Intelligence-Fall 2008

Intelligence-Fall 2008 - Intelligence What you should know...

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Intelligence What you should know General conceptions of intelligence Nature of standardized tests Examples of tests IQ distribution Test Validity g and the structure of intellect Heritability Brain and Intelligence What’s the rule for assigning these objects to blue boxes or brown boxes?
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Tripling of brain volume over 4M years In order for this to occur, there must have been differences among inidividuals in brain size, and these differences were heritable.
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“SPHEXISHNESS” The female Sphex wasp: 1. Kills an insect for food. 2. Brings it back to hive, leaves carcass at the entrance. 3. Enters hive (to check things out?) 4. Comes out and gets carcass, drags it inside. The instinctual behavior (fixed, rigid) works fine-- until something new is encountered.
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"It is an excellent quality in a master to observe accurately differences in mental ability in those whom he has undertaken to instruct, for there is in talent an incredible variety and the forms of mind are no less varied than those of bodies” (Quintillian, 60 A.D.) “…(G)iven the same amount of exposure to education, both inside and outside the classroom, some individuals seem to be able to solve problems; understand the significance of events, facts, and connections; and draw inferences, generalizations, and deductions that others seem unable to do at all, or at least not as readily. It seems to be true that although some individuals can learn the same material as others can, they do so more slowly and with more effort” (Angoff, 1988). COGNITIVE ABILITY: An old view & a recent view
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Trait-like: stable, consistent individual differences. Something different from motor skills, sensory capacities. Something different from random trial & error, rote learning, conditioned reflexes. More like a general capacity than a specific skill. More like problem solving: Making inferences, dealing with abstractions, generalizations. “Going beyond what’s given” ; successful transfer of training; ability to deal with new problems. General Conceptions of Intelligence
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For many years, “the gene” was a hypothetical construct: a structure or entity or process that could not be observed directly but was inferred to exist. But some of its propertie s could be inferred from observation and experimentation. Now it’s no longer a hypothetical construct … it’s an observable thing . Intelligence is similarly a construct. What exactly it consists of in terms of gene expression and brain structure and brain function is not currently known. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t currently measure some its
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Intelligence-Fall 2008 - Intelligence What you should know...

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