Chapter 10 reading.doc - Chapter 10 reading Intelligence Being smart in Western culture is typically thought of as having good mental skills that are

Chapter 10 reading.doc - Chapter 10 reading Intelligence...

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Chapter 10 reading Intelligence - Being smart in Western culture is typically thought of as having good mental skills that are instrumental to succeeding in school and in high level jobs. - If we view intelligence in a broader perspective as the ability to respond adaptively to the demands of a particular environment, we see other cultures are less impressed with the products of Anglo-Saxon education than we are. - Intelligence is not something that has concrete existence, it is instead a socially constructed concept. - People differ widely in how effectively they learn, remember, think, and behave - Still disagreements about what intelligence is. - Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge, to think and reason effectively, and to deal adaptively with the environment. Intelligence in Historical Perspective - 2 scientists with different agendas lay seminal roles in study and measurement of mental skills. - Sir Francis Galton and Alfred Bine. Sir Francis Galton: Quantifying Mental Ability - Galton was cousin of Darwin and strongly influenced by Darwin’s evolution theory. - Wrote hereditary genius and showed through the study of family trees that eminence and genius seemed to occur within certain families. - He was convinced that eminent people had inherited mental constitutions that made them more fit for thinking than their less successful counterparts.
- Dismissed that the more successful people came from privileged environments. - He attempted to demonstrate a biological basis for eminence by showing that people who were more socially and occupationally successful would also perform better or a variety of laboratory tasks thought to measure the efficiency of the nervous system. o Developed measures of reaction speed, hand strength, and sensory acuity. o Even measured size of peoples’ skulls, believing that skull size reflected brain volume and intelligence. - His approach to mental-skills measurement fell into disfavour because his measures of nervous-system efficiency proved unrelated to socially relevant measures of mental ability such as academic and job success. - His work created interest in the measurement of mental abilities and set stage work Alfred Binet’s work. Alfred Binet’s Mental Tests - Modern intelligence-testing movement began at turn of 20 th century when Albert Binet was commissioned by France’s Ministry of Public Education to develop the test that was to become the forerunner of all modern intelligence tests. - He was interested in solving a practical problem rather than supporting a theory. - Certain kids seemed unable to benefit from normal public schooling. - Educators wanted objective way to identify these kids as early as possible to arrange special education. - Made 2 assumptions about intelligence: o First, mental abilities develop with age.

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