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Psych – Chapter 10: IntelligenceIntelligence is not something that has concrete existence, but instead a sociallyconstructed conceptIntelligenceis the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, andto deal adaptively with the environmentINTELLIGENCE IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVESir Francis Galton and Alfred Binet are 2 of the major contributors to the study ofmental skillsSir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental AbilityFound that smart people often came from the same familyBUT he dismissed that fact that the successful people he studied usually came fromprivileged environments (belief bias)Measured nervous system efficiency with a variety of tests (reaction speed, handstrength, sensory acuity, skull size, etc.) to try to demonstrate a biological basis foreminence by showing that successful (smarter) people would perform better onthese tasksHe was NOT successful in thisAlfred Binet’s Mental TasksWas commissioned to develop a modern intelligence testMade 2 assumptions about intelligence:1) Mental abilities develop with age2) The rate at which people gain mental competence is a characteristic of theperson and is fairly constant over timeThe result of the testing was a score called amental agethis is the age that they perform at (ex. A 6 year old who could go math problemsthat a 10 year old can has a mental age of 10)Stern came along later and developed a relative score – to compare people’sintelligence with different chronological agesThis score was called IQ (intelligence quotient)It represented (mental age / chronological age) x 100So for example a child who is performing exactly at his age level should have ascore of 100Today’s tests no longer use this mental age conceptMental age concept worked well for children but not for adults
Also, some intellectual skills show a decline at advanced agesToday’s IQ tests aren’t a quotient at allInstead it is based on a person’s performance relative to the scores of other peoplethe same age, with a score of 100 corresponding to the average performance of thatage groupBinet’s Legacy: An Intelligence-Testing Industry EmergesLewis Terman used Binet’s work and made a new test for American cultureIt was used for groups in the army during World War 1He made a verbal testing, and a non-verbal testing since many recruits couldn’t read(mazes, puzzles, etc.)About 20 years later, Wechsler came up with some more tests because he thoughtthat the intelligence tests should included a more balanced approach to verbal andnon verbal skillsThese tests are the most popular ones used todayTHE NATURE OF INTELLIGENCE2 approaches to study intelligenceoPsychometric approach – attempts to map the structure of intellect and todiscover the kinds of mental competencies that underlie test performanceoCognitive processes approach – studies specific thought processes thatunderlie those mental competenciesThe Psychometric Approach: The Structure of Intellect

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