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Intelligence (updated)

A summary of the key points in the Intelligence unit of Year 11 Psychology

Gerald Carey

on 23 August 2015

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Transcript of Intelligence (updated)

Use and misuse of Intelligence tests and IQ
Influence of Heredity and Environment
Differences in the population
Ethical principles
Cannot be directly observed
so difficult to measure
Textbook definitions:
ability to learn from experience
ability to solve problems
ability to deal with people and objects
“global and aggregate capacity to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with the environment”.
Conditions for behaviour to be considered intelligent:
Awareness – behaviour is conscious and controlled
Goal directed – behaviour has a purpose
Rational – behaviour is consistent and appropriate for attaining the goal.
Worthwhile – behaviour is valued by others
Intelligence is a general “stream of mental energy” described as factor “g” plus combinations of specific factor “s” for each area of expertise
Generally accepted that intelligent behaviour has a general aspect plus specific skills such as memory, reasoning, use of language and numeracy
Gardiner’s theory – Multiple Intelligences
Linguistic (language and words),
Spatial (forming mental images of real objects)
Bodily-kinesthetic (using your body in specialised ways)
Different types of problems require different types of abilities.
So for instance the abilities needed to fix a car are at least somewhat different from the abilities needed to do a geometric proof in math class.
But, says Spearman, all types of problems require an ability to see relationships between things and to manipulate those relationships. All types of problems require g.
So performance on all tasks are determined by a general factor (g) which determines the ability to see relationships and manipulate those relationships and more specific factors (s)
1. C - The question figure is rotated clockwise through 90 degrees each time.
A slightly different problem
Weschler divided the concept of intelligence into two main areas:
verbal and
performance (non-verbal) areas
Wechsler is best known for his intelligence tests.
Musical Intelligence
Though musical intelligence may not seem as obvious a form of intellect as is mathematical or logical ability, from a neurological point of view, our ability to perform and comprehend musically appears to work independently from other forms of intelligence
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Each person possesses a certain control of his or her movements, balance, agility and grace
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
This intelligence is our ability to mentally process logical problems and equations, the type most often found on multiple choice standardized tests.
Linguistic Intelligence
A person's ability to construct and comprehend language may vary, but as a cognitive trait it is still universal
Spatial Intelligence
Our ability to tap our spatial intelligence is most commonly seen in how we comprehend shapes and images in three dimensions. Whether it is trying to put together a puzzle, mold a sculpture or navigate the seas with only the stars as a guide, we utilize our spatial intelligence to perceive and interpret that which we may or may not physically see.
Interpersonal intelligence
This ability to interact with others, understand them, and interpret their behavior known as interpersonal intelligence.
Intrapersonal Intelligence
Similar to the faculty of interpersonal intelligence is that of intrapersonal intelligence - our cognitive ability to understand and sense our "self." Intrapersonal intelligence allows us to tap into our being - who we are, what feelings we have, and why we are this way. A strong intrapersonal intelligence can lead to self-esteem, self-enhancement, and a strength of character that can be used to solve internal problems
Naturalist intelligence is a person's ability to identify and classify patterns in nature.
Binet-Simon test
The Binet-Simon test was developed to identify “dull” children with learning difficulties.
It asked a series of questions of increasingly difficulty that was suited to a particular age group
Participants results were then compared with what was expected for that age group. The result was called their “mental age”.
William Stern and the Intelligence Quotient
Here the mental age is divided by the chronological age and multiplied by 100 to get and IQ
The average for people of around the same age is 100.
IQ is distributed evenly either side of 100 for each age group (called a bell curve)
MA = 7 years / CA = 5 years (IQ=140 which means gifted)
MA = 7 years / CA = 9 years (IQ=78 which means retarded)
Problems with the concept of IQ
For example, do Person 1 and Person 2 have the same level of intellectual capacity?
Person 1: Mental Age = 5 years / Chronological Age 4 years = IQ 125
Person 2: Mental Age = 10 years / Chronological Age 8 years = IQ 125
Mental Age does not steadily increase throughout the lifespan, but Chronological Age does.
So, an 85-year is not likely to have gained any greater capacity than when he/she was an 60-year old.
Mental Age levels off around the end of adolescence, but Chronological Age gets higher, resulting in lower IQ scores as adults get older
A third problem was that IQs do not fall strictly along a bell-shaped curve.
The median level of IQ has change from 1950 to 2050
People with an IQ of less than 70 are considered “disabled”.
People with an IQ of more than 130 are considered “gifted”.
Wechsler intelligence scales
Are measured using two types of tests – verbal and performance tests
Most widely used intelligence test in Australia
There are three main types of Wechsler intelligence tests
Wechsler Pre-school and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) - 3-7 years
Wechsler Intelligence scale for Children (WISC) - 7-16 years
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) - 16 years and over
Verbal WAIS scales
1. Information: 29 questions - a measure of general knowledge.
2. Digit Span: Subjects are given sets of digits to repeat initially forwards then backwards. This is a test of immediate auditory recall and freedom from distraction.
3. Vocabulary: Define 35 words. A measure of expressive word knowledge. It correlates very highly with Full Scale IQ
4. Arithmetic: 14 mental arithmetic brief story type problems. tests distractibility as well as numerical reasoning.
5. Comprehension: 16 questions which focus on issues of social awareness.
6. Similarities: A measure of concept formation. Subjects are asked to say how two seemingly dissimilar items might in fact be similar.
Performance WAIS scales
7. Picture Completion: 20 small pictures that all have one vital detail missing. A test of attention to fine detail.
8. Picture Arrangement: 10 sets of small pictures, where the subject is required to arrange them into a logical sequence.
9. Block Design: Involves putting sets of blocks together to match patterns on cards.
10. Digit Symbol: Involves copying a coding pattern.
11. Object Assembly: Four small jig-saw type puzzles.
Intelligence test validity and reliability
Intelligence test standardisation and norms
Culture biased and culture-fair Intelligence tests
You wouldn't think very highly of a test that you scored a 90 on the first time, a 113 the next time, and 50 on another separate occasion.
A test that yielded these sorts of results from the same person on different takes would be considered unreliable
Is the measure of whether a test actually tests what it is supposed to.
A reliable test doesn't mean it is a valid one.
It doesn't mean that the test is actually testing the knowledge or skills necessary to rank highly on an IQ test.
The test administered and scored in a consistent manner.
The tests are designed in such a way that the
questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are
administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner.
for it to be considered "standardised".
Test must be trialled with a large sample population for it to be standardised.
For intelligence tests to remain useful, they must be re-standardised on a regular basis.
Tendency for tests to give a lower score to a person because of their different ethnic background.
More recently tests have attempted to be culturally-free so that no test taker is disadvantaged because of their ethnic background.
Culture free example questions
Used to help diagnose specific learning difficulties and to recommend learning strategies to overcome the difficulties.
Should only be used in association with other tests and in consultation with parents, teachers and other key people.
When used in isolation they should not be used as a method of judging intellectual functioning
Rarely do such tests assess the whole of what might be called intelligence.
Should not be used to predict an individual’s potential.
Labelling as “highly intelligent” or of “low intelligence” as a result of intelligence tests can affect the way individuals see themselves.
Heredity (nature) – biologically transmitted characteristics passed from parents to offspring.
Environment (nurture) – the people, objects and general environment we are exposed to over a lifetime
Not easy to separate the influence of these two things on people’s life – especially since some environmental conditions trigger the activity of certain genes
Correlation studies between IQ and family relationships
A Correlation Study is a non-experimental investigation of the relationship between two variables e.g. link between drinking alcohol during pregnancy and birth defects
It does not mean changes in one variable CAUSED changes in the other. It does suggest that they may be linked.
Correlation and Causation
Positive and Negative Correlation
Positive correlation means that when one variable increases the other seems to as well.
For example, large intake of fatty foods generally increases the chance of heart problems.
Negative correlation means that when one variable increases the other decreases.
For example, an increase in exercise generally reduces the chance of heart attacks.
Correlation coefficient
Correlation is usually measured by a correlation coefficient – a number between -1.0 and 1.0
Low (near -1.0) or high (near 1.0) numbers means the correlation is strong.
Brain size
Gender differences
Age differences
Racial differences
There is little correlation between brain size and intelligence.
More intelligent people may solve problems faster than others.
No clear evidence of differences in general intelligence between males and females
Certain specific mental differences may be present
Females tend to do better in verbal tasks
Males tend to do better in tests of visual-spatial thinking
Note that this is general difference that cannot be applied when comparing two individuals
Intelligence tends to increase through adolescence and then stabilises until the person is aged in their 60s. Intelligence then tends to decline
Again, this is a general statement and does not necessarily apply to individuals
Recent studies suggest that with appropriate training, people in the 70s and 80s can maintain their intelligence levels.
Very little correlation between race and intelligence.
Any differences may be due to the poorer environment that some races in general are brought up in or the cultural bias found in most intelligence tests.
The test have to be chosen, administered and assessed by qualified psychologists.
The person taking the test should be briefed beforehand about the nature of the test, the procedure and fully informed of the results at the end.
The results of the test should not be used inappropriately.
The psychologists should ensure that the test is administered by appropriately qualified people.
The results of the test should only be used elsewhere with the informed written consent of the individuals who took the test.
The psychologists who administered the tests should not allow the misuse of tests by unqualified people.
The problem is that the term intelligence has never been defined adequately and therefore nobody knows what an IQ test is supposed to measure. In spite of this the futures of thousands of children are determined by the results of this test.
The tests have proved overall to have only low to moderate power to predict such things as future job performance, income and status, or overall happiness and adjustment.
A summary of the difficulty in defining intelligence
How does your 'g' factor deal with this problem? What is next?
How is your life different because you live in Adelaide?
Twin studies can help. How?
But do they? According to Eric Turkheimer (2003)
"More specifically, when twins were reared in high socioeconomic status environments, genes accounted for approximately 72% of variance in intelligence scores between twins. When reared in low socioeconomic status environments, genes accounted for only about 8% of variance in intelligence within the twin pairs."
Turkheimer link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/u81/Turkheimer_et_al___2003_.pdf
Intelligence tests explained
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