Intelligence & Mental Abilities. Intelligence – A general term referring to the ability or abilities involved in learning and adaptive behavior. First Intelligence Test.
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Intelligence & Mental Abilities
Intelligence – A general term referring to the ability or abilities involved in learning and adaptive behavior.
The first intelligence test was developed by psychologist Alfred Binet, in 1905, in Paris, France. He was hired by the public school system to develop a test which would identify students who were in need of special education classes. He came up with measures of many mental abilities, and gave these tests to the children in the school system. He assigned scores to the test results, based on the ages of the children who took the test. He called the scores “mental ages”, based on the typical score earned by children of a specific age. A Mental Age of 8 was the average score achieved by the eight years olds. So a child who scored a Mental Age of 8 on the test scored the same as the average 8 year old. If a seven year old scores a Mental Age of 8, is he smart or stupid?
In 1916, psychologist Lewis Terman, of Stanford University, brought Binet’s test to the United States, standardized it on American children, and named the American version the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Terman introduced the concept of the Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.), which he calculated by dividing a child’s Chronological Age
(actual age in years, months, and days) by his Mental Age score on the test, and multiplying the result by 100. So the formula was
I.Q. = MA/CA x 100.
So a 10 year old child with a Mental Age score of 12 years would have an I.Q. of what?
The child’s I.Q. is 120
Verbal Items– Items that require the use of language.
Performance Items– Non-language items
The Wechsler Scales are the major individual intelligence tests used in the USA today.
Determinants of IQ
What is your I.Q.?
What is the I.Q. of the average graduating college senior In the United States?
What can a person with an I.Q. of 65 do?
What is a “genius?”
Psychologists today no longer use Terman’s formula to calculate IQ test scores. Instead, modern intelligence tests apply statistical methods to produce a score reflecting one's performance as compared to the average performance of his peers . The normal IQ score is still 100, meaning that the average score people get is 100. That happens because IQ test scores have a so-called “normal” distribution. In a normal distribution, most of the values cluster around the average with few values that differ significantly from it. That creates a bell shaped curve, known as the IQ bell curve, which is illustrated below.
Here is an eight year old college student.
All good tests must be valid and reliable.
Validity means that the test measures what it claims to measure.
If I make up a test and call it an I.Q. test but the test consists of measuring your shoe size, is my new test valid?
If I make up a test of knowledge of American History, and it has only one question on it, that being “Which explorer discovered the Pacific Ocean”, is this a valid test? Why or why not?
Reliability means that the test produces consistent results. If I give you an I.Q. test on January 5, and then test you again on July 7, the results of the two tests should be very similar to each other. If the results are not consistent, the test is not reliable.
By the way, the explorer who is credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean is Vasco Núñez de Balboa.
Balboa was a Spanish conquistador and explorer. He was the first European to see (and stand in the waters of) the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean, on September 13, 1513.
King Ferdinand of Spain appointed Balboa to serve under Dévila as governor of Panama. Unfortunately for Balboa, Dávila was a jealous man who did not like seeing the growing popularity and influence which Balboa was developing. In 1518, Governor Pedro Arias Dávila falsely accused Balboa of treason, had him arrested, ordered a speedy trial and sentenced Balboa to death. In January 1519, Balboa and four friends were beheaded.