chapter09 - Chapter 9 Intelligence and its Measurement...

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Chapter 9 Intelligence and its Measurement
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Intelligence and its Measurement Intelligence appears to be a combination of natural abilities and practiced skill. Intelligence is not easy to define or measure.
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Module 9.1 Intelligence and Intelligence Tests
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What is Intelligence? The first intelligence tests were developed for a practical function: to select students for placement in schools (particularly students who might need extra help). They had no firm theoretical grounding. Thus the fact that IQ scores correlate best with the ability to do well in school is no surprise.
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What is Intelligence? Here are some definitions of intelligence from different psychologists: The mental ability to adapt or select one’s environment. The ability to judge, to comprehend, and to reason. The ability to understand and deal with people.
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What is Intelligence? The problem is that most of these terms also are difficult to operationally define. In order to clarify exactly what intelligence is, psychologists have been trying to produce a model of how intelligence is organized and the basic abilities it comprises.
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What is Intelligence? Spearman’s Psychometric Approach and the “g” Factor Spearman developed the psychometric approach to intelligence He attempted to measure individual differences in behaviors and abilities. He measured how well a variety of people performed on a diverse selection of tasks and found that level of performance on one task was correlated positively with level of performance on all of the others.
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What is Intelligence? Spearman proposed that mental performance depends on a general ability that he called “ g ”. The correlations between tasks were strong but not perfect. To account for this, Spearman suggested that along with the influence of “g”, each task also requires a specific ability. Therefore, intelligence consists of a general ability plus an unknown number of specific abilities – musical, arithmetical, logical, etc.
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According to Spearman (1904), all intelligent abilities have an area of overlap, which he called g (for “general”). Each ability also depends partly on an s (for “specific”) factor.
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What is Intelligence? Spearman’s Psychometric Approach and the “g” Factor It is thought that the specific abilities depend more on practice than any innate talents. Spearman referred to his theory as “monarchic” because the dominant ability of “g” rules over all of the others, the lesser “s” abilities.
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What is Intelligence? Spearman’s Psychometric Approach and the “g” Factor Psychologists do not agree yet on what “g” represents Scores on Spearman’s tasks may correlate well because they are influenced by a single, underlying, unitary process.
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