PsychPaper#2Intelligence

PsychPaper#2Intelligence - Jharrett Carrillo Psych110...

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Jharrett Carrillo Psych110 Assignment #2 My Phone is Intelligent, Not Smart Many attempts to define intelligence are unsuccessful because the definition often identifies one culture or species as intelligent at the expense of others. But let us define intelligence as the relative ability of an individual to excel at culturally relevant tasks. Under this definition, the individual is not compared to others of dramatically different circumstances or backgrounds, but rather the fellow members of his or her culture or group. The benefits of defining intelligence as one’s capacity to perform well at tasks deemed important by his or her culture include the potential to classify men and women from all walks of life as intelligent. Different skills are valued more heavily in certain cultures than others. In the United States, verbal and mathematical abilities are suggested to be of utmost importance. Many admissions tests that are designed to identify students who will perform well in college are essentially assessments of one’s ability to read, write, and calculate numbers. The college admission exam known as the SAT is comprised of writing, critical reading, and mathematics sections; overall performance on the exam positively correlates with one’s admission to many of the US’s most exclusive universities. Similarly, state-mandated assessment tests and graduate school admissions exams focus heavily on one’s mastery of these skills relative to the pool of test takers. Other cultures may not weigh one’s mathematical and writing abilities as heavily. In a study of Kenyan youth, former professor of psychology and researcher at Yale University, Robert Sternberg found that cognitive ability was not exclusively defined by mastery of language and concepts taught in school. “Why is [a Kenyan child] going to invest his time learning these academic kinds of skills,” said Sternberg in an interview. “That's not going to get him a good salary….[r]ather learning the trade will be what's important…To the Kenyan families, school doesn't really matter because none of them are going on to college…so, they're spending their time learning things that are important to them,” such as accurately identifying and locating medicinal herbs. Simply because
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PsychPaper#2Intelligence - Jharrett Carrillo Psych110...

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