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Chapter 8


8 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3490
Nadiah Habib

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CHAPTER 8: Intelligence Intelligence in Everyday Life -intelligence involves more than just a particular fixed set of characteristics -study that compiled list of behaviours: distinctly characteristic of exceptionally intelligent, academically intelligent, everyday intelligent, or unintelligent people -the two groups agreed that intelligence consisted of three major clusters of related abilities:  Problem solving: consists of behaviours such as reasoning logically, identifying connections between ideas, seeing all aspects of a problem, and making good decisions  Verbal ability: includes such things as speaking, articulately, reading with high comprehension, and having a good vocabulary  Social competence: includes behaviours such as accepting others for who they are, admitting mistakes, displaying interest in the world at large, and being on time for appointments -behaviours such as motivation, intellectual effort, and reading were said to be important indicators of intelligence for people of all ages, but other behaviours were specific to particular points in the life span -according to Sternberg, foolishness is the result when knowledge does not lead to wisdom -knowledge, an important component of intelligence, may become misdirected from the common goods to egocentric foals when a person feels omniscient, omnipotent, and invulnerable The Big Picture: A Life Span View -theories of intelligence are:  Multidimensional: specifying many domains of intellectual ability (although people disagree on the number of dimensions, they do agree no single generic type of intelligence is responsible for all the different kinds of mental activities we perform), this perspective asserts that some intellectual decline may be seen with age but that stability and growth in mental functioning also can be seen across adulthood, emphasizes the role of intelligence in human adaption and daily activity  Multidirectionality: distinct patterns of change in abilities over the life span; these patterns are different for different abilities, development includes growth and decline, basic cognitive mechanisms show more declines, especially in older age  Plasticity: the range of functioning within a person and the conditions under which a person’s abilities can be modified within a specific age range, implies that what may appear to be declines in some skills may in part represent a lack of practice of using them  Interindividual variability: acknowledges that adults differ in the direction of their intellectual development -using these four concepts Baltes proposed the dual-component model of intellectual functioning  First component, mechanics of intelligence concerns the neurophysiological architecture of the mind, cognitive abilities include basic forms of thinking associated with information processing and problem solving such as reasoning, spatial orientation, or perceptual speed, intellectual change in this first component is greatest during childhood and adolescence as we acquire the requisite skills to handle complex cognitive tests  Second component, pragmatic intelligence, concerns acquired bodies of knowledge available from and embedded within culture, includes everyday cognitive performance and human adaption Research Approaches to Intelligence -psychometric approach (Schaie and Horn): measuring intelligence as performance on standardized tests, tests that focus on getting correct answers and tend to put less emphasis on the thought processes used to arrive at them -Cognitive-structural approach: addresses the ways in which people conceptualize and solve problems rather than scores on a test, include search for post-formal operations, the assessment of wisdom, and studies of practical intelligence Developmental Trends in Psychometric intelligence -One way to measure intelligence is to focus on people’s performance on various tests of intellectual abilities and on how these performances are interrelated -age graded intellectual change is also related to important variables such as health, activity level, and educational achievements Measuring Intelligence -the major goal is to describe the ways in which these relations are organized, this organization of interrelated intellectual abilities is called the structure of intelligence -the lowest level consists of individual test questions, the specific items that people answer on an intelligence test, these items can be organized into tests at the second level -the third level, primary mental abilities, reflects reflections between performances on intelligence tests -relations between the primary mental abilities produce the secondary mental abilities at the fourth level, third order mental abilities in turn represent relations between the secondary mental abilities, general intelligence at the top refers the relations between the third-order abilities -if the performance on one test is highly related to the performance on another, the abilities measured by the two tests are interrelated and are called a factor Primary Mental Abilities -intelligence is composed of several independent abilities, called mental abilities -Thurstone examined seven abilities: number, word fluency, verbal meaning, associative memory, reasoning, spatial orientation, and perceptual speed (refined and expanded, current list has 25) -researchers focus on five subset plus two important information-processing abilities were incorporated into the battery of measure in subsequent work  Numerical facility: the basic skills underlying one’s mathematical reasoning  Word fluency: how easily one can produce verbal descriptions of things  Verbal meaning: vocabulary ability  Inductive reasoning: the ability to extrapolate from particular facts to general concepts  Spatial orientation: the ability to reason in the 3D world in which we live  + Perceptual speed: the ability to rapidly & accurately find visual details and compare  + Verbal memory: the ability to store and recall meaningful language units Age-related changes in primary abilities -schaie proposes a hierarchical relation to intellectual abilities; information-processing abilities such as perceptual speed and verbal memory are considered the most basic and are tired to neuropsychological functioning -he concluded that people tend to improve in verbal meaning, spatial skills, and reasoning until the 40s or early 60s, number fluency showed a steeper decline, word meaning declines last in the 70s or 80s but then does so more steeply than other abilities -abilities that are typical of mechanics, such as reasoning, verbal memory, spatial orientation, and perceptual speed, typically show a pattern of decline during adulthood, with some acceleration in decline in very old age Secondary Mental Abilties -careful consideration of the relations between the primary mental abilities has resulted in the identification of secondary mental abilities which are broad ranging skills, each composed of several primary abilities FLUID AND CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE -consists of abilities that make you a flexible and adaptive thinker, allow you to draw inferences, and enable you to understand the relations between concepts independent of acquired knowledge and experience -reflects the abilities you need to understand and respond to any situation but especially new ones, such as inductive reasoning, integration, and abstract thinking -crystallized intelligence: the knowledge you have acquired through life experiences and education in a particular culture (your ability to remember historical facts, definitions of words, knowledge of literature, and sports trivia information) -fluid intelligence declines throughout adulthood, whereas crystallized intelligence improves (fluid may decline due to accumulated effects of disease, injury aging, lack of practice) -different developmental trends imply that:  Although learning continues across adulthood, it becomes more difficult the older one gets  Intellectual development varies a great deal from one set of skills to another  Crystallized intelligence provides a rich knowledge base to draw on when material is somewhat familiar, whereas fluid intelligence provides the power to deal with learning in novel situations Moderators of Intellectual Change -Based on large individual differences in intellectual performance over time, researchers simply suggest that these decrements do not happen to everyone to the same extent, modifiers of intellectual development: COHORT DIFFERENCES -results indicate that part of the apparent decline with age in performance on intelligence tests is caused by generational differences rather than age differences -better educational opportunities, better lifestyle, better nutrition, improved health care INFORMATION PROCESS -general processing constraints that occur with aging may help identify mechanisms that underlie decline in mechanic and fluid intelligence abilities with age -Age-related perceptual slowing and decrea
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