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PSYA02H3 (932)
John Bassili (149)
Chapter 11


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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

CHAPTER 11 INTELLIGENCE AND THINKING - In general, if people do well academically or succeed at tasks that involve their heads, we consider them to be intelligent. - Most psychologists would define intelligence as a persons ability to learn and remember information, to recognize concepts and their relations, and to apply the information to their own behaviour in an adaptive way. - Recently psychologists have pointed out that any definition of intelligence depends on cultural judgements. - The study of intelligence is dominated by three main approaches: 1. Differential Approach It favours the development of tests that identify and measure individual differences in peoples abilities to solve problems, particularly those that use skills important in the classroom. e.g., these tests ask people to define words, explain proverbs, solve arithmetic problems, discover similarities in shapes and patterns, and answer questions about a passage of prose. 2. Developmental Approach It studies the ways in which children learn to perceive, manipulate, and think about the world. The most influential proponent of this approach was the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980). 3. Information Processing Approach It focuses on the types of skills people use to think and to solve carious types of problems. THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE - People vary in many ways, such as their abilities to learn and use words, to solve arithmetic problems and to perceive and remember spatial information. - The differential approach assumes that we can best investigate the nature of intelligence by studying the ways in which people differ on tests of such intellectual abilities. - Psychologists have devised intelligence tests that yield a single number, usually called an IQ score. But the fact that these tests provide a single score does not mean that intelligence is a single, general characteristic (e.g., a test of athletic ability consists of many skills). - Some researchers promote the idea that some intellectual abilities are completely independent of one another. For example, a person can be excellent at spatial reasoning but poor at solving verbal analogies. Spearmans Two Factor Theory - Charles Spearman (1927) He proposed that a persons performance on a test of intellectual ability is determined by two factors: the g factor and the s factor. o The g factor is a general factor that is common to all intellectual tasks and includes apprehension of experience, education of relations, and education of correlates. o The s factor is a factor specific to a particular test. www.notesolution.com He defined the g factor as comprising three qualitative principles of cognition: apprehension or experience, education of relations, and education of correlates. - A common task of intellectual abilitiessolving analogiesrequires all three principles. Consider this analogy: LAWYER is to CLIENT as DOCTOR is to ________. o Apprehension of experience: refers to peoples ability to perceive and understanding what they experience; thus, reading and understanding each of the words in the analogy requires apprehension of experience. o Education of relations: in this context, it refers to the ability to perceive the relation between LAWYER and CLIENT; namely, that the lawyer works for the client. o Education of correlates: it refers to the ability to apply a rule inferred from one case to a similar case. Thus, the person whom a doctor works for is obviously a PATIENT. Because analogy problems require all three of Spearmans principles of cognition, he advocated their use in intelligence testing. - Correlations among various tests of particular intellectual abilities have provided empirical evidence for Spearmans two-factor theory. - Spearman concluded that a general factor (g) accounted for the moderate correlations among different tests of ability. - Thus, a persons score on a particular test depends on two things: 1. The persons specific ability (s) on the particular test (such as spatial reasoning), and 2. His or her level of the g factor, or general reasoning ability. Evidence from Factor Analysis - Factor Analysis: a statistical procedure that identifies common factors among groups of tests. It permits researchers to identify underlying commonalities among groups of tests. o In the case of intelligence tests, these common factors would be particular abilities that affect peoples performance on more than one test. It provides clues about the nature of intelligence, but it cannot provide a theory of intelligence. The names given to the factors are up to the investigator and therefore include a degree of subjective judgement. o To identify the relevant factors in human intelligence, one must include an extensive variety of tests in the factor analysis, and be assured there are many. A factor analysis can be informative only about tests to which it is applied. o It will never reveal other important abilities that are not measured by the tests it is used to investigate. - Birren and Morrison (1961) administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) Table 11.1 on page 329. A factor analysis that revealed three factors, labelled A, B, and C. Factor loadings are the numbers in the three columns. o They are like correlation coefficients in that they express the degree to which a particular test is related to a particular factor. Factor A: verbal ability or general intelligence; Factor B: maintaining information in short-term memory and manipulating numbers; Factor C: spatial ability. WAIS is a useful predictor of scholastic performance (and to a lesser extent) of vocational success. www.notesolution.com
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