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Chapter 9

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Don Morgenson

Chapter 9: Intelligence and Psychological Testing Psychological Test: is a standardized measure of a person’s behaviour.  a sample of your behaviour – use caution, as this SAMPLE may not be representative of you and your abilities as a whole Mental Ability Tests (3) Intelligence Tests: measure general mental ability. --- look for intellectual potential, not for previous/past learning Aptitude Tests: assess specific types of mental ability. --- like an intelligence test, but will be specific to a component of intelligence (eg. reasoning..) Achievement Tests: gauge a person’s mastery and knowledge of various subjects (eg. reading, English..) --- meaure past learning, not intellectual potential Personality Tests: measure various aspects of personality – motives, interests, values, and attitudes  assess traits of a personality (more than 500)  are “scales” because they do not have a right or wrong answer – they are measures of traits in a personality Standardization: refers to the uniform procedures used in the administration and scoring of a test.  same instructions, same questions, etc…  scores are COMPARED to one another to bring meaning to the scores  “Test Norms”: provide information about where a score on a psychological test ranks in relation to other scores on that same test.  The sample of people on which the norms are based is called the standardization group  The standardization group must be representative of the greater population to be accurate  “Percentile Score”: indicated the percentage of people who score at or below the score one has obtained. Reliability: refers to the measurement consistency of a test (or other measurement techniques).  repeated measurements should yield reasonably similar results  consider underlying assumptions: eg. the personality trait of assertiveness is considered to be a fairly stable personality trait  can be checked in many different ways  “Test-Retest Reliability”: estimated by comparing the results of a test that was administered on two different occasions (probably a few weeks apart)  “Correlation Coefficient”: a numerical index of the degree relationship between 2 variables ---closer to one indicated a stronger relatedness, and (+) indicated variables move together, while (-) indicated variables move inversely  no absolute guidelines about acceptable levels of reliability in psychological research, and it can depend on the nature of the test and what is being measured, but tests usually are between 0.70-0.95  Reliable in comparison to other psychological tests, but things such as: motivation to take the test and anxiety about the test can reduce people’s scores  These tests must be used cautiously as there are things that can cause discrepancy, and it is a SAMPLE Validity: refers to the ability of a test to measure what it is designed to measure.  tests may be valid for one purpose but invalid for measuring another purchase  IQ tests have high validity in measuring ACADEMIC POTENTIAL, however IQ testing and school attendance (going to school) simultaneously affect the IQ score  These tests do not measure things such as creativity, artistic talent, practical problem solving 1) Content Validity: refers to the degree to which the content of a test is representative of the domain it is supposed to cover. --- achievement tests and educational tests  eg. a test that covers more topics than discussed in class would have low content validity 2) Criterion-Related Validity: is estimated by correlating subjects scores on a test, with their scores on an independent criterion of the trait assessed by the test. --- tests are often done to make predictions about an individuals behavior eg. Correlating predictions on pilot aptitude with an individuals score on subsequent pilot training 3) Construct Validity: the extent to which there is evidence that a test measures a particular hypothetical construct. --- Hypothetical Construct – a trait in which no obvious criterion measures exist such as: extraversion, creativity --- involves studies that examine the correlations between the test and various measures related to the trait in question The Evolution of Intelligence Testing Francis Galton - concluded that success runs in families, whose intelligence is passed down from generations through genes - Measured sensory reaction times, coined “nature vs. nurture”, “correlation”, and “percentile”, but did not succeed in finding a way to measure intelligence - his work created a general interest in the measurement of mental ability Alfred Binet - asked to devise a test to pick out children in need of remedial help, since teachers can be subjective/biased - devised a test that was inexpensive, easy to administer, objective, and predictive (fairly) well of ability and focused on abstract reasoning - “Mental Age”: indicated that he/she displayed the mental ability typical of a child of that chronological age Louis Terman - formulated the “Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale” focused on “IQ” - Intelligence Quotient (IQ): a child’s mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 100 -IQ = Mental Age x 100 Chronological Age - possible to compare children of different ages – centred on 100, with a child’s mental age and chronological age is at par  David Weschler - Weschler’s Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), aimed at adults only - less dependant on verbal ability, got rid of the actual quotient and used normal distribution - 3 Categories: verbal IQ, performance (nonverbal) IQ, total IQ Individual IQ Tests --- administered by psychologists with special training in individual IQ tests, one person at a time (Stanford-Binet, WAIS) Group IQ Tests --- administered to a large group at once, less expensive Basic Information About Intelligence Testing  questions vary depending on if the test is for adults or children, groups or individuals (or both) Normal Distribution IQ System: a symmetric, bell shaped curve that represents the pattern in which many characteristics are dispersed in a population. --- most cases fall in the centre, with a mean of 100 to be consistent with the old IQ mental/chronological --- most human characteristics are normally distributed (running speed, height, etc.) --- “Deviation IQ Scores”: locate the subjects precisely within the normal distrubution, using standard deviation as a unit of measurement (set at 15 IQ points) Potential Intelligence  intelligence tests measure only (VERBAL) 1 of the 3 types of intelligence (VERBAL/PRACTICAL/SOCIAL)  supposed to measure potential knowledge, but it is hard to design tests to measure this since people come from all different sorts of backgrounds, therefore these tests measure a blend of potential and knowledge IQ and Vocational (Occupational) Success  vocational success is vague, but indicators include: income, prestige of job, performance, etc  people who score high on IQ tests are more likely than those who score low, to end up in high-status jobs (but there are many exceptions – such as hard work and determination of those with lower IQ)  IQ predicts performance within a particular occupation reasonably well, but it varies with complexity of job (but does not disappear with lower level jobs), holds up even when people have more work experience IQ and Culture  uses primarily in Western societies with European roots, but does have popularity in some other countries such as Japan  IQ tests do not pass the language barrier and cognitive frameworks of other cultures, where different types of knowledge are seen as valuable  Using an IQ test on a cultural group other than the one for which it was designed is problematic Extremes of Intelligence Mental Retardation/Intellectual Disability: refers to subnormal general mental ability accompanied by deficiencies in adaptive skills originating before age 18.  2 or more S.D below the mean, but an absoute IQ cutoff varies (70-75ish..)  name changed to “Intellectual Disability” because “retardation” had a stigma, and was debilitating  Adaptive skills: commumication (writing included), self care, home living (preparing meals), social interaction, health/safety, community use (eg. shopping)  Deficits in everyday living is considered in diagnosis because “school learning” is not the only important kind of learning and high-stake decisions should not be based solely on one test Levels of Intellectual Disability Category IQ Range Education Possible Life Adaption Possible Mild 51-70 Sixth grade by mid-teens, special Can be self supporting if environment is education is helpful stable/supportive, need stress coping help usually Moderate 36-50 Second-fourth grade by mid teens, Semi-independent in sheltered special education necessary environment, need help even with mild stressors Severe 20-35 Limited speech, toilet habits, etc. with Can contribute to self-support under systematic training supervision Profound Below 20 Litte/No speech, not toilet trained, Requires total care relatively unresponsive to training --- majority of people fall in the “mild” category, with only 15% of people with I.D classified as profound --- people with mild I.D cannot be easily distinguished from the rest of the population, and can be considered “normal” outside of academic settings Origins of Intellectual Disabilities Organic Conditions (Genes, Nature) Down Syndrome – extra chromosome, slanted eyes, stubby limbs, thin hair Fragile X Syndrome – mutation in genes, inhibitory control defecit (activation of neural circuits unrelated to task) Phenylketonuria - metabolic distorder (enzyme(catalyst) deficiency), can be treated if caught in early infanthood Hydrocephaly – excess cerebrospinal fluid in brain canal, destroys brain tissue  unable to pin down the cause of 50% of cases, but these unknown origin cases tent to be mild  some people think that environmental factors affect I.D – socioeconomic class, parental neglect, inadequate nutrition, reduced medical care, low quality schooling Giftedness:  2-3 S.D above the normal distribution mean  not the same thing as “high intelligence”, but schools and other people usually associate gifted with having a very high IQ score (around 130 cutoff for most school gifted programs, but varies)  are usually better-than-average physical health, emotional stability, social satisfaction, and higher in social and emotional development  “moderately gifted” children are much different than “profoundly gifted” children, who often exhibit social isolation and introversion (Ellen Winner), and all of these factors depend on “how gifted” an individual is  2 types of gifted groups – highest IQ in class/academic settings, and people that make endearing contributions to their field (much rarer, have “eminence”
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