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Chapter 10

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Psychology 1000

Psychology 1 Chapter 10: Intelligence  Intelligence is not something that has concrete existence; it is a socially constructed concept  INTELLIGENCE: 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 tried to measure intelligence and discover its causes:  Galton showed through the study of family trees that eminence and genius seemed to occur within certain families  Galton was convinced that eminent people had “inherited mental constitutions” that made them more fit for thinking than their less successful counterparts  Galton attempted to demonstrate a biological basis for eminence by showing that people who were more socially and occupationally successful would also perform better on a variety of laboratory tests thought to measure the “efficiency of the nervous system” by using measures of reaction speed, hand strength, and sensory acuity  In time, Galton’s approach was disfavoured because his measures of nervous-system efficiency proved unrelated to socially relevant measures of mental ability  Binet 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 (ex. a child that is less competent at age 5 should also be lagging at age 10)  Developed a measure of mental skills by asking experienced teachers what sorts of problems kids should be able to solve at different ages. He used these answers to ask children questions to see of the child was performing at the correct mental level for his or her age  The result of this testing was mental age (if an 8 year old can solve problems at the level of a 10 year old they are said to have a mental age of 10 years old)  William Stern developed a relative score for people of different chronological ages based on Binet’s testing  Stern’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was the ratio of mental age to chronological age, multiplied by 100  Someone performing at exactly their age level would have an IQ of 100  Today, IQ is based on a person’s performance relative to the scores of other people the same age (if average, score is 100)  Lewis Terman revised Binet’s test and it became known as the Stanford-Binet Psychology 2  One of Terman’s students was working on a group-administered test of intellectual ability for the army. The success of this test inspired educators to test groups of children (measuring intelligence of large numbers of people in a group setting)  David Wechsler thought that intelligence should be measured as a group of distinct but related verbal and non-verbal abilities  Today, the Wechsler tests are the most popular individually administered intelligence tests in North America THE NATURE OF INTELLIGENCE  Psychologists have made 2 major approaches in the study of intelligence: 1. Psychometric Approach: attempts to map the structure of intellect and to discover the kinds of mental competencies that underlie test performance 2. The Cognitive Process Approach: studies the specific thought processes that underlie those mental competencies - THE PSYCHOMETRIC APPROACH: THE STRUCTURE OF INTELLECT  PSYCHOMETRICS: the statistical study of psychological tests  Tries to provide a measurement-based map of the mind  If certain tests are correlated highly with one another, then performance on these tests probably reflects the same underlying mental skill  Factor analysis: reduces a large number of measures to a smaller number of clusters (ex. page 360 table 10.2)  Charles Spearman 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 g-factor cuts across virtually all tasks therefore Spearman said it constitutes the core of intelligence  Thurstone concluded that human mental performance depends not on a general factor but rather on 7 distinct abilities, which he called primary mental abilities  Educators tend to find the specific-abilities notion of intelligence more attractive and useful than the general mental ability model  Raymond Cattell and John Horn broke down Spearman’s general intelligence into 2 distinct but related subtypes of g: 1. Crystallized Intelligence: the ability to apply previously acquired knowledge to certain problems 2. Fluid Intelligence: the ability to deal with novel problem-solving situations for which personal experience does not provide a solution  Long-term memory contributes strongly to crystallized intelligence, whereas fluid intelligence is particularly dependent on efficient working memory  Over our lifespan, we progress from using fluid intelligence to depending more on crystallized intelligence  The three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities establishes 3 levels of mental skills- general, broad, and narrow- arranged in a hierarchical model (ex. page 362- 363 Figure 10.6) Psychology 3  Carroll believes that the three-stratum model encompasses virtually all known cognitive abilities and provides the most complete and detailed map of the human intellect derived from the psychometric approach of intelligence COGNITIVE PROCESS APPROACHES: THE NATURE OF INTELLIGENT THINKING  Psychometric theories of intelligence are statistically sophisticated ways of providing a map of the mind and describing how people differ from one another but they don’t explain why people vary in these mental skills  Cognitive process theories: explore the specific information processing and cognitive processes that underlie intellectual ability  Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence addresses both the psychological processes involved in intelligent behaviour and the diverse forms that intelligence can take  Sternberg’s theory divides the cognitive processes that underlie intelligent behaviour into 3 specific components: 1. Metacomponents: the higher-order processes used to plan and regulate task performance  They include problem-solving skills  Believed that metacomponents are the fundamental sources of individual differences in fluid intelligence 2. Performance components: the actual mental processes used to perform the task  They include perceptual processing, retrieving appropriate memories and schemas from long-term memory, and generating responses 3. Knowledge-acquisition components: allow us to learn from our experiences, store information in memory, and combine new insights with previously required information  Sternberg believes there is more than one type of intelligence. He believes that environmental demands may call for 3 different classes of adaptive problem solving and that people differ in their intellectual strengths in these areas: 1. Analytical Intelligence (involves the kinds of academically oriented problem- solving skills measured by traditional intelligence tests 2. Practical Intelligence (refers to the skills needed to cope with everyday demands and to manage oneself and other people effectively) 3. Creative Intelligence (compromises the mental skills needed to deal adaptively with novel problems)  Sternberg believes that educational programs should teach all 3 classes of skills, not just analytical-academic skills BROADER CONCEPTIONS OF INTELLIGENCE: BEYOND MENTAL COMPETENCIES  Howard Gardner advanced a theory of multiple intelligences. 8 types: 1. Linguistic Intelligence: the ability to use language well 2. Logical-mathematical intelligence: the ability to reason mathematically and logically Psychology 4 3. Visuospatial Intelligence: the ability to solve spatial problems or to succeed in a field such as architecture 4. Musical Intelligence: the ability to perceive pitch and rhythm and to understand and produce music 5. Bodily-kinaesthetic Intelligence: the ability to control body movements and skilfully manipulate objects 6. Interpersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand and relate to others 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand oneself 8. Naturalistic Intelligence: the ability to detect and understand phenomena in the natural world  Possible 9 would be Existential Intelligence: a philosophically oriented ability to ponder questions about the meaning of one’s existence, life, and death EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE  Emotional Intelligence: involves the abilities to read others’ emotions accurately, to respond to them appropriately, to motivate oneself, to be aware of one’s own emotions, and to regulate and control one’s own emotional responses  Emotional Intelligence involves 4 components: 1. Perceiving emotions 2. Using emotions to facilitate thought 3. Understanding emotions 4. Managing emotions  The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) has specific tasks to measure each branch. It produces scores for each branch and a total emotional intelligence score  Emotionally intelligent people may enjoy more success in life than do others who surpass them in mental intelligence and they tend to us more effective coping strategies THE MEAUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE  The WAIS-III consists of a series of subtests that fall into 2 classes: verbal and performance  Measurement of specific abilities is supported by the finding that as children mature, their general intelligence remains stable, but specific abilities become more differentiated  Achievement tests: designed to find out how much they have learned so far in their lives  Aptitude Tests: containing novel puzzle like problems that presumably go beyond prior learning and are thought to measure the applicant’s potential for future learning and performance  For achievement testing: o Pro: it is a good predictor of future performance in a similar situation o Con: it assumes that everyone has had the same opportunity to learn the material being tested  For aptitude testing: o Pro: it is fairer because it supposedly depends less on prior knowledge than on a person’s ability to react to the problems presented on the test o Con: it is difficult to construct a test that is independent of prior learning Psychology 5  Most intelligence tests measure a combination of aptitude and achievement  A psychological test is a method for measuring individual differences related to some psychological concept based on a sample of releva
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