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abstract thinking

ability to think about concepts and principles, identify patterns, and make generalizations about classes of objects

achievement test

test measuring the skills and knowledge acquired during school

content validity

extent to which a test measures the behavior or skill it is intended to measure

convergent thinking

cognitive process in which a person searches for a single, correct answer to a question or problem

crystallized intelligence

accumulated knowledge acquired over time, which increases with age

culture-fair intelligence test

intelligence test designed to ensure it does not favor any certain cultural background over another

divergent thinking

cognitive process in which a person develops many unique, creative responses to a question or problem

fluid intelligence

ability to find new ways to solve problems or perform tasks, measured by performance on tests related to speed and abstract reasoning

general intelligence

broad mental capacity that influences performance on tasks measuring cognitive ability


ability to gather knowledge and skills and put them to use; includes intellectual ability, possession of specific skills, and the ability to reason abstractly

intelligence test

test intended to measure the ability to think and reason rather than measuring accumulated knowledge

mental age

expression of cognitive ability in terms of the age at which a typical person reaches that level of mental capacity

predictive validity

extent to which a score on one measure predicts the score on a related measure

processing speed

rate at which someone takes in information, makes sense of it, and forms a response


science behind psychological measurements of mental capacities, abilities, and processing

sensory capacity

degree of sense organ sensitivity

standardized test

test in which all testing and scoring conditions are consistent across test takers, making it possible to compare performance without other variables affecting the results

stereotype threat

when people feel concerned about confirming negative expectations about their group and subsequently have a higher potential of performing poorly on tests because of this apprehension

test bias

when a test is comparatively more difficult for one group of people than it is for others