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Chapter 11: Intelligence

" The ability to carry out abstract thinking." (Terman, 1921)

"The capacity to acquire capacity." (Woodrow, 1921)
"A global concept that involves an individual's ability to act purposefully,
think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment."
(Wechsler, 1958)
"A person possesses intelligence insofar as he had learned, or can learn,
to adjust himself to his environment."
(Colvin, cited in Sternberg, 1982)
"Intelligence is the ability to use optimally limited resources - including
time - to achieve goals."
(Kurzweil, 1999)
"Intelligence is what you do when you don't know what to do."

What is Intelligence?
Intelligence (in all cultures) is the ability to:
1.learn from experience
2. solve problems
3. use our knowledge to adapt to new situations.

In research studies, intelligence is whatever the intelligence

test measures. This tends to be school smarts.

Do we have an inborn general mental capacity
(intelligence) or can it be taught?
Can we quantify this capacity as a meaningful number?

Intelligence: Ability or Abilities?

Is intelligence a single ability that manifests itself in multiple
ways? Some people have more of it and those people are
better at what they decide to do.
- If so all tests of ability for a single person
correlate positively with each other.


- Some people seem to be good at everything, others

struggle with every thing.
- In school: many students seem to stay close to
their average regardless of the subject (Are you
a B student? a C student?)

Intelligence: Ability or Abilities?

Are there multiple intelligences that are
independent of one another, such that people
who are artistically gifted may not be verbally
- A person may have a gift for music or art
but struggle with math or history.
- Savant Syndrome (Rainman)
- If so, does everyone necessarily have to
have a strength?

Three Key Names in Intelligence

1. Charles Spearman:
Contemporary Intelligence Theories

2. Howard Gardner:
Intelligences (8)
3. Robert Sternberg:
Intelligences (3)

Intelligence: Single or
Is intelligence one general ability or several
specific abilities?
Charles Spearman

general intelligence [g]

Louis Thurstone

7 linked clusters of abilities

Howard Gardner

8 intelligences

Robert Sternberg

3 intelligences

Creativity and

5 components

Emotional intelligence

4 components

Spearman: General Intelligence

General Intelligence (g) = a
single, overall intelligence
factor that underlies all
mental abilities and is
therefore measured by
every task on an
intelligence test

Is intelligence a single overall ability or is it

To find out
statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related
items on a test. i.e. A technique that determines how
different variables relate to each other; for example
whether they form clusters that tend to vary
Intelligence Test
e ones total score. Verbal ability excel at verbal

fluency, remembering words,

spelling, comprehension, etc
Personality Test
Extraversion describe themselves
as liking excitement, practical jokes,
and disliking quiet reading

Thurstones Seven Clusters of Abilities

Louis Thurstone (18871955) disagreed with the
idea of one general
measure and trait of
overall intelligence.
Thurstone found that the
results of 56 skill tests fell
into 7 clusters.
However, further analysis
showed that people who
were strong in one cluster
tended to be strong in
other clusters.

1. Verbal
2. Inductive
3. Word fluency
4. Spatial ability
5. Memory
6. Perceptual
7. Numerical

Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner also disagreed with Spearmans
g and proposed a theory of multiple intelligences.
According to this
definition, both
Einstein and Ruth
are intelligent

Speculates about 9th intelligence - existential

intelligence (the ability to think about the question of
life, death and existence)

Gardners Multiple Intelligences

People with savant
syndrome excel in
abilities unrelated to
general intelligence or
have limited mental
4 of 5 are males


Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Sternberg simplifies Gardner and suggests three intelligences rather than eight:


Analytical Intelligence: Intelligence that is assessed by intelligence

tests (academic problem solving)
Creative Intelligence: Intelligence that makes us adapt to novel
situations, generating novel ideas.
Practical Intelligence: Intelligence that is required for everyday tasks,
where multiple solutions exist (e.g. street smarts).

Sternberg summarizes: So basically what Ive said is there are

different ways to be smart but ultimately what you want to do is
take the components, apply them to your experience, and use
them to adapt to, select, and shape your environment .

Sternbergs Intelligence Triarchy

Robert Sternberg (b. 1949) proposed that

success in life is related to three types of
e: solving a


expertise and
talent that help to
complete the
tasks and manage
the complex
challenges of
everyday life

problem with a
single answer

e: generating
new ideas to
help adapt to

Intelligence and Creativity

Creativity: is the ability to produce ideas that are both novel and

Convergent thinking - thinking that involves

following a series of logical steps with the goal of
arriving at the correct answer.
Divergent thinking thinking used to generate
creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions;
spontaneous, unorganized thought.
Creative people generate new, unexpected ideas first
through divergent thought. Ideas are then organized
using convergent thought.

Sternberg identified five components of

divergent thinkers and creativity.

Expertise: possessing a
well-developed base of



nt, and time
and space to
think Intrinsic Motivation: enjoying the
pursuit of interests and
challenge, without needing
external direction or rewards

having the
ability to
see new
ns, and
tending to
seek out new
despite risk,
and obstacles

Social and Emotional Intelligence

intelligence refers
to the ability to
understand and
navigate social

involves processing
and managing the
emotional component
of those social
situations, including
ones own emotions.

Components of
Emotional Intelligence

Benefits of

Perceiving emotions
Recognizing emotions in facial
expressions, stories, and even in
Understanding emotions
Being able to see blended emotions,
and to predict emotional states and
changes in self and others

People with high

emotional intelligence
often have other
beneficial traits, such
as the ability to delay
gratification while
pursuing long-term

Managing emotions
Modulating and expressing
emotions in various situations

The level of emotional

intelligence, including
the skill of reading the
emotions of others,
correlates with
success in career
and other social

Using emotions
Using emotions as fuel and
motivation for creative, adaptive

Emotional Intelligence: Criticism

Gardner and others criticize the idea of emotional
intelligence and question whether we stretch this
idea of intelligence too far when we apply it to our

Handout 10-9: Emotional

Intelligence Scale
This scale is designed to
assess (1) the appraisal and
expression of emotion in self
and others, (2) the regulation
of emotion in self and others,
and (3) the utilization of
emotion in solving problems.

Reverse the #s for
items 5, 28, and 33.
(1=5, 2=4, 3=3, 4=2,
Then add the
numbers in front of
all 33 items.

Meaning of results:
High scale scores are associated with greater
optimism, less depression, and less
Means of 135 for therapists, 120 for prisoners,
131 for females, and 125 for males.
Some studies show EQ to be a greater
predictor for future success than IQ

Intelligence as Speed of
Are intelligent people faster at retrieving and
processing information?
Verbal and general intelligence test scores
correlate with the speed of retrieving information
from memory and receiving and processing
sensory/perceptual information

Theory of Minimal Cognitive Architecture

Knowledge is obtained through thinking
Thinking is constrained by the speed of
processing info

Neuroscience and
Is there relationship between brain size and
In animal world, the ratio of brain to body weights
does correlate with intelligence

Human population?
Correlation between brain size and a number of
cognitive measures
Witelson, Beresh, Kigar (2006)

Intelligence arises from neural network in the

frontal and parietal lobes of brain regions
Haier and Jung (2007)

Intelligence and Brain Anatomy

Genius seems to correlate with:
overall brain size.
the size of some brain regions such as the parietal lobe.
high brain activity in the frontal and parietal lobes.
extra gray matter (brain cell bodies, seen as more brain surface
extra white matter (axons) leading to high connectivity among
different regions.

and Brain

Intelligence in action
seems to involve:
activity of the front
part of the frontal
lobes to organize
and coordinate
being in shape;
using less energy
to solve problems
than the brains of
normal people.

Robert Sternbergs Five Components of


Creative environment: having

support, feedback, encouragement,
and time and space to think
personality: tending to
seek out new
experiences despite risk,
ambiguity, and obstacles

possessing a
base of

Intrinsic motivation:
enjoying the pursuit of
interests and challenge,
without needing external
direction or rewards
Imaginative thinking:
having the ability to see
new perspectives,
combinations, and

Emotional Intelligence
(first proposed by Thorndike):


Perceive emotion

Recognize emotions in faces, music

and stories

Understand emotion

Predict emotions, how they change

and blend

Manage emotion

Express emotions in different


Use emotion

Utilize emotions to adapt or be


Success in life is
impossible to define.
However, wealth tends
to be related to
intelligence test
scores, PLUS:
focused daily
effort/practice, taking 10
years to achieve
success-level expertise.
social support and
hard work and
energetic persistence


Assessing Intelligence
Psychologists define intelligence
testing as a method for assessing an
individuals mental aptitudes and
comparing them with others using
numerical scores.

IQ 140
Madonna (Singer)
Jean M. Auel (Author)
Geena Davis (Actress)
IQ 150
Sharon Stone (154) (Actress)
Carol Vorderman (154; Cattell?) (TV presenter)
Sir Clive Sinclair (159) (Inventor)
IQ 160
Bill Gates (CEO, Microsoft)
Jill St. John (Actress)
Paul Allen (160+, Microsoft cofounder)
Stephen W. Hawking (160+) (Physicist)

IQ 170
Andrew J. Wiles (Mathematician; solved Fermat's
Last Theorem)
Judith Polgar (Formula based; Female World
Champion in Chess)
IQ 180
James Woods (Actor)
John H. Sununu (Chief of Staff for President Bush)
Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister)
Marilyn Vos Savant (186) (Author)
Bobby Fischer (187) (Former World Champion in
IQ 190
Philip Emeagwali (Extrapolated; Mathematician)

Alfred Binet
Alfred Binet and his
colleague Thodore
Simon practiced a more
modern form of
intelligence testing by
developing questions
that would predict
childrens future progress
in the Paris school

Why he did it:

To identify students who
needed special help in
coping with the school

Lewis Terman
In the US, Lewis Terman
adapted Binets test for
American school children
and named the test the
Stanford-Binet Test. The
following is the formula of
Intelligence Quotient
(IQ), introduced by
William Stern:

Calculate her IQ
8 year old Sue is able to complete most of
the questions designed for 10 year olds,
her IQ would be?

Calculate her IQ
8 year old Sue is able to complete most of
the questions designed for 10 year olds,
her IQ would be?
10 x 100 = 125

Lewis Terman
What he did:
In the US, Terman adapted Binets
test for American school children and
named the test the Stanford-Binet
Test IQ Test.
Why he did it:
Terman believed in eugenics
Eugenics: a social movement aimed at improving the
human species through selective breedingpromoted
higher reproduction rates of people with superior traits,
and aimed to reduce reproduction rates of people with
inferior traits.

Modern Intelligence Tests

Achievement Tests- assess what a person has
learned; reflect existing knowledge
Examples: a literacy test, a drivers license exam, a
final exam in psychology course

Aptitude Tests- designed to predict a persons

future performance
Aptitude- capacity to learn

Achievement tests assess current performance

and aptitude tests predict future performance

Aptitude vs. Achievement

Achievement tests measure what you already have learned.
Aptitude tests attempt to predict your ability to learn new
The SAT, ACT, and GRE are supposed to predict your ability
to do well in future academic work.

If the SAT is an
aptitude test,
should it
correlate with IQ?


SAT scores (verbal +

David Wechsler
Wechsler developed the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence
Scale (WAIS) and later the
Wechsler Intelligence Scale
for Children (WISC), an
intelligence test for schoolaged children.
*Addressed language and

WAIS measures overall intelligence and 11 other aspects related to
intelligence that are designed to assess clinical and educational
Separates scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working
memory, and processing speed

Sample Questions (WAIS III)

Information-asks a series of questions designed to tap general
knowledge about common events, objects, places, and people.
How many wings does a bird have? How many nickels make a dime?
What is steam made of? Who wrote Tom Sawyer? What is pepper?

Comprehension-asks questions designed to measure practical

knowledge and understanding of social rules and concepts.
What should you do if you see someone forget his book when he leaves a
What is the advantage of keeping money in a bank?
Why is copper often used in electrical wires?

Sample Question (WAIS III)

Similarities-Presents two words that represent
common objects or concepts. The examinee is
asked to state how the objects or concepts are
similar. The task is designed to measure logical
or abstract thinking and the ability to categorize
and generalize.

In what way are a lion and a tiger alike?

In what way are a saw and a hammer alike?
In what way are an hour and a week alike?
In what way are a circle and a triangle alike?

The structure of the WISC-IV

The WISC-IV has four specific cognitive domains
(Indexes) which together contribute to the Full
Scale IQ




Text, format, graphics and data Copyright Dr John Worthington all rights reserved 2004


Verbal Comprehension (VC) Index

An example:
Lets play a guessing game. Tell me what Im thinking of.

An example of the ceiling (hardest) item

This has never been seen or done before
and it can make our lives better and easier
and it is a product of the mind.
1 point: discovery, invention, innovation,
technology, imagination, creativity, dream

Principles of Test Construction

For a psychological test to be acceptable it
must fulfill the following three criteria:
1. Standardization
2. Reliability
3. Validity

Standardizing a test involves administering the test
to a representative sample of future test takers in
order to establish a basis for meaningful

Normal Curve
Standardized tests establish a normal distribution
of scores on a tested population in a bell-shaped
pattern called the normal curve.

Lets talk Statistics

Statistical analysis is used to determine whether any
relationships or differences among the variables are
significant, quantifies the exact strength of the
association. Two types:

Descriptive Statistics
Used to describe, organize
& summarize data to
make it more understandable

Central Tendency

Statistical Significancea

Used to interpret data

& draw conclusions. What can
we infer about the population
from data gathered from the

Inferential Statistics

Descriptive Statistics:

Measures of Central Tendency

(summarizes data set by providing a representative
Score that falls in the center of a distribution of scores.
When there is an even number of scores in a data set, the
median is halfway between the two middle numbers.
Best indicator of central tendency when there is a skew.
The median is unaffected by extreme scores.


X/N = X
Average of scores in a distribution. Even one extreme score can
change the mean radically, possibly making it less
representative of the data. Most significant because additional
statistical manipulations can be performed on it.

Most frequently occurring score in a distribution.

Descriptive Statistics: Measures of Variability

Indicate the dispersion or spread in a data set. How much the
scores in a set of data vary from: a. each other
b. the Mean
Tell you if the scores are very different from one another or if
they cluster around the mean.

The difference between the highest and lowest score in a set of
data. Extreme scores can radically affect the range of a data set.

Standard Deviation
Reflects the average distance between every score and the mean.
Tells you how different the scores are
from the mean. Tells you whether scores
are packed together or dispersed.



Inferential Statistics
While descriptive statistics summarize a data set, we often want
to go beyond the data:
Is the world at large like my sample?
Are my descriptive statistics misleading?
Inferential statistics give probability that the sample is like the
world at large.
Allow psychologists to infer what the data mean.
Assess how likely it is that group differences or correlations
would exist in the population rather than occurring only due to
variables associated with the chosen sample.

Sample Test Questions

What proportion of the population have an IQ of
less than 130?
What proportion of the population have an IQ of
more than 115?

Sample Test Questions

What proportion of the population have an IQ of
less than 130?
Half of 95% is 47.5%.

50% + 47.5% = 97.5%

What proportion of the population have an IQ of

more than 115?
Half of 68% is 34% 50+34 = 84% have an IQ less than
115 so 100 84 = 16% have an IQ greater than 115

Sample Test Question

The following is a list of four scores from the IQ
test Philips friends took: 136, 95, 91, 90. If we
wanted to know what the IQ of Philips friends is
MOST like (i.e. we want one number to
represent all their IQs) , which would be the best
representative? Mean or Median?

Sample Test Question

The following is a list of four scores from the IQ
test Philips friends took: 136, 95, 91, 90. If we
wanted to know what the IQ of Philips friends is
MOST like, which would be the best indicator?
Mean or Median?
Mean = 103 Median = 93
Answer = median. The mean is affected by
the one extreme score of 136 and is therefore
too high.

Sample Test Question

For a language test with normally
distributed scores, the mean was 70 and
the standard deviation was 10. What
percentage of test takers scored 60 and

Sample Test Question

For a language test with normally distributed
scores, the mean was 70 and the standard
deviation was 10. What percentage of test
takers scored 60 and above?
That tells us that 68% of the sample scored
between 60 and 80. 32% of the sample scored
either below 60 or above 80. Normal distributions
are symmetrical so half of 32 = 16% scored below
60 which means 100 16 = 84% scored above

Skewed Distribution

An asymmetrical distribution of scores, such as a curve with a bump on the left and tail to the right
or most scores are bunched to the left or right of the mean
The mean is the largest
The mode or median are smaller than the mean
The mean is a less useful measure; while the median is more useful

15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50



Mode Median

One Family


Income per family in thousands of dollars


Statistical Breakdown of Intelligence

Philip then wanted to find out if he and his friends
were smarter than his dad and his dads friends, so he
gave the IQ test to his dad and his friends. Compare
the two groups of scores:
Philips group: 104, 102, 95, 91, 90, 83, 72
Philips dads group: 95, 93, 92, 91, 90, 89, 87
What can we determine about the two groups?
How are they different? Similar?

Statistical Breakdown of Intelligence

Philips group: 104, 102, 95, 91, 90, 83, 72
Philips dads group: 95, 93, 92, 91, 90, 89, 87
What can we determine about the two groups? How are they
different? Similar?

For each of the groups, the mean = 91

However, the range for Philips group = 32; while the
range for dads group = 8. The standard deviation for
Philips group will be larger than the standard deviation
for dads group.
The groups did not perform the same. The scores in
Philips group are much more spread out than in the
dads group. The scores for the dads group tend to
cluster closer to the mean

Statistical Breakdown of Intelligence

The IQ test Philip used was recently re-normed. Why
are IQ tests periodically updated?
Changes in knowledge require tests to be renormed
People have gotten smarter (Flynn Effect)
The numbers of questions answered
accurately has increased over the years
Changes that affect IQ test scores of groups
(e.g. sociocultural or technological)
Changes in educational practices or
techniques (that affect knowledge)
Keep material culturally relevant
Re-norm to maintain validity and/or reliability

A test is reliable when it yields consistent
results. To establish reliability researchers
establish different procedures:
1. Split-half Reliability: Dividing the test into
two equal halves and assessing how
consistent the scores are.
2. Test-Retest Reliability: Using the same test
on two occasions to measure consistency.


Reliability of a test does not ensure validity. Validity of a test refers

to the extent that the test measures or predicts what it is supposed
to measure or predict.



Content Validity: Refers to the extent a test

measures a particular behavior or trait of
driving test that samples driving tasks
Predictive (Criterion-Related) Validity: Refers to the
success of a test in predicting a particular behavior or
trait it is designed to predict. Assessed by computing
the correlation between test scores and the criterion
behavior (such as college grades) that a test (such
as the SAT) is designed to predict

Extremes of Intelligence
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale is set so that
about 2.5% of the population is above 130 and
about 2.5% of the population is below 70.

Very High
ce, Gifted

l Disability


High Intelligence
Contrary to popular belief, people with high intelligence test scores tend
to be healthy, well adjusted, and unusually successful academically.
However they can appear to be more isolated, introverted, or in their
own worlds.

Intellectual Disability
Mentally retarded (intellectually disabled) individuals required
constant supervision a few decades ago, but with a supportive
family environment and special or mainstreamed education some
individuals with mild disability levels can now care for themselves.

Down Syndrome

the proportion of variation among
individuals that we can attribute to
variability depends on range of
populations and environments studied
Our genes shape the experiences that shape

Genetic Influences

Identical Twin Studies- similar test scores

Similar gray matter- neural cell bodies

Adoption Studies
Adopted children show a marginal correlation in
verbal ability to their adopted parents.

Genetic influences- not environmental ones- become

more apparent as we accumulate life experiences

(James )Flynn Effect

In the past 60 years, intelligence scores have
risen steadily by an average of 27 points. This
phenomenon is known as the Flynn Effect.

Schooling Effects
At the same grade
level, older children
tend to score higher
than younger
Schooling is an experience that pays dividends,
which is reflected in intelligence scores. Increased
schooling correlates with higher intelligence scores.
To increase
readiness for
projects like
Head Start
facilitate leaning.

Early Intervention Effects

Early neglect from caregivers leads children to
develop a lack of personal control over the
environment, and it impoverishes their intelligence.

J. McVicker Hunt found Romanian orphans with

minimal human interaction were delayed in their

Stability of Intelligence Test Scores

Over the Lifespan
Pushing toddlers to learn does not seem to help much.
Only by age four is a childs performance on
intelligence tests a predictor of future performance on
intelligence tests.
Based on the
results of a
longitudinal study
depicted in this
chart, does
intelligence test
score at age 11
intelligence test
score at age 80?

Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence

Fluid intelligence refers
to the ability to think
quickly and abstractly.

intelligence refers to
accumulated wisdom,
knowledge, expertise,
and vocabulary.

Stability of
Intelligence during
Which type of intelligence?

Based on this
chart, at what age
might you do best
at completing a
crossword puzzle

Group Differences in Intelligence Test

Why do groups differ in intelligence? How
can we make sense of these differences?

Group Differences
The Mental Rotation Test
Which two of the other circles contain a
configuration of blocks
identical to the one in the circle at the left?


Ability Differences
Girls tend to be better at spelling, locating
objects, and detecting emotions.
Girls tend to be more verbally fluent, and more
sensitive to touch, taste, and color.
Boys tend to be better at handling spatial
reasoning and complex math problems.
It is a myth that boys generally do better in math
than girls. Girls do at least as well as boys in
overall math performance and especially in math

Ethnic/Racial Differences in
Intelligence Test Scores

The bell curve for African American intelligence test scores is

centered at 85. For non-African Americans, the average is 100.
Whatever the cause of this score difference, it is incorrect to use
this information to predict the score of an individual.

The green triangle shows African-Americans

scoring higher than the average non-AfricanAmericans.
How can we interpret this group difference in
average intelligence test scores?
We will look at the issue of test bias and other
factors affecting scores for perceived minorities.

But first

The Racial Intelligence Test Score Gap

Racial categories are not distinct
genetically and are unscientific.
Both whites and blacks have
higher intelligence test scores
than whites of the 1930s.
Whites may have more access
to fertile soil for developing
their potential, such as:
schools and educational
wealth, nutrition, support, and
educated mentors.
relative freedom from

Environmental Effects
Differences in intelligence among these groups are
largely environmental, as if one environment is more
fertile in developing these abilities than the other.

The Question of Bias

Aptitude tests are necessarily biased in the sense
that they are sensitive to performance differences
caused by cultural differences.

However, aptitude tests are not biased in the sense

that they accurately predict performance of one
group over the other.

Test-Takers Expectations
A stereotype threat is a self-confirming concern
that one will be evaluated based on a negative
This phenomenon appears in some instances in
intelligence testing among African-Americans and
among women of all colors.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
A prediction that directly or indirectly
causes itself to become true