ch9 - intelligence clearly has something to do with...

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- intelligence clearly has something to do with learning, memory, and cognition - proposals for defining intelligence: o the mental abilities that enable one to adapt to, shape, or select one’s environment o the ability to deal with novel situations o the ability to judge, comprehend, and reason o the ability to understand and deal with people, objects, and symbols o the ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment - SPEARMAN - Psychometric approach to intelligence – based on the measurement of individual differences in performance o Following directions, judging musical pitch, matching colors, doing arithmetic o Inferred that all the tasks have something in common o People need a “general” ability – g o To account for the fact that performances on various tasks do not correlate perfectly, he also suggested that each task requires a “specific” ability – s Mechanical, musical, arithmetical, logical, spatial abilities o Called his theory a “monarchic” theory of intelligence bc it included a dominant ability, or monarch (g), which ruled over the lesser abilities o Researchers later confirmed that scores on virtually all kinds of cognitive tests correlate positive with another under nearly all circumstances, within any representative sample of the population - POSSIBILE EXPLANATIONS FOR G - Observations underlying g indicate that whatever causes people to do well on one test also increases their probability of doing well on almost any other test - All tasks measure a single underlying ability - Ex – most people who excel at running also do well at high jump and long jump o All three events depend on the same leg muscles - G could also represent how easily one’s neurons change in response to altered experiences - Other possibilities include attentional resources and speed of visual processing - G could also depend mainly on working memory or some aspect of it - For almost any intellectual task, holding information in memory is important, as is the ability to shift attention from one part of the task to another - Another explanation is that we have several kinds of intelligence that correlate bc they grow in the same way - As a rule, more people with a long left leg also have a long right arm and left index finger o They don’t measure the same thing; amputating one of them would not affect the others - All forms of intelligence depend on genes, health, nutrition, and education - Most people who have good support for developing one intellectual skill also have good support for developing others - What evidence did spearman have in favor of the concept of g? scores on many different kinds of tests correlate positively with one another
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- What are 2 possible explanations for g? different kinds of intellectual tests may all tap the same underlying ability, such as working memory; or they may depend on different abilities that tend to develop together bc they all depend on the same influences, including health, nutrition, education, and genetics -
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