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Intelligence and Tests. Or Are you really as smart as you think you are? And how you can find out. Historical Perspective. Phrenology Craniometry The Dilemma: Mustard Seed or Ball Bearings. Historical Perspective. Alfred Binet Tried to identify mentally retarded children.

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Intelligence and Tests


Are you really as smart as you think you are? And how you can find out


Historical Perspective



The Dilemma:Mustard Seed or Ball Bearings


Historical Perspective

Alfred Binet

Tried to identify mentally retarded children.

Came up with the first IQ test


Historical Perspective

Mental Age Chronological Age

IQ =

A 4 year old who can answer questions that a typical 6 year old could answer would have an IQ of 150

Distinguishing Ignorance from Stupidity?


Historical Perspective

Mean = 100 Standard Deviation = 15

130+ = Gifted

145+ = Genius

70- = Moron

55- = Imbecile

25- = Idiot


Triarchic Model

Componential Intelligence – skills involving metacognition, knowledge acquisition

Experiential Intelligence – Being able to apply knowledge to novel situations

Contextual Intelligence – Common sense


Multiple Intelligences

The Savant Problem

Brain Damaged Cases

Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences


Multiple Intelligences

1) Linguistic

2) Mathematical

3) Spatial

4) Kinesthetic

5) Musical

6) Interpersonal

7) Intrapersonal

8) Naturalist/Spiritual


Artificial Intelligences

Alan Turing and his famous test

Don’t forget Demo


Animal Intelligence

What evidence would be necessary to persuade you that an animal was intelligent?

Continuum vs. Discrete Measures of Intelligence



Face Validity – The extent to which a test appears to test-takers to be valid

Content Validity – How well a test provides a representation of the content domain

Criterion Validity – How well the test predicts

Construct Validity – Does the content domain measure what its supposed to


Item Types

Multiple Choice – Easy to administer, hard to find good distracter items.

Likert Scale – Item in which you rate on a scale your level of agreement: even vs. odd

Q-sorts – checklist of adjectives: susceptible to context effects

Free response – Need a coding Scheme


Test Items

Double Barreled Questions:

“I didn’t vote for Gore because I didn’t like his stance on affirmative action”


Test Items

Redundant Items Lower Content Validity by Over-sampling parts of the content domain.

Mix positive and negative questions to overcome positive response bias.


Test Items

Ambiguous Items lower validity:

To what extent to you agree with the following:

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”

Turn the other cheek vs. I’ll hurt them twice as much as they hurt me…


Test Items

Ambiguous Items lower validity:

“I’m constantly searching my room for bugs”


Test Items

Demand Characteristics:

Thank you for your participation in this study. You have submitted photographs of yourself, and these have been reviewed by 100 raters, at least 98 of whom have classified you as "extremely unattractive." We believe that especially unattractive people such as yourself generally have low self-esteem and feel nervous about interactions with other people. Please keep this in mind as you fill out the following survey.


Administration Issues


Expectation effects

Reinforcing Responses


Interpretation Issues

Restricted Range Problems


Interpretation Issues

Simpson’s Paradox Revisited


Interpretation Issues

Feedback and the Barnum Effect

Do Demo Now



  • Intelligence is a tricky concept and is not as easily defined as one might think.
  • Testing is difficult, and many tests have problems that you need to be aware of.

Assignment #2

Take and evaluate online tests

2-3 pages, doubles spaced, normal font and margins

You can discuss this with your classmates, but the final analysis must be your own