What is Intelligence?
LOQ: How do psychologists define intelligence, and what are the arguments for g?
Intelligence has been defined as whatever intelligence tests measure (typically school smarts)
Intelligence: the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
Is Intelligence One General Ability?
Charles Spearman believed we have one general intelligence (often shortened to g)
This is at the e heart of all our intelligent behavior
He granted that people often have special, outstanding abilitie
noted that those who score high in one area, such as verbal intelligence, typically score higher than average in other areas, such as spatial or reasoning ability
His beliefs come from his work with factor analysis
General Intelligence (g): according to Spearman and others, underlies all mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test
Theories of Multiple Intelligences
LOQ: How do Gardner’s and Sternberg’s theories of multiple intelligences differ, and what criticisms have they faced?
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner identified 8 relatively independent intelligence, including the verbal and mathematical aptitudes assessed by standardized tests
also proposed a ninth possible intelligence—existential intelligence—the ability “to ponder large questions about life, death, existence.
Viewed these e intelligence domains as multiple abilities that come in a different package
4 in 5 people with savant syndrome are male
Savant Syndrome: a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.
Sternberg’s Three Intelligences
Robert Sternberg agreed with Gardner that there is more to success than traditional intelligence and that we have multiple intelligences
Sternberg proposed a triarchic theory, proposing 3 intelligences
Analytical (academic problem-solving) intelligence is assessed by intelligence tests, which present well-defined problems having a single right answer.
Creative intelligence is demonstrated in innovative smarts: the ability to adapt to new situations and generate novel ideas
Practical intelligence is required for everyday tasks that may be poorly defined and may have multiple solutions
Both agree that Multiple abilities can contribute to life success as well as different varieties of giftedness bring challenges and benefits for education
Criticisms of Multiple Intelligence Theories
Using factor analysis confirms that there is a general intelligence factor: g matters
Success is not built on one ingredient
LOQ: What are the four components of emotional intelligence?
Psychologists have explored our social intelligence- understanding social situations and managing ourselves successfully
Edward Thorndike proposed an idea saying, “the best mechanic in a factory may fail as a foreman for lack of social intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a critical part of social intelligence
There are four abilities in emotional intelligence
Perceiving emotions (recognizing them in faces, music, and stories)
Understanding emotions (predicting them and how they may change and blend)
Managing emotions (knowing how to express them in varied situations)
Using emotions to enable adaptive or creative thinking
Emotionally intelligent people are both socially aware and self-aware
Overwhelming emotions such as anxiety or anger to not overtake them
can read others’ emotional cues
delay gratification in pursuit of long-range rewards
more often succeed in relationships, career, and parenting situations than academically smarter but less emotionally intelligent people
Gardner includes interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences as two of his multiple intelligences
Emotional Intelligence: the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.
LOQ: What is an intelligence test, and how do achievement and aptitude tests differ?
An intelligence test assesses people’s mental aptitudes and compares them with those of others, using numerical scores
Psychologists classify such tests as either achievement tests, intended to reflect what you have learned, or aptitude tests, intended to predict your ability to learn a new skill.
Intelligence Test: a method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical score
Achievement Test: a test designed to assess what a person has learned
Aptitude Test: a test designed to predict a person’s future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn.
Early and Modern Tests of Mental Abilities
LOQ: When and why were intelligence tests created, and how do today’s tests differ from early intelligence tests?
People in Western societies have pondered how and why individuals differ in mental ability.
Francis Galton: Presuming Hereditary Genius
Galton wondered if you would be able to measure “natural ability” and to encourage those of high ability to mate with one another
Cousin of Charles Darwin and was inspired by his natural selection and survival of the fittest
His quest of a simple intelligence measure failed, he gave us some statistical techniques that we still us
Alfred Binet: Predicting School Achievement
Alfred Binet the task of designing a fair test for children in France
Binet and Théodore Simon assumed that all children follow the same course of intellectual development but that some develop more rapidly
The goal was to measure a child’s mental age
Theorized that mental aptitude, like athletic aptitude, is a general capacity that shows up in various ways.
tested a variety of reasoning and problem-solving questions
Items answered correctly could then predict how well other French children would handle their schoolwork.
Didn’t make assumptions as to why a particular child was slow, average, or precocious
Recommended “mental orthopedics” for low scoring children
Believed his intelligence test did not measure inborn intelligence as a scale measures weight
Mental Age: a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the level of performance typically associated with children of a certain chronological age. Thus, a child who does as well as an average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.
Lewis Terman: Measuring Innate Intelligence
Lewis Terman tried to use Binet’s testing on children in California
French norms didn’t work with kids from California
Revised it so it would be today’s version
Promoted the use of widespread intelligence testing to “take account of the inequalities of children in original endowment”
envisioned that the use of intelligence tests would “ultimately result in curtailing the reproduction of feeble-mindedness and in the elimination of an enormous amount of crime, pauperism, and industrial inefficiency”
William Stern developed the IQ (intelligence quotient) test
Stanford-Binet: the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet’s original intelligence test.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ): defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 (thus, IQ = ma/ca × 100). On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.
David Wechsler: Testing Separate Strengths
David Wechsler created the most widely used individual intelligence test
Principles of Test Construction
LOQ: What is a normal curve, and what does it mean to say that a test has been standardized and is reliable and valid?
If you then take the test following the same procedures, your score will be meaningful when compared with others
Scores from tests typically form a bell curve, or a normal curve
The curves highest point is the average score
Moving towards either extreme, there are fewer and fewer people
Because of improved nutrition, people have gotten taller as well as smarter
But in Britian after the war, lower-class children gained the most from improved nutrition, yet the intelligence performance gains were greater among upper-class children.
the higher twentieth-century birthrates among those with lower scores would shove human intelligence scores downward
Standardization: defining uniform testing procedures and meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group.
Normal Curve: the bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
where you stand in comparison to a standardization group still won’t say much about your intelligence unless the test has reliability
Reliability: the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternative forms of the test, or on retesting.
High reliability does not ensure a test’s validity
Tests that tap the pertinent behavior, or criterion, have content validity
Intelligence test are expected to have predictive validity
According to critics, general aptitude test are not as predictive as they are reliable
Validity: the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to
Content Validity: the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest.
Predictive Validity: the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior. (Also called criterion-related validity.)
The Dynamics of Intelligence
Stability or Change?
Cross-Sectional Study: research that compares people of different ages at the same point in time.
Longitudinal Study: research that follows and retests the same people over time.
Aging and Intelligence
LOQ: How does aging affect crystallized and fluid intelligence?
Results of cross-sectional studies showing that older adults give fewer correct answers on intelligence tests than do younger adult
After colleges in the 1920s began giving intelligence tests to entering students, psychologists saw their chance to study intelligence longitudinally
Our age-and-intelligence questions depend on what we assess and how we assess it
Crystallized intelligence increases up to old age
Fluid intelligence decreases beginning in the twenties and thirties, slowly up to age 75 or so, then more rapidly, especially after age 85
We win and lose with our mind as we age
We lose recall memory and processing speed
We gain vocabulary and knowledge
Fluid intelligence may decline
Age-related cognitive differences help explain why older adults are less likely to embrace new technologies
Cohort: a group of people sharing a common characteristic, such as from a given time period.
Crystallized Intelligence: our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
Fluid Intelligence: our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease with age, especially during late adulthood.
Stability Over the Life Span
LOQ: How stable are intelligence test scores over the life span?
For most children, casual observation and intelligence tests before age 3 only modestly predict their future aptitudes
By age 4, performance on intelligence tests begins to predict their adolescent and adult scores
consistency of scores over time increases with the age of the child
By age 11, the stability becomes impressive
Children and adults who are more intelligent also tend to live healthier and longer lives. There are 4 possible reason why:
Intelligence facilitates more education, better jobs, and a healthier environment.
Intelligence encourages healthy living: less smoking, better diet, more exercise.
Prenatal events or early childhood illnesses might have influenced both intelligence and health.
A “well-wired body,” as evidenced by fast reaction speeds, perhaps fosters both intelligence and longevity
Extremes of Intelligence
LOQ: What are the traits of those at the low and high intelligence extremes?
The Low Extreme
Intellectual disability is a developmental condition that is apparent before age 18
To be diagnosed with an intellectual disability, a person must meet two criteria
low intellectual functioning as reflected in a low intelligence test score
the person must have difficulty adapting to the normal demands of independent living, as expressed in three areas: conceptual, social, and practical
Because of the Flynn effect, intelligence tests are periodically restandardized and intellectual-disability test score boundary can shift.
Depending on the testing method, two people with the same ability level could be classified differently
intelligence test scores can mean life or death
the Flynn effect means fewer Americans are now eligible for execution (in 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of people with an intellectual disability—defined as a test score of below 70—is “cruel and unusual punishment.)
This changed in 2014 when the Supreme Court recognized the imprecision and arbitrariness of a fixed cutoff score of 70, and required states with death row inmates who have scored just above 70 to consider other evidence
Intellectual Disability: a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence test score of 70 or below and difficulty adapaing to the depends of life.
The High Extreme
Children whose intelligence test scores indicate extraordinary academic gifts mostly thrive
Critics and proponents of gifted education both agree on this:
Children have differing gifts, whether at math, verbal reasoning, art, or social leadership
By providing appropriate placement suited to each child’s talents, we can promote both equity and excellence for all
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence
Twin and Adoption Studies
LOQ: What evidence points to a genetic influence on intelligence, and what is heritability?
People who share the same genes also share mental abilities
The intelligence test scores of identical twins raised together are nearly as similar as those of the same person taking the same test twice
Scans reveal that identical twins’ brains have similar gray- and whitematter volume, and the areas associated with verbal and spatial intelligence are virtually the same
200 researchers pooled their data on 126,559 people, all of the gene variations analyzed accounted for only about 2 percent of the differences in educational achievements
Some evidence points to enviroment effects:
Where environments vary widely, as they do among children of lesseducated parents, environmental differences are more predictive of intelligence scores
Adoption enhances the intelligence scores of mistreated or neglected children
The intelligence scores of “virtual twins”—same-age, unrelated siblings adopted as infants and raised together
Heritability: the proportion of variation among individuals in a group that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
LOQ: What does evidence reveal about environmental influences on intelligence?
Early Enviromental Influences
Children developed little sense of personal control over their environment
The dramatic effects of early experiences and the impact of early intervention
Poverty-related stresses also impede cognitive performance
Extreme conditions such as sensory deprivation, social isolation, poverty can slow normal brain development
Schooling and Intelligence
schooling is one intervention that pays intelligence score dividends
Schooling and intelligence interact, and both enhance later income
Hunt believed that education boosted children’s chances for success by developing their cognitive and social skills
Genes and experience weave the fabric of intelligence
What we accomplish with out intelligence is based on our beliefs and motivation
Carol Dweck believed that intelligence is changeable fosters a growth mindset, a focus on learning and growing.
Teaches young teens that the brain is like a muscle, growing stronger with use as neuron connections grow
a growth mindset and disciplined effort enhance achievement
Group Differences in Intelligence Test Scores
Gender Similarities and Differences
LOQ: How and why do the genders differ in mental ability scores?
Our intelligence differences between men and women are small
Most people find differences more newsworth
Girls outpace boys in spelling, verbal fluency, locating objects, detecting emotions, and sensitivity to touch, taste, and color
Boys outperform girls in tests of spatial ability and complex math problems, though in math computation and overall math performance
Steven Pinker argued that biology affects gender differences in life priorities
Women’s somewhat greater interest in people versus men’s in money and things
Men are more interested in risk-takinf and are more reckless
Across cultures, these differences become more stable influenced by prenatal hormones
social influences also construct gender
Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams reported that culturally influenced preferences help explain why American women, more than men, avoid math-intensive vocations.
Social expectations and different opportunities also shape boys’ and girls’ interests and abilities
In Russia, teen girls have outperformed boys in n international science exams; but in North America and Britian, boys in an international
In more gender-equal cultures such as in Sweden and Iceland, there is a very small gender math gap
Racial and Ethnic Similarities and Differences
LOQ: How and why do racial and ethnic groups differ in mental ability scores?
There are two facts that are agreed upon group-differences
Racial and ethnic groups differ in their average intelligence test scores.
High-scoring people (and groups) are more likely to attain high levels of education and income.
Ex. Caucasian Americans have outscored African-Americans on intelligence test scores,
Zealanders of European descent outscore native Maori New Zealanders
group differences such as these provide little basis for judging individuals
When African Americans and caucasian americans receive the same pertinent knowledge, they both exude similar processing skills
Heredity contributes to individual differences in intelligence
We are all very genetically similar
Race is not a neatly defined biological category
Countries whose economies create a large wealth gap between rich and poor tend also to have a large rich-versus-poor intelligence test score gap
people in poorer regions have the lowest intelligence test scores, and those in wealthier regions have the highest
educational policies predict national differences in intelligence and knowledge tests
In different eras, different ethnic groups have experienced golden ages— periods of remarkable achievement.
The Question of Bias
LOQ: Are intelligence tests inappropriately biased? How does stereotype threat affect test-takers’ performance?
Racial differences in intelligence divides into three camps
There are genetically disposed racial differences in intelligence.
There are socially influenced racial differences in intelligence.
There are racial differences in test scores, but the tests are inappropriate or biased.
Two Meanings of Bias
test-makers’ expectations can introduce bias in an intelligence test
Steven Spencer and his colleagues gave a difficult math test to equally capable men and women
Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson saw this observed this self-fulfilling stereotype threat when Black students performed worse after being reminded of their race just before taking verbal aptitude tests
stereotype threat may impair attention, performance, and learning
Steele concluded that telling students they probably won’t succeed functions as a stereotype that can erode performance
Tests are not biased in the scientific sense of failing to make valid statistical predictions for different group
Stereotype Threat: a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.