Testing and Individual Differences

What is Intelligence?

Intelligence is the mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.

Major Concepts to Remember

Theories of Intelligence:

  1. Spearman's General Intelligence - basic intelligence predicts our ability in varied academic area's.
  2. Thurstone's Primary Mental Ability - seven factors: word fluency, verbal comprehension, spatial ability, perceptual speed, numerical ability, inductive reasoning and memory.
  3. Gardner's Multiple Intelligence's - Eight independent intelligence's, which include a broad range of skills beyond school smarts
  4. Sternberg's Triarhic - Classified into three area's that predict real-world success: analytic, creative and practical.

Gender Differences:

  • Females are more sensitive, better spellers, excel at verbal fluency and remembering words, better at detecting emotions, better at math computations.
  • Males are better at math problem solving

Major People

Alfred Binet - Theorized the "mental age", meaning that people could perform at ages that are the same, higher or lower than their actual age. He created a test that was originally meant to only identify students who had a difficulty learning at their own age group.

Lewis Terman - He was a Stanford University professor who further developed Binet's identification test into a test that labeled students based on how well they did on the test. He renamed the test Stanford-Binet.

David Weschler - He was the psychologist who created the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). This test consists of 11 sub sections that yields scores for overall intelligence as well as separate scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory and processing speed. This helps to accurately identify strengths and weakness's and allows the test subject to understand what areas they need help in.

Howard Gardner - Found evidence for his view on people with diminished and exceptional abilities. Brain damage can destroy some parts of the brain and leave others intact. And other people have savant syndrome; people who score really low on some aspects of intelligence  tests but have a hidden brilliance in other portions.  He believes because of this we have multiple intelligence's.

Robert Sternberg - He agrees there is more than the one general intelligence, but does not believe in Gardner's theory of 8 separate intelligence's. He believes in a Triarchic Theory. He also helped develop new measures of creativity and practical thinking for teh U.S. College Board.

Ian Deary - He and his colleagues set the record for the long-term follow up. In 1932, every child 10 1/2 to 11 1/2 was given an intelligence test. And sixty five years later, someone stumbled upon the results, and he decided to do a follow up on the remaining survivors. Those who scored high on the intelligence test were often independent and less likely to suffer from late-onset Alzheimer's.

Key Terms

Intelligence - Intelligence is the mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.

Savant Syndrome - a condition where someone is limited in mental ability but has a specific skill, such as computation or drawing.

Standardization - defining meaningful scores by comparison with the perfromance of a pretested group.

Reliability - the extent to which a test will yield consistent results

Validity - the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to

Intellectual Disability - a condition of limited mental ability , indicated by an average intelligence score of 70 or below and a difficulty in adapting to the demands of life.

Stanford-Binet - the widely used American Revision of Binet's original intelligence test.

Intelligence Quotient - defined originally as mental age divided by chronical age x 100. On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.

Achievement Tests - tests designed to assess what a person has learned

Aptitude Tests - tests designed to predict a persons future performance

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