Validity, is the degree to which a test actually measures the trait or ability it
is intended to measure. (ie. How do we know that the SAT is really
measuring the ability to succeed in college?)
Predictive validity - the degree to which a test predicts future performance.
Relability as the measurement of the degree to which the test produces
One method of evaluting reliability is through a construct known as
A standardization test is a test that has a set of questions or problems that
are administered and scored in a uniform way across large numbers of
Norms: statistic that allow individuals to be evaluated relative to a typical or
standard score. Another statistic
called the standard
variability around a
Percentile rank the
percentage of scores
below a certain point.
(ie. A score of 100 has
a percentile rank of
0.50, meaning that 50% of the population scores below this level)
A norm is estabilished by giving the test to hundreds of people and then
calculating the mean and the standard deviation.
Approaches to intelligence testing
Binet and Theodore simon developed a method of assessing children’s academic
achievement at school.
The problem wa easy to see: a new law required all children to attend school, and
many of the students who showed up were woefully unprepared.
Mental age: the average or typical test score for a specific chronological age, rather
than intelligence. (ie. A7year old child with a mental age of 7 would be considered
average because her mental age matches her chronological age. In contrast, a 10 year
old student who was behind at school might have a mental age of 8 year old child’s
Stanford-Binet Test as a test intended to measure innate (genetic) intelligence.
Intelligence quotient (IQ) a measurement in which the mental age of an individual
is divided by the person’s chronological age and then multipled by 100. (ie. A10 year
old child with a mental age of 7 would have an IQ 7/10 x 100 = 70)
WechslerAdult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is the most commonly used intelligence
test used on adolescents and aults.
provies a single
IQ socre for
each test taker -
the full scale IQ
- but also breaks
Index (CPI) The GAI is computed from scores on the verbal comprehension and perceptual
These measures tap into an individuals intellectual abilities without placing so much
emphasis on how fast he can solve problems and make decisions.
The CPI, in contrast based on the working memory and processing speend subtests.
Many psychologists reasoned that intelligence is a universal human quality,
independent of culture and language.
If a test could find some way to circumvent culture and language, then psychologists
would have a fairer, more valid, “culture-free” test.
Raven’s Progressive Matrices, an intelligence test that emphasizes problems that
are intended not to be bound to a particular language or culture.
According to Raven, two abilities are key to intelligent behaviour: identifying and
extracting important information (deductive reasoning) and then applying it to new
situations (reproducing reasoning).
Anthropometrics (literally, “the measurement of people”), a historical term refering
to the method of measuring physical and mental variation in humans.
Researchers have found high correlations between working memory capacity and
standardized reasoning tests working memory tests measure how well one can hold
instructions an dinformation in memory while completing problem-solving tasks.
Working memory capacity is an expression of intelligence because it allows complex
reasoning strategies to be used in short term storage.
Working memory processes helps us ignore irrevalent and distracting information.
9.2 - Understanding Intelligence
Intelligence incorporates the ability to think, understand, reason and cognitively
adapt to and overcome obstacle.
Intelligence as a Single, General Ability.
Spearman began by developing techiques to calculate correlations among
multiple measures of mental abilities.
Factor analysis, is a statistical techniques that reveals similarities among a
wide variety of items.
For example, different measures such as vocabulary, reasing comprehension,
and verbal reasoning might overlap enough to form a “language ability”
General intelligence (abbreviated as “g”) - a concept that intelligence is a
basic cognitive trait comprising the ability to learn, reason, and solve
problems regardless of their nature.
G is related to a number of outcomes that people seek.
Intelligence as multiple, specific abilities
Individual components in an engine or a computire, has one specific function
that may be unrelated to another ability’s function
Primary mental abilities, including familiar topics such as reading comprehension, spatial reasoning, numerical ability and memory span.
An individual may experience a head injury or stroke and lose one ability
without any lo