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What is Intelligence?. Chapter 8 Intelligence and Individual Differences. SO, what did you get on your SATs? Jane said she got a 1350…that means she’s really smart, right? Does it?. Module Objectives: What is intelligence? How do we measure intelligence?

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what is intelligence

What is Intelligence?

Chapter 8

Intelligence and Individual Differences


SO, what did you get on your SATs? Jane said she got a 1350…that means she’s really smart, right?Does it?

Module Objectives:

What is intelligence?

How do we measure intelligence?

Who are the children whose intelligence sets them apart from their peers?

think on your own

Think on Your Own…

How do YOU define Intelligence?


Is it the ability to use reason and logic?Is it the ability to write and speak clearly?Is it limited to one’s performance in school?Is it behavior in social situations?How about knowing when you’re wrong?

Not that simple, right?

There are many psychological theories about intelligence that we will examine in this module

how do we know intelligence even exists

How do we know intelligence even exists?

Psychometricians specialize in measuring psychological characteristics for intelligence and personality. By using patterns of test scores, they have found evidence for general intelligence as well as for specific abilities

what is intelligence1
What is Intelligence?
  • Intelligence is an inferred process that humans use to explain the different degrees of adaptive success in people’s behavior
      • The mental abilities that enable one to adapt to, shape, or select one’s environment
      • The ability to judge, comprehend, and reason
      • The ability to understand and deal with people, objects, and symbols
      • The ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment
spearman s psychometric approach intelligence as a single trait
Spearman’s Psychometric Approach - Intelligence as a Single Trait
  • Psychometric Approach
    • The measurement (metric) of individual differences in behaviors and abilities
  • George Spearman reported findings supporting the idea that performance on any test of mental ability was based on a single general ability factor that he termed “g”
  • Spearman also believed that performance on any test of mental ability required the use of a specific ability factor that he termed “s”











Conflicting theories have led many psychometric theorists to propose hierarchical theories of intelligence that include both general and specific components

cattell s view of intelligence intelligence as a few basic abilities
Cattell’s View of Intelligence - Intelligence as a Few Basic Abilities
  • Fluid Intelligence
    • The ability to think on the spot and solve novel problems
      • The ability to perceive relationships
      • The ability to gain new types of knowledge
  • Crystallized Intelligence
    • Factual knowledge about the world
      • The skills already learned and practiced
      • Examples
        • Arithmetic facts
        • Knowledge of the meaning of words
        • State capitals
intelligence tests and basic abilities
Intelligence Tests and Basic Abilities
  • Fluid intelligence on tests is measured by:
    • The ability to assemble novel puzzles
    • The ability to determine the next entry in a series of numbers
    • The ability to identify which one of four objects is related to the others
  • Children who do well on one test of fluid intelligence usually do well on other tests of fluid intelligence
    • They may no necessarily perform well on tests of crystallized intelligence

Carroll’s hierarchal theory is essentially a compromise between general and distinct abilities view of intelligence

Some critics still find it unsatisfactory because it ignored the research and theory on cognitive development

broader theory of intelligence
Broader Theory of Intelligence
  • Howard Gardener proposed a theory of multiple intelligences, in which he identified 9 distinct types of intelligence.
  • The first three intelligences are included in psychometric theories of intelligence:
    • Linguistic intelligence
    • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
    • Spatial Intelligence
what do these intelligences examine
What Do These Intelligences Examine?
  • Linguistics - sensitivity to the meanings and sounds of words, mastery of syntax, appreciation of the ways language can be used
  • Logical-Mathematical - Understanding of objects and symbols and of actions that be performed on them and of the relations between these actions, ability to identify problems and seek explanations
  • Spatial - capacity to perceive the visual world accurately, to perform transformations upon perceptions and to re-create aspects of visual experience in the absence of physical stimuli
gardener s theory of multiple intelligence
Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence
  • Gardener’s remaining 6 distinct intelligences are unique to Gardner’s theory:
    • Musical
    • Bodily-kinesthetic
    • Interpersonal
    • Intrapersonal
    • Naturalistic
    • Existential intelligence
what are these intelligences
What are these Intelligences?
  • Musical - Sensitivity to individual tones and phrases of music, an understanding of ways to combine tones and phrases into larger musical rhythms and structures, awareness of emotional aspects of music
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic - Use of one’s body in highly skilled ways for expressive or goal-directed purposes, capacity to handle objects skillfully
  • Interpersonal - Ability to notice and make distinctions among the moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions of other people and potentially to act on this knowledge
  • Intrapersonal - access to one’s own feelings, ability to draw on one’s emotions to guide and understand one’s behavior, recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Naturalistic -- sensitivity and understanding of plants, animals, and other aspects of nature
  • Existential - sensitivity to issues related to the meaning of life, death, and other aspects of the human condition

The question arises… should we use the word intelligence to describe all valuable skills like doing calculus, speaking 6 different languages, being able to make the throw from home to second?

If we do… then Gardner is correct… people do have many unrelated kinds of intelligence. Now we have changed the definition and meaning of intelligence


Gardener’s theory has prompted researchers to begin examining other nontraditional aspects of intelligence

The best known is emotional intelligence

binet and simon used mental age to distinguish bright from dull children

The first Intelligence test was created by Binet and Simon using simple tasks to distinguish children who would do well in school from those who wouldn’t

Binet and Simon used Mental age to distinguish “bright” from “dull” children

what is iq
What is IQ?
  • Lewis Terman revised Simon and Binet’s test and published a version known as the Stanford-Binet Test in 1916.
  • Performance was described as an intelligence quotient (IQ) which was imply the ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100:
      • IQ=MA/CA x 100
stanford binet iq test
Stanford-Binet IQ Test
  • This test measures things that are necessary for school success
    • Understanding and using language, memory, the ability to follow instructions, and computational skills
  • Binet’s test is a set of age-graded items
    • Binet assumed that children’s abilities increase with age
    • These items measure the person’s “mental level” or “mental age”
  • Adaptive Testing
    • Determine the age level of the most advanced items that a child could consistently answer correctly
    • Children whose mental age equal their actual or chronological age were considered to be of “regular” intelligence
measuring intelligence
Measuring Intelligence
  • At any age, children who are average will have an IQ of 100 because their mental age equals their chronological age.
    • Roughly two-thirds of children will have an IQ score between 85 and 115
    • Approximately 95% will have scores between 70 and 130
intelligence quotient iq
Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
  • This summary is used to indicate a child’s intelligence relative to others of the same age
  • IQ tests measure an individual’s probable performance in school and similar settings
  • An IQ test measures performance… but an IQ test does not explain performance
a five minute iq test
A Five-Minute IQ Test
  • Water lilies double in area every 24 hours. At the beginning of the summer, there is one water lily on a lake. It takes 60 days for the lake to become covered with water lilies. On what day is the lake half-covered?
  • A farmer has 17 sheep. All but 9 break through a hole in the fence and wander away. How many are left?
  • If you have black socks and brown socks in your drawer, mixed in a ratio of 4 to 5. How many socks will you have to take out in order to have a pair of the same color?
  • With a 7-minute hourglass, and an 11-minute hourglass, how can you time the boiling of an egg for 15-minutes?
  • Washington is to one as Lincoln is to:

Five --or-- Ten --or-- Fifteen --or-- Fifty

how did you do
How did you do?
  • On day 59. Remember, it doubles every day.
  • Nine sheep. It is just a matter of careful reading.
  • Three socks. The ratio information is irrelevant.
  • Allow both glasses to drain simultaneously. As soon as the 7-minute glass empties, flip it over (7 minutes have expired). Then, flip it over again after the 11-minute glass empties (11 minutes have expired). Fifteen minutes will have passed when the 7-minute glass empties.
  • The answer is five. The task here is to realize that the relation is no the sequence of their presidency but which denomination of bill upon which each face appears.
another test used frequently are the wechsler intelligence scale
Another test used frequently are the Wechsler Intelligence Scale
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III)
    • Used with children 6 to 16
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III)
    • Used with people 17 and older
wisc iii
  • Provides a profile of someone’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Each test is made of 12 parts
    • Each part begins with the simplest questions and progresses to increasingly difficult ones
    • Performance Scale (6 parts)
      • Spatial and perceptual abilities
      • Measures fluid intelligence
    • Verbal Scale (6 parts)
      • General knowledge of the world and skill in using language
      • Measures crystallized intelligence
Verbal IQ is based on:
    • Information
      • Measures a child's range of factual information
        • Example: What day of the year is Independence Day?
    • Similarities
      • Measures a child's ability to categorize
        • Example: In what way are wool and cotton alike?
    • Arithmetic
      • Measures the ability to solve computational math problems
        • Example: If I buy 6 cents worth of candy and give the clerk 25 cents, I would get _________ back in change?
    • Vocabulary
      • Measures the ability to define words
        • Example: What does “telephone” mean?
    • Comprehension
      • Measures the ability to answer common sense questions
        • Example: Why do people buy fire insurance?
    • Digit Span
      • Measures short-term auditory memory
Performance IQ is based on:
    • Coding
      • Copying marks from a code; visual rote learning
    • Picture Completion
      • Telling what's missing in various pictures
        • Example: Children are shown a picture, such as a car with no wheels, and are asked: What part of the picture is missing?
    • Picture Arrangement
      • Arranging pictures to tell a story
Block Design
    • Arranging multi-colored blocks to match printed design
      • Example: Using the four blocks, make one just like this
  • Object Assembly
    • Putting puzzles together - measures nonverbal fluid reasoning
      • Example: If these pieces are put together correctly, they will make something. Go ahead and put them together as quickly as you can.
the stanford binet and the wisc iii cannot be used to assess infant intelligence

The Stanford-Binet and the WISC-III cannot be used to assess infant intelligence

The Bayley Scales of Infant Development are often used for infant assessment

do intelligence tests work

Do Intelligence tests work?

To answer this question we must examine Reliability and Validity

how stable is iq
How Stable is IQ?
  • Research suggests that intelligence is relatively stable from early childhood on
  • IQ scores tend to be fairly stable
    • IQ test at 4 and a second at 17 - 13 points up or down
    • IQ test at 8 and a second at 17 - 9 points up or down
    • IQ test at 12 and a second at 12 - 7 points up or down
  • The closer together in time that IQ tests are given… the more consistent (stable) the scores.
do tests scores really measure intelligence

Do tests scores really measure intelligence?

This is a question of validity. Does the test measure what it claims to measure?

Most test developers argue that their tests are valid measures of intelligence by showing that test scores are related to children’s grades in school

factors influencing intelligence
Factors Influencing Intelligence
  • The Child’s Influence
    • Genetics
    • Genotype–Environment Interaction
    • Gender
  • The Immediate Environment’s Influence
    • Family Environment
    • School Environment
  • The Society’s Influence
    • Poverty
    • Race/Ethnicity
  • Boys and girls tend to be equivalent in most aspects of intelligence
    • The average IQ scores of boys and girls is virtually identical
    • The extremes (both low and high ends) are over- represented by boys
  • Girls as a group:
    • Tend to be stronger in verbal fluency, in writing, in perceptual speed (starting as early as the toddler years)
  • Boys as a group:
    • Tend to be stronger in visual-spatial processing, in science, and in mathematical problem solving (starting as early as age 3)
  • Attending school makes children smarter
    • Children from families of low SES and those from families of high SES make comparable gains in school achievement during the school year
  • What about during summer break?
    • Children from families of low SES have a drop in achievement scores
    • Children from families of high SES have achievement scores that stay constant or rise slightly
  • The more years children spend in poverty, the lower their IQs tend to be
    • Children from lower- and working-class homes average 10-15 points below their middle-class age mates on IQ tests
  • In many countries, children from wealthier homes score better on IQ test than children from poorer homes
    • The greater the gap in wealth in a country the greater the difference in IQ scores
poverty continued
Poverty Continued…
  • Chronic inadequate diet can disrupt brain development
    • Chronic or short-term inadequate diet at any point in life can impair immediate intellectual functioning
  • Reduced access to health service, poor parenting, and insufficient stimulation and emotional support can impair intellectual growth
race and ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity
  • The average IQ score of Euro-American children is 10-15 points higher than that of African-American children
  • The average IQ score of Latino and American-Indian children fall somewhere in between those of Euro-American and African-American children
  • The average IQ score of Asian-American children tend to be higher than any other group in the US
race and ethnicity continued
Race and Ethnicity Continued…
  • American-Indian children:
    • Better on the performance part than the verbal part of an IQ test
  • Latino children:
    • Better on the performance part than the verbal part of an IQ test
  • Asian-American children:
    • Better on the performance part than the verbal part of an IQ test
  • African-American children:
    • Better on the verbal part than the performance part of an IQ test
  • Overall - differences in IQ scores of children from different racial and ethnic groups describes children’s performance ONLY in the environments in which the children live
culture fair intelligence tests
Culture-Fair Intelligence Tests
  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices
    • A “culture-fair” or culture-reduced test that would make minimal use of language and not ask for any specific facts
    • These matrices progress from easy to difficult items -- measures abstract reasoning
  • Even on culture-fair tests, Euro-American and African-American children still differ
    • One reason - culture can influence a child’s familiarity with the entire testing situation