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Chapter 10

Psychology 1000 Chapter 10: Psych - Chapter 10
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, Spring 2018
13 pages15 viewsSpring

Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Chapter
10

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Psych Chapter 10: Intelligence
Intelligence is not something that has concrete existence, but instead a socially
constructed concept
Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, and
to deal adaptively with the environment
INTELLIGENCE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Sir Francis Galton and Alfred Binet are 2 of the major contributors to the study of
mental skills
Sir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental Ability
Found that smart people often came from the same family
BUT he dismissed that fact that the successful people he studied usually came from
privileged environments (belief bias)
Measured nervous system efficiency with a variety of tests (reaction speed, hand
strength, sensory acuity, skull size, etc.) to try to demonstrate a biological basis for
eminence by showing that successful (smarter) people would perform better on
these tasks
He was NOT successful in this
Alfred Binet’s Mental Tasks
Was commissioned to develop a modern intelligence test
Made 2 assumptions about intelligence:
1) Mental abilities develop with age
2) The rate at which people gain mental competence is a characteristic of the
person and is fairly constant over time
The result of the testing was a score called a mental age
this is the age that they perform at (ex. A 6 year old who could go math problems
that a 10 year old can has a mental age of 10)
Stern came along later and developed a relative score to compare people’s
intelligence with different chronological ages
This score was called IQ (intelligence quotient)
It represented (mental age / chronological age) x 100
So for example a child who is performing exactly at his age level should have a
score of 100
Today’s tests no longer use this mental age concept
Mental age concept worked well for children but not for adults
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Also, some intellectual skills show a decline at advanced ages
Today’s IQ tests aren’t a quotient at all
Instead it is based on a person’s performance relative to the scores of other people
the same age, with a score of 100 corresponding to the average performance of that
age group
Binet’s Legacy: An Intelligence-Testing Industry Emerges
Lewis Terman used Binet’s work and made a new test for American culture
It was used for groups in the army during World War 1
He made a verbal testing, and a non-verbal testing since many recruits couldn’t read
(mazes, puzzles, etc.)
About 20 years later, Wechsler came up with some more tests because he thought
that the intelligence tests should included a more balanced approach to verbal and
non verbal skills
These tests are the most popular ones used today
THE NATURE OF INTELLIGENCE
2 approaches to study intelligence
o Psychometric approach attempts to map the structure of intellect and to
discover the kinds of mental competencies that underlie test performance
o Cognitive processes approach studies specific thought processes that
underlie those mental competencies
The Psychometric Approach: The Structure of Intellect
Psychometrics statistical study of psychological tests
Tries to identify and measure the abilities that underlie individual differences in
performance
Tries to provide measurement-based map of the mind
Factor Analysis
Reduces a large number of measures to a smaller number of clusters (or factors)
with each cluster containing variables that correlate highly with one another but less
highly with variables in other clusters
A factor allows us to infer the underlying characteristic that presumably accounts for
the links among the variables in the cluster
Factor analysis CANNOT tell us what the tests or measuring, but it can ONLY
identify the clusters
SEE EXAMPLE ON 349-350
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Variables within a cluster are more similar to each other than variables in another
cluster
Variables between different clusters still have a relationship, but it is much weaker
The g Factor: Intelligence as General Mental Capacity
Charles Spearman was the main advocate of this
He noticed that school grades in different subjects were almost always positively
correlated (English and Math)
He concluded that intellectual performance is determined partly by a g factor, or
general intelligence, and partly by whatever special abilities might be required to
perform that particular task
The general (g) factor constitutes that core of intelligence
Still used widely today in the workforce
Intelligence as Specific Mental Abilities
G factor was challenged by Thurstone
He realized that the correlations that Spearman observed are actually far from
perfect
He concluded that intelligence depends not on a general factor, but instead on 7
distinct abilities called the primary mental abilities (page 350)
This is also still widely used today by educators
Crystallized and Fluid Intelligence
Cattell and Horn proposed a new model for intelligence
They broke down the g factor into 2 parts:
Crystallized intelligene (gc) ability to apply previously acquired knowledge to
current problems
o Basis for expertise
o Depends on ability to retrieve previously learned info and problem solving
schemas from long term memory
o Dependent on previous learning and practice (long term memory)
Fluid intelligence (gf) ability to deal with novel problem solving situations for
which personal experience does not provide a solution
o Involves inductive reasoning and creative problems solving skills
o Depends on efficient functioning of CNS
o People high in this intelligence can easily draw inferences from relationships
o Requires the abilities to reason abstractly, think logically, and manage info in
working (short term) memory so that new problems can be solved
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