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Encyclopedia > Intelligence (trait)

Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. Although many generally regard the concept of intelligence as having a much broader scope, in some schools of psychology, the study of intelligence generally regards this trait as distinct from creativity, personality, character, or wisdom. The mind is the term most commonly used to describe the higher functions of the human brain, particularly those of which humans are subjectively conscious, such as personality, thought, reason, memory, intelligence and emotion. ... Reason is a term used in philosophy and other human sciences to refer to the higher cognitive faculties of the human mind. ... A plan is a proposed or intended method of getting from one set of circumstances to another. ... Problem solving forms part of thinking. ... // An abstraction is an idea, concept, or word which defines the phenomena which make up the concrete events or things which the abstraction refers to, the referents. ... Learned redirects here. ... Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul or mind, logos/-ology = study of) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the mind, brain, and behavior, both human and nonhuman. ... Creativity (or creativeness) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. ... It has been suggested that Personality psychology be merged into this article or section. ... Wisdom is the ability to make correct judgments and decisions. ...

Look up intelligence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Contents

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary logo Wiktionary is a Wikimedia Foundation project intended to be a free wiki dictionary (including thesaurus and lexicon) in almost every language. ...


Definitions of intelligence

At least two major "consensus" definitions of intelligence have been proposed. First, from "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" a report of a task force convened by the American Psychological Association in 1995: The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. It has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. ...

Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of "intelligence" are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. [1]

A second definition of intelligence comes from "Mainstream Science on Intelligence", which was signed by 52 intelligence researchers in 1994:

a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on", "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. (reprinted in Gottfredson, 1997, p. 13) [2]

Individual intelligence experts have offered a number of similar definitions.

  • David Wechsler: "... the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment."
  • Cyril Burt: "...innate general cognitive ability."
  • Howard Gardner: "To my mind, a human intellectual competence must entail a set of skills of problem solving—enabling the individual to resolve genuine problems or difficulties that he or she encounters and, when appropriate, to create an effective product—and must also entail the potential for finding or creating problems—and thereby laying the groundwork for the acquisition of new knowledge."
  • Herrnstein and Murray: "...cognitive ability."
  • Sternberg and Salter: "...goal-directed adaptive behavior."

David Wechsler (January 12, 1896, Lespedi, Romania - May 2, 1981, New York, New York) was a leading American psychologist. ... Sir Cyril Lodowic Burt (March 3, 1883 – October 10, 1971) was a prominent British educational psychologist. ... Howard Gardner (born 1943 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA) is a cognitive and educational psychologist based at Harvard University best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. ...

Psychometric intelligence

Main articles: IQ, General intelligence factor IQ tests are designed to give approximately normally distributed results, which causes a bell curve graph of IQ score frequency. ... The general intelligence factor (abbreviated g) is a widely accepted but controversial construct used in the field of psychology (see also psychometrics) to quantify what is common to the scores of all intelligence tests. ...


Despite the variety of concepts of intelligence, the most influential approach to understanding intelligence (i.e., the one that has generated the most systematic research) is based on psychometric testing. Psychometrics is the science of measuring psychological aspects of a person such as knowledge, skills, abilities, or personality. ...


Intelligence, narrowly defined, can be measured by intelligence tests, also called IQ (intelligence quotient) tests. Such tests are among the most accurate (reliable and valid) psychological tests. Such intelligence tests take many forms, but the common tests (Stanford-Binet, Raven's Progressive Matrices, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Wechsler-Bellevue I, and others) all measure the same dominant form of intelligence, g or "general intelligence factor". The abstraction of g stems from the observation that scores on all forms of cognitive tests correlate positively with one another. g can be derived as the principle factor from cognitive test scores using the method of factor analysis. In psychometrics reliability is the accuracy of the scores of a measure. ... In psychometrics a valid measure is one which is measuring what it is supposed to measure. ... For information regarding the parapsychology phenomenon of distance knowledge, see psychometry. ... The modern field of intelligence testing began with the Stanford-Binet IQ test. ... Ravens Progressive Matrices (also Abstract Reasoning Test) are widely used non-verbal intelligence tests. ... Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or WAIS is a general test of intelligence (IQ), published in February 1955 as a revision of the Wechsler-Bellevue test (1939), standardised for use with adults over the age of 16. ... The general intelligence factor (abbreviated g) is a widely accepted but controversial construct used in the field of psychology (see also psychometrics) to quantify what is common to the scores of all intelligence tests. ... In probability theory and statistics, correlation, also called correlation coefficient, is a numeric measure of the strength of linear relationship between two random variables. ... Factor analysis is a statistical technique that originated in psychometrics. ...


In the psychometric view, the concept of intelligence is most closely identified with g, or Gf ("fluid g"). However, psychometricians can measure a wide range of abilities, which are distinct yet correlated. One common view is that these abilities are hierarchically arranged with g at the vertex (or top, overlaying all other cognitive abilities). In psychometrics, fluid and crystallized intelligence (abbreviated gf and gc respectively) are factors of intelligence test scores originally described by Raymond Cattell. ...


Intelligence, IQ, and g

Intelligence, IQ, and g are distinct. Intelligence is the term used in ordinary discourse to refer to cognitive ability. However, it is generally regarded as too imprecise to be useful for a scientific treatment of the subject. The intelligence quotient (IQ) is an index calculated from the scores on test items judged by experts to encompass the abilities covered by the term intelligence. IQ measures a multidimensional quantity: it is an amalgam of different kinds of abilities, the proportions of which may differ between IQ tests. The dimensionality of IQ scores can be studied by factor analysis, which reveals a single dominant factor underlying the scores on all IQ tests. This factor, which is a hypothetical construct, is called g. Variation in g corresponds closely to the intuitive notion of intelligence, and thus g is sometimes called general cognitive ability or general intelligence. IQ redirects here; for other uses of that term, see IQ (disambiguation). ... IQ redirects here; for other uses of that term, see IQ (disambiguation). ... IQ redirects here; for other uses of that term, see IQ (disambiguation). ...


Criticisms of the psychometric approach

Theorists critical of the psychometric approach, such as Robert Sternberg, point out that people in the general population have a somewhat different conception of intelligence than most experts. In turn, they argue that the psychometric approach measures only a part of what is commonly understood as intelligence. Scholars who believe that intelligence tests accurately measure intelligence argue that lack of agreement over the definition of intelligence does not itself invalidate the measure. They argue that many scientific concepts were accurately measured before it was understood what was actually being measured (e.g., gravity, temperature, and radiation).


One or several types of intelligence?

Most experts accept the concept of a single dominant factor of intelligence, general mental ability or g, while others argue that intelligence consists of a set of relatively independent abilities (American Psychological Association task force report, Gottfredson 1998). The evidence for g comes from factor analysis of tests of cognitive abilities. The methods of factor analysis do not guarantee a single dominant factor will be discovered. Other psychological tests which do not measure cognitive ability, such as personality tests, generate multiple factors. For information regarding the parapsychology phenomenon of distance knowledge, see psychometry. ... It has been suggested that Personality psychology be merged into this article or section. ...


Proponents of multiple-intelligence theories often claim that g is, at best, a measure of academic ability. Other types of intelligence, they claim, might be just as important outside of a school setting.


Yale psychologist Robert J. Sternberg has proposed a Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences breaks intelligence down into at least eight different components: logical, linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, naturalist, intra-personal and inter-personal intelligences. Daniel Goleman and several other researchers have developed the concept of emotional intelligence and claim it is at least as important as more traditional sorts of intelligence. These theories grew from observations of human development and of brain injury victims who demonstrate an acute loss of a particular cognitive function -- e.g. the ability to think numerically, or the ability to understand written language -- without showing any loss in other cognitive areas. The Triarchic Theory of Intelligence was formulated by Robert J. Sternberg, a prominent figure in the research of human intelligence. ... Howard Gardner (born 1943 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA) is a cognitive and educational psychologist based at Harvard University best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. ... Howard Gardners theory of multiple intelligences is a psychological and educational theory espousing that seven kinds of intelligence exist in humans, each relating to a different sphere of human life and activity. ... Emotional Intelligence, also called EI or EQ, describes an ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of ones self, of others, and of groups. ...


In response, g theorists have pointed out that g's predictive validity has been repeatedly demonstrated, for example in predicting important non-academic outcomes such as job performance (see IQ), while no multiple-intelligences theory has shown comparable validity. Meanwhile, they argue, the relevance, and even the existence, of multiple intelligences have not been borne out when actually tested (Hunt 2001). Furthermore, g theorists contend that proponents of multiple intelligences (e.g. Sternberg, Gardner) have not disproven the existence of a general factor of intelligence (Kline, 2000). The fundamental argument for a general factor is that test scores on a wide range of seemingly unrelated cognitive ability tests (such as sentence completion, arithmetic, and memorization) are positively correlated: people who score highly on one test tend to score highly on all of them, and g thus emerges in a factor analysis. This suggests that the tests are not unrelated, but that they all tap a common factor. In psychometrics, predictive validity is the predictive extend to which a scale predicts scores on some criterion measure. ... IQ tests are designed to give approximately normally distributed results, which causes a bell curve graph of IQ score frequency. ... In probability theory and statistics, correlation, also called correlation coefficient, is a numeric measure of the strength of linear relationship between two random variables. ... Factor analysis is a statistical technique that originated in psychometrics. ...


Controversies

Researchers in the field of human intelligence have encountered a considerable amount of public concern and criticism - much more than many scientists would be accustomed to or comfortable with (for examples, see Gottfredson, 2005). Some of the controversial topics include: Linda Susanne Gottfredson (born 24 June 1947) is an American sociologist who publishes on intelligence, race, and human resources. ...

  • The relevance of psychometric intelligence to the common-sense understanding of the topic.
  • The importance of intelligence in everyday life (see IQ).
  • The genetic and environmental contributions to individual variation in intelligence (see Nature versus nurture).
  • Differences in average measured intelligence between different groups and the source and meaning of these differences (see Race and intelligence and Sex and intelligence).

Stephen Jay Gould is the preeminent popular critic of claims about intelligence. In his book The Mismeasure of Man, Gould makes the following claims about intelligence: IQ tests are designed to give approximately normally distributed results, which causes a bell curve graph of IQ score frequency. ... Nature versus nurture is a shorthand expression for debates about the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. ... Normal distribution showing results of studies comparing races and ethnic groups with IQ among U.S. test subjects show differences in average test scores, though the distributions overlap, as seen in this graph based on Reynolds et al. ... It has been suggested that Mathematical abilities and gender issues be merged into this article or section. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Cover of the 1996 printing of The Mismeasure of Man. ...

  • Intelligence is not measurable.
  • Intelligence is not innate.
  • Intelligence is not heritable.
  • Intelligence cannot be captured in a single number.

However it is reported that he has largely ignored at least a decade of important recent research and draws from outdated information to validate his conclusions.


References

  • Belmont, M., & Marolla, F.A. (1973). "Birth order, family size, and intelligence". Science 182: 1096–1101.
  • Coward, W.M. and Sackett, P.R. (1990). Linearity of ability-performance relationships: A reconfirmation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75:297–300.
  • Gardner, H., Kornhaber, M. and Wake, W. (1996). Intelligence: Multiple Perspectives. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
  • Gottfredson, L. S. (Ed.) (1997). Intelligence and social policy. Intelligence, 24(1). (Special issue) PDF
  • Gottfredson, L. S. (1998). The general intelligence factor. Scientific American Presents, 9(4):24-29. PDF
  • Gottfredson, L. S. (2005). Suppressing intelligence research: Hurting those we intend to help. In R. H. Wright & N. A. Cummings (Eds.), Destructive trends in mental health: The well-intentioned path to harm (pp. 155-186). New York: Taylor and Francis. Pre-print PDF PDF
  • Haier, R. J., Chueh, D., Touchette, P., Lott, I., Buchsbaum, M., Macmillan, D., et al. (1995). "Brain size and cerebral glucose metabolic rate in nonspecific mental retardation and Down syndrome". Intelligence 20: 191–210.
  • Hawkings, Jeff (2005). On intelligence, Times Books, Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-7456-2
  • Hunt, E. (2001). Multiple views of multiple intelligence. [Review of Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century.] Contemporary Psychology, 46:5-7.
  • Hunter, J.E. and Hunter, R.F. (1984). Validity and utility of alternate predictors of job performance. Psychological Bulletin, 96(1):72-98.
  • Jensen, A.R. (1998). The g Factor. Praeger, Connecticut, USA.
  • Kline, P. (2000). A Psychometrics Primer. London: Free Association Books.
  • Lynn, R. (1991). "Race differences in intelligence: A global perspective". Mankind Quarterly 31: 255–296.
  • Lynn, R. (1999). "Sex differences in intelligence and brain size: a developmental theory". Intelligence 27: 1–12.
  • Lynn, R. (2002). "Skin color and intelligence in African Americans". Population and Environment 33: 365–375.
  • McClearn, G. E., Johansson, B., Berg, S., Pedersen, N. L., Ahern, F., Petrill, S. A., & Plomin, R. (1997). Substantial genetic influence on cognitive abilities in twins 80 or more years old. Science, 276, 1560-1563.
  • Michael A. McDaniel, Big-brained people are smarter: A meta-analysis of the relationship between in vivo brain volume and intelligence, Intelligence, Volume 33, Issue 4, July-August 2005, Pages 337-346. [3]
  • Murray, Charles (1998). Income Inequality and IQ, AEI Press PDF
  • Nagoshi, C. T. & Johnson, R. C. (1986). "The ubiquity of g". Personality and Individual Differences 7: 201–207.
  • Noguera, P.A. (2001). Racial politics and the elusive quest for excellence and equity in education. In Motion Magazine article
  • R. Plomin, J. C. DeFries, G. E. McClearn, M. Rutter, Behavioral Genetics (Freeman, New York, ed. 3, 1997).
  • Rushton, J.P. (1990). "Creativity, intelligence, and psychoticism". Personality and Individual Differences 11: 1291–1298.
  • Terman, L. (1916). The Uses of Intelligence Tests.

Linda Susanne Gottfredson (born 24 June 1947) is an American sociologist who publishes on intelligence, race, and human resources. ... Jeff Hawkins (born June 1, 1957 in Long Island, New York) is the founder of Palm Computing (where he invented the PalmPilot) and Handspring (where he invented the Treo). ... Arthur Jensen Arthur Jensen is a controversial retired professor of educational psychology, known for his work in psychometrics and differential psychology, which is concerned with how and why individuals differ behaviorally from one another. ... Richard Lynn Richard Lynn (born 1930) is a British emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, known for his work on intelligence and differential psychology. ... Charles A. Murray (born 1943) is an influential American policy writer and researcher. ... John Philippe Rushton John Philippe (Phil) Rushton Ph. ...

See also

INTRODUCTION: Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. ... Systems intelligence is a concept developed in the fields of engineering sciences and applied philosophy. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Intelligence (trait) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1577 words)
Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn.
Although nonscientists generally regard the concept of intelligence as having much broader scope, in psychology, the study of intelligence generally regards this trait as distinct from creativity, personality, character, or wisdom.
Despite the variety of concepts of intelligence, the most influential approach to understanding intelligence (i.e., the one that has generated the most systematic research) is based on psychometric testing.
Intelligence (trait) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1203 words)
Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn.
In psychology, the study of intelligence is related to the study of personality but is not the same as creativity, personality, character, or wisdom.
When considering animal intelligence, a more general definition of intelligence might be applied: the "ability to adapt effectively to the environment, either by making a change in oneself or by changing the environment or finding a new one" (Encyclopædia Britannica).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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