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Intelligence and Intelligence Testing. Definitions of intelligence: Terman: the ability to carry on abstract thinking. Wechsler: The capacity of an individual to act purposefully and think rationally and to deal effectively with the environment. Definitions continued.

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intelligence and intelligence testing

Intelligence and Intelligence Testing

Definitions of intelligence:

Terman: the ability to carry on abstract thinking.

Wechsler: The capacity of an individual to act purposefully and think rationally and to deal effectively with the environment.

definitions continued
Definitions continued
  • Burt: innate general cognitive ability
  • Robinson & Robinson: All of the knowledge a person has acquired.
  • Piaget: a basic life function that helps the organism (person) to adapt to its environment.
major questions
Major Questions
  • Is intelligence a general characteristic?
  • Intelligence conceptualized as products that arise from activity or the processes people use to solve problems?
  • How stable is intelligence?
  • What do IQ scores predict?
  • What factors influence IQ scores?
origins of intelligence testing
Origins of Intelligence Testing
  • Alfred Binet (psychologist) and Theodore Simon (physician) in France, 1904
    • Requested to identify children who needed special instruction
    • Devised a test that examined a variety of cognitive tasks (e.g., carry out multiple instructions, identify the missing part of a picture, remember a string of random digits, etc.)
post binet simon
Post Binet & Simon
  • Lewis Terman (at Stanford) modified the Binet-Simon scales to create the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • David Wechsler developed tests both for adults and for children (e.g., WISC…)
  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices were designed to assess reasoning about perceptual patterns…
calculating iq
Calculating IQ
  • William Stern (Germany) developed concept of IQ, in which IQ=(MA/CA)*100
  • Now use “deviation IQ” based on the normal distribution…
  • Tests evaluate verbal and nonverbal abilities.
achievement tests
Achievement Tests
  • IQ Test: underlying competence
  • Achievement Test: performance
  • Is this distinction realistic?
is iq a stable attribute
Is IQ a stable attribute?
  • Infant IQ predicting later IQ?
  • Preschool IQ predicting later IQ?
  • Validity of IQ test?
    • IQ and grades in school
    • IQ and amount of schooling
limitations of iq tests
Limitations of IQ tests
  • Cannot tell us about a fixed underlying intellectual capacity
  • Do not measure other skills important to adaptive living.
terman study 1922
Terman study (1922)
  • Stereotypes of the “gifted child”?
  • 1500 California school children with IQ’s 140 or higher.
how do we explain iq differences
How do we explain IQ differences?
  • Twin studies and adoption studies.
  • Bouchard & McGue (1981).
    • Identical twins reared together .85
    • Identical twins reared apart .67
    • Fraternal twins reared together .58
    • Siblings .24
  • What does this data suggest?
adoption studies
Adoption Studies
  • Texas Adoptiin Study (Loehlin et al.,1994)
  • Minnesota Transracial Adoption study (Scarr et al., 1993)

Texas Minnesota

biological mother .44 .29

adoptive mother .03 .14

adoptive father .06 .08

capron duyme 1989
Capron & Duyme, 1989

Adoptive parent

High Low

Biological High 119.60 107.50


Low 103.60 92.40

environmental influences
Environmental Influences
  • National US study: n=50,000 children; SB IQ scores
  • Family characteristics associated with IQ?
    • Family climate
    • Number of children in the family
    • Birth order
    • Zajonc: intellectual climate
interaction of heredity and environment
Interaction of heredity and environment
  • Reaction range
  • Normal range of environments