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Chapter 8

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Psychology 2410A/B
Sandra Hessels

IntelligenceDefinitions of IntelligenceAlfred Binet A Holistic Viewwith the beginnings of universal public education in Europe and North Americaallowing all children not just societys privileged to enroll in schooleducators sought methods to identify students who were unable to benefit from regular classroom instruction the first successful intelligence test constructed by Alfred Binet and his colleague Theodore Simon in 1905 responded to this needBinet believed that test items should tap complex mental abilities involved in intelligent behaviour Binet and Simon devised a test of general ability that included a variety of verbal and nonverbal items each requiring thought and judgment their test was also the first to associate items of increasingly difficulty with chronological age this enabled Binet and Simon to estimate how much a child was behind or ahead of her agemates in intellectual developmentThe Factor Analysts A Multifaceted Viewfactor analysisidentifies sets of test items that cluster together meaning that testtakers who do well on one item in a cluster tend to do well on the others distinct clusters are called factorsEarly Factor AnalysisCharles Spearman was the first influential factor analyst he found that all test items he examined correlated with one another as a result he proposed that a common underlying general intelligence called g influenced each of them at the same time noticing that the test items were not perfectly correlated Spearman concluded that they varied in the extent to which g contributed to them and suggested that each item or a set of similar items also measured a specific intelligence unique to the task Spearman downplayed the significance of specific intelligences regarding g as central and supreme g represents abstract reasoning capacity Thurstone questioned the importance of g unrelated factors exist declaring the supremacy of these factors Thurstone called them primary mental abilities Contemporary Extensionscurrent theorists and test designers propose hierarchical models of mental abilities these factors in turn are measured by subtests groups of related items subtest scores provide information about a childs strengths and weaknesses they also can be combined into a total score representing general intelligence Crystallized versus Fluid Intelligenceaccording to Raymond B Cattell in addition to g intelligence consists of two broad factors crystallized intelligence refers to skills that depend on accumulated knowledge and experience good judgment and mastery of social customsabilities acquired because they are valued by the individuals culture in contrast fluid intelligence depends more heavily on basic informationprocessing skillsthe ability to detect relationships among stimuli the speed with which the individual can analyze information and the capacity of working memory fluid intelligence which is assumed to be influenced more by conditions in the brain and less by culture often works with crystallized intelligence to support effective reasoning abstraction and problem solving Tests aimed at reducing culturally specific content usually emphasize fluid over crystallized items The ThreeStratum Theory of Intelligenceelaborates the models proposed by Spearman Thurstone and Cattell Carroll represented the structure of intelligence as having three tiers g presides at the top in the second tier are an array of broad abilities which Carroll considered the basic biological components of intelligence in the third tier are narrow abilitiesspecific behaviours through which people display the secondtier factorsRecent Advances in Defining IntelligenceCombining Psychometric and InformationProcessing Approachesto overcome the limitations of factor analysis investigators combine psychometric and informationprocessing approaches they conduct componential analyses of childrens test scores looking for relationships between aspects or components of informationprocessing and childrens intelligence test performancethe componential approach has a major shortcoming it regards intelligence as entirely due to causes within the childSternbergs Triarchic TheorySternbergs triarchic theory of successful intelligence is made up of three broad interacting intelligences 1 analytical intelligence or informationprocessing skills 2 creative intelligence the capacity to solve novel problems and 3 practical intelligence application of intellectual skills in everyday situations intelligent behaviour involves balancing all three intelligences to achieve success in life according to ones personal goals and the requirements of ones cultural communityAnalytical Intelligenceconsists of the informationprocessing components that underlie all intelligent acts applying strategies acquiring taskrelevant and metacognitive knowledge and engaging in selfregulation Creative Intelligencepeople who are creative think more skillfully than others when faced with novelty given a new task they apply their informationprocessing skills in exceptionally effective ways rapidly making those skills automatic so that working memory is freed for more complex aspects of the situation Practical Intelligenceintelligence is a practical goaloriented activity aimed at one or more of the following purposes adapting to shaping or selecting environments intelligent people skillfully adapt their thinking to fit with both their desires and the demands of their everyday worlds when they cannot adapt to a situation they try to shape or change it to meet their
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