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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 PS102.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

PS102 Chapter 9 – Intelligence & Psychological Testing Week 5 Key Concepts in Psychological Testing -A psychological test is a standardized measure of a sample of a person’s behaviour -Measurement instruments -Used to measure the individual differences that exist among people in abilities, aptitudes, interests, and aspects of personality Principal Types of Tests Mental Ability Tests -Intelligence tests measure general mental ability -Aptitude tests assess specific types of mental abilities -Achievement tests gauge a person’s mastery and knowledge of various subjects Personality Tests -Personality tests measure various aspects of personality, including motives, interests, values and attitudes -The questions do not have right or wrong answers Standardization and Norms -Standardization refers to the uniform procedures used in the administration and scoring of a test -Test norms provide information about where a score of a psychological test ranks in relation to other scores on that test -A percentile score indicates the percentage of people who score at or below the score on has obtained Reliability -Reliability refers to the measurement consistency of a test (or other kinds of measurement techniques) -A correlation coefficient is a numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables Validity -Validity refers to the ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure Content Validity -Content validity refers to the degree to which the content of a test is representative of the domain it’s supposed to cover Criterion-Related Validity -Criterion-related validity is estimated by correlating subjects’ scores on a test with their scores on an independent criterion (another measure) of the trait assessed by the test Construct Validity -Construct validity – the extent to which there is evidence that a test measures a particular hypothetical construct PS102 Chapter 9 – Intelligence & Psychological Testing Week 5 The Evolution of Intelligence Testing Galton’s Studies of Hereditary Genius -Success runs in families because great intelligence is passed from generation to generation through genetic inheritance Binet’s Breakthrough -The goal was to single out youngsters in need of special training -A child’s mental age indicated that he or she displayed the mental ability typical of a child of that chronological (actual) age -Thus, a child with a mental age of six performed like the average six-year-old on the test Terman and the Stanford-Binet -Stanford-Binet Intelligence scale -An intelligence quotient is a child’s mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 100 IQ = Mental age___ x 100 Chronological age -The ratio of mental age to chronological age made it possible to compare children of different ages Wechsler’s Innovation -Wechsler set out to improve on the measurement of intelligence in adults -He made his scales less dependent on subject’s verbal ability – he included many items that required non-verbal reasoning -To highlight the distinction between verbal and nonverbal ability, he formalized the computation of separate scores for verbal IQ, performance (nonverbal) IQ, and full-scale (total) IQ The Debate about the Structure of Intelligence -In factor analysis, correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables -Spearman used factor analysis to examine the correlations among tests of many specific mental abilities Exploring Biological Correlates of Intelligence -Using a somewhat different approach to factor analysis, Thurstone concluded that intelligence involves multiple abilities -The debate about the structure of intelligence continued for many decades and in some respects the issue lingers in the background even today -Fluid intelligence involves reasoning ability, memory capacity, and speed of information processing -Crystallized intelligence involves ability to apply acquired knowledge and skills in problem solving -G is general mental ability -Contemporary IQ tests generally are based on a hierarchical model of intelligence, which subdivides g into 10-15 specific abilities -Researchers an theorists tend to be obsessed with Spearman’s g. But clinicians and educators facing difficult diagnostic decisions, and the companies that develop tests for them are more interested in the measurement of specific abilities in the tradition of Thurstone PS102 Chapter 9 – Intelligence & Psychological Testing Week 5 Basic Questions about Intelligence Testing -The nature of the questions found on IQ tests varies somewhat from test to test -These variations depend of whether the test is intended for children or adults (or both) and whether the test is designed for individuals or groups What do Modern IQ Scores Mean? -The normal distribution is a symmetric, bell-shaped curve that represents the pattern in which many characteristics are dispersed in the population -When a trait is normally distributed, most cases fall near the centre of the distribution -Deviation IQ scores locate subjects precisely within the normal distribution, using the standard deviation as the unit of measurement -For most IQ tests, the mean of the distribution is set at 100 and the standard deviation is set at 15 -The key point is that modern IQ scores indicate exactly where you fall in the normal distribution of intelligence Do Intelligence Tests have Adequate Reliability? -IQ test produce consistent results when people are retested -Variations in examinees’ motivation to take an IQ test or in their anxiety about the test can sometimes produce misleading scores -Although the reliability of IQ tests is excellent, caution is always in order in interpreting test scores Do Intelligence Tests have Adequate Validity -IQ tests are valid measures of the kind of intelligence that’s necessary to do well in academic work -Verbal intelligence: -Speaks clearly and articulately -Is verbally fluent -Is knowledgably about a particular field -Reads with high comprehension -Practical intelligence: -Sees all aspects of a problem -Sizes up situations well -Makes good decisions -Poses problems in an optimal way -Social intelligence: -Accepts others for what they are -Has social conscience -Thinks before speaking and doing -Is sensitive to other people’s needs and desires Are Individuals’ IQ Scores Stable over Time? -IQ scores are relatively unstable during the preschool years and are not good predictors of scores in adolescence and adulthood -IQ scores tend to be stable, but they are not set in concrete Do Intelligence Tests Predict Vocational Success? -People who score high on IQ tests are more likely than those who score low to end up in high status PS102 Chapter 9 – Intelligence & Psychological Testing Week 5 jobs -The correlation between IQ and occupational attainment is moderate -The relationship between IQ and income appears to be somewhat weaker Are IQ Tests Widely Used in Other Cultures? -In other Western cultures with European roots, the answer is yes -In most non-Western cultures, the answer is very little -Western IQ tests do not translate well into the language and cognitive frameworks of many non- Western cultures Extremes of Intelligence Intellectual Disability -The most recent publication uses the term intellectual disability as a substitute for mental retardation -Intellectual disability refers to subnormal general mental ability accompanied by deficiencies in adaptive skills, originating before age 18 -Adaptive skills consist of everyday living skills in three broad domain
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