Intelligence can be defined by many things and is often a very broad subject. During this presentation we will explain what intelligence is and compare the early and contemporary theorists and their theories of intelligence. We will also present how intelligence is measures and the characteristics of this measurement tool.
What is intelligence exactly? Do truly define intelligence we must first define two words: Aptitude & Ability. Aptitude is the potential of a person’s ability (Morris & Maisto, 2005). Ability is a skill or skill set that a person has already mastered. Intelligence is in reference to a person’s general intellectual abilities. This intelligence is then further defines as a person’s skill at acquiring and using new knowledge to adapt to the world or solving problems. The definition of intelligence is always evolving, next we will present some pioneer theorists of “intelligence”.
Charles Spearman, of the early twentieth century, theorized that intelligence was a spring or well of mental energy that flows through every action (Morris & Maisto, 2005). Spearman noticed that people who are bright in one area are often bright in others. While some people are faster than others at different things, Spearman viewed these differences as just ways the underlying ability revealed itself.
Another early theorists, L. L. Thurstone, argued that intelligence was comprised of seven different distinct mental abilities; Spatial Ability, Perceptual Speed, Numerical Ability, Verbal Meaning, Memory, Word Fluency, and Reasoning. Thurstone maintained that each of these abilities was separate and independent of one another and that all seven of these abilities made up overall intelligence.
Finally, theorists R. B. Cattell only identified two “clusters” of mental abilities. The first was Crystallized Intelligence, encompassing reasoning, verbal and numerical skills and which were affected by education and experiences. The second cluster were Fluid Intelligences, like spatial abilities; visual imagery; rote memory and notice of visual details; in which education and experiences have little impact.
The first contemporary theorists is Robert Sternberg and his Triarchic Theory wherein he identifies three basic areas of intelligence which include a broad variety of skills. The first area is Analytical Intelligence that encompass more of the mental processes presented by earlier theorists like Spearman, Thurston, and Cattell. The ability to learn new things, solve problems, and carry out tasks effectively are all examples of Analytical Intelligence processes. Creative Intelligence was defined by Sternberg as a person’s ability to adapt and respond creatively, learn new concepts, and combine information in unthought-of ways. Practical Intelligence is defined by Sternberg and a person’s ability to find solutions to practical and personal problems. Sternberg maintained that just because practical intelligence was not taught in school that did not mean it was not sometimes more important that analytical intelligence because with it people can live successfully in the world.
Next is theorists Howard Garder who maintains a multiple intelligence approach somewhat like his predecessor L. L. Thurstone. The main difference is that Gardner identifies eight separate areas and they are a little different from Thurstone’s. Gardner’s eight areas of intelligence include logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic ( like the high school quarter back), interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. The sum of these distinct abilities comprises intelligence. Gardner’s approach has become very influential because it highlights the unique abilities of each single person (Morris & Maisto, 2005). Another major point that Gardner has established is that each of these eight areas often are valued differently by different cultures.
Our last contemporary theorists, Daniel Goleman, has formed the resent theory of Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence centers on how effectively people perceive and understand their own emotions and the emotions of others around them and how these people can manage their emotional behavior. Goleman defined five traits that are recognized as contributing to a person’s overall emotional intelligence: knowing one’s own emotions – self-awareness, managing one’s emotions, using emotions to motivate oneself, recognizing the emotions of others, and managing relationships. While Goleman’s concept of emotional intelligence is new and there are skeptics, some studies have shown promising results and there the is a correlation between the ability of people to identify emotions of others accurately and SAT scores (Morris & Maisto, 2005).
Overall the theories of intelligence have evolved and continue to do so. The theories presented thus far are used to shape the content of intelligence tests which are the tools used for measuring a person’s intelligence or IQ. There are several different types of tests available like the The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, which has been revised over time since it’s inception in 1916 and is comprised of 15 different subtests. The Wechsler Intelligence Scales, first developed in 1939, is divided into only two parts, one to measure verbal skills and the other performance skills. It is more complex and scored differently than the Stanford-Binet. Both the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler are individually administered. Group tests on the other hand are given to large groups in a written format and norms are easier to establish of the group. Some disadvantages of group testing may include lack of health issue assessment and some people who do not test often do not test well in group environments. Finally, performance and culture-fair tests are used to avoid the problems that face non-English speaking testers. Performance tests rely on little or no language. Culture-fair test also eliminate language barriers and also cultural specifics.It is important for intelligence tests to be reliable and valid. The reliability of test is measured by its dependability and consistency of the scores yielded from the test. Validity of the test is measured by in the test can rate what it is design to. That is to say a comprehension test of mathematics should be able to effectively measure a person’s mathematical abilities.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about what intelligence truly made up of and rather you agree or disagree with any of the theorists and the theories they champion we would urge you to read further about them. This history of intelligence has helped to define the measurement of it today. Thank you.
1. Intelligence – What’s That?<br />Ms. Lee MoonAxia College of University of Phoenix<br />
2. Intelligence is in reference to a person’s <br />general intellectual ability.<br />Intelligence can be defined as a person’s ability or abilities to acquire and use of knowledge for adapting to the world or solving problems.<br />What is Intelligence?<br />
3. Charles Spearman<br />Maintained intelligence is quite general “mental energy”.<br />The intelligent person:<br />Understands things quickly<br />Makes sound decisions<br />Carries on interesting conversations<br />Behaves intelligently in many situations<br /> The differences, in which some are quicker than others <br /> in miscellaneous areas, are ways in which the same <br /> underlying general intelligence reveals itself.<br />Early Theorists & Theories<br />
4. L. L. Thurstone<br /> Intelligence comprises seven distinct mental abilities:<br /> Abilities are relatively independent of one another. <br /> So a person with exceptional perceptual speed <br />might lack word fluency. <br />Early Theorists & Theories<br />
5. R. B. Cattell<br /> Identified only two “Clusters” of intelligence:<br />Experiences have a profound effect on Crystallized <br />Intelligence.<br /> Experiences like education have little impact on <br /> Fluid Intelligence.<br />Early Theorists & Theories<br />
6. Robert Sternberg<br />Triarchic Theory <br />Identified three basic areas of intelligence:<br />Analytical Intelligence - Mental Processes<br />Creative Intelligence – Adapt and respond creatively.<br />Practical Intelligence – Solve personal and untaught problems.<br />Contemporary Theorists & Theories<br />
7. Howard Gardner<br /> Theory of Multiple Intelligences<br />Identified eight separate areas of intelligence:<br />Logical-mathematical<br />Linguistic<br />Spatial<br />Musical<br />Bodily-Kinesthetic<br />Interpersonal<br />Intrapersonal,<br />Naturalistic.<br />Gardner also notes that the different forms of <br />intelligence often have different values placed <br />on them by different cultures.<br />Contemporary Theorists & Theories<br />
8. Daniel Goleman<br />Theory of Emotional Intelligence<br />Centers how effectively people perceive and understand their own <br /> emotions and the emotions of others and can manage their emotional behavior.<br />Knowing one’s own emotions<br />Managing one’s emotions<br />Using emotions to motivate oneself<br />Recognizing the emotions of other people<br />Managing relationships<br />Goleman’s concept is relatively new and while some remain<br /> skeptical, some studies have shown promising results.<br />Contemporary Theorists & Theories<br />
9. The theories that have been presented thus far shape the content of<br />intelligence tests which are used to measure intelligence or IQ.<br />Different tests include: The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale<br />The Wechsler Intelligence Scales<br />Group Tests<br />Performance & Culture-Fair Tests<br />Measuring Intelligence<br />Intelligence Test – Good Characteristics<br />Tests must be:<br /> Reliable – Dependability & Consistency of scores yielded.<br /> Validity – Can it measure what it is designed to?<br />
10. Works Cited<br />Morris, C. G. & Maisto, A. A. (2005) Psychology An Introduction (12 Ed.) Chapter 8 - Intelligence and Mental Abilities (pp. 293-327) Published by Prentice-Hall. <br />Image Credits<br />Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2004). Charles Spearman [Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.fa100.info/<br />L.L. Thurston Psychometric Laboratory (2004). L.L. Thurston [Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.unc.edu/depts/quantpsy/thurstone/history.htm<br />Gillis, J. (2007). R. B. Cattell [Photo]. Retrieved from St. Thomas University California website at http://www.stthomasu.ca/~jgillis/cattell.html<br />University of Cambridge (2008) Robert Sternberg [Photo]. Retrieved http://www.psychometrics.ppsis.cam.ac.uk/page/68/bob-sternberg.htm<br />Harvard Graduate School of Education (2009). Howard Gardner [Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/features/gardner06012004.html<br />Audiofile(2007) Daniel Goleman [Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/features/A1909.html<br />