Theories of Intelligence

Majority of notes I took from the fantastic Maltby, Day and Macaskill ‘Individual Differences’ textbook (click image)

 

 

THE BIRTH OF THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INTELLIGENCE

SIR FRANCIS GALTON (1869)

– the first to be interested in showing that humans differed in intelligence (via heredity)

 

ALFRED BINET (1904)

– created the first intelligence test (the Binet-Simon scale) and the concept of mental age

 

TERMAN

– modified the test for US kids; incorporated STERN’S concept of IQ = (mental age/age)*100

– much larger samples than Binet (1000+ vs 50) >> ‘standardised testing’ (norms for test)

 

YERKES (1917)

– army alpha and beta tests with time limit, large samples, simultaneously, ability specific

– thousands of requests from business & public after the war for the test

 


 

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE (G): THE THEORY AND THE MEASUREMENT

‘g’ – CHARLES SPEARMAN (1904,1927)

– using factor analysis found that someone who does well on one test does well on other types

– ‘s’ (specific abilities) was the first factor of intelligence (intelligence on a specific type of test)

– ‘g’ (general intelligence) underlying the +ve correlations: intelligence needed for all test types

 

MEASURING ‘g’: THE WECHSLER & RAVEN’S MATRICES

THE WECHSLER TESTS (1939)

– published Wechsler-Bellevue scale; later WAIS (adults) and WISC (kids) still in use today

– based on Spearman’s 2-factor model

– different in that everyone could take them, and concept of standard deviation IQ

 

RAVEN’S PROGRESSIVE MATRICES

– based on Spearman’s theory; aimed to measure ‘g’ – abstract ability, relationships, inference

– a test free from cultural influences was best way to test abstract ability – NVR type tests

 

MULTIFACTOR THEORISTS: THURSTONE, CATTELL & GUILFORD

THURSTONE: ‘g’ RESULTS FROM SEVEN PRIMARY MENTAL ABILITIES

– Spearman just showed different tests correlate positively – one can’t conclude anything else

– ‘g’ doesn’t underlie different types of intelligence; 7 different sorts of intelligence make up ‘g’

 

CATTELL: FLUID & CRYSTALLISED INTELLIGENCE

– accepted Spearman that there’s ‘g’ but ‘g’ has 2 related but distinct components:

crystallised intelligence (‘Gc’): acquired knowledge & skills (Wechsler type tests)

fluid intelligence (‘Gf’): primary reasoning ability, abstract problems (Raven type tests)

 

GUILFORD (1977) : MANY DIFFERENT INTELLIGENCES & MANY COMBINATIONS

– no ‘g’: intelligence the result of 150 independent abilities – ‘structure of intellect (SI) theory’

– abilities fall into 3 groups: operations, contents & products

– his theory opens up the possibilities of intelligence; but maybe too complex & little support

 


 

INTELLIGENCE AND FACTOR ANALYSIS – A 3RD WAY: HIERARCHIES

VERNON (1950)

– hierarchy with several different levels of intelligence with ‘g’ at the top being key difference bet. people

– next is v:ed (verbal/educational) & k:ed (spatial/mechanical) intelligences

– next level down is minor group factors; at bottom are specific intelligence factors

 

CARROLL: FROM THE 3-STRATUM MODEL OF HUMAN COGNITIVE ABILITIES

– hierarchical model of intelligence based on factor analysis of 50 years worth of datasets

– 3 hierarchical levels to intelligence; organised and integrated Spearman, Cattell, Vernon…

 

CATTELL, HORN & CARROLL (CHC): THEORY, RESEARCH & PRACTICE TOGETHER

– Horn worked on developing Cattell’s theory but thought there was more than ‘g’, ‘Gf’ & ‘Gc’

– Horn came up with 9 dimensions

– Woodcock (1999) synthesized theories to create the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory

– it has 16 intelligences

 


 

OTHER THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE: GARDNER & STERNBERG

HOWARD GARDNER (1996)

– bias in education that favours logical-math & linguistic intelligence over other types

– 9 types inc. musical, bodily, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, existentialist

– challenges that intelligence can be summed into IQ – each intelligence independent, no ‘g’

– BUT theory needs wider examination before it can be accepted as valid theory

 

ROBERT STERNBERG

– triarchic theory of intelligence: defines 3 different types of intelligence in terms of subtheories

componential subtheory: analytic intelligence; internal mechanisms underlying intelligent beh

contextual subtheory: external; practical application of the componential subtheory

experiential subtheory: creative; how experience interacts with intelligence