Theories of Intelligence
Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge.
- Intelligence includes the ability to benefit from experience, act
purposefully, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.
Charles Spearman proposed a general intelligence
factor, g, that underlies all intelligent behavior.
Howard Gardner proposed that there are eight domains of
Robert Sternberg distinguished among three aspects of
Emotional intelligence helps people to perceive, express,
understand, and regulate emotions.
- The most commonly used individual tests of intelligence are the Binet-Simon scale, the Stanford-Binet Scale, and
the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
- The Binet-Simon scale yielded scores in terms of mental age.
- The original Stanford-Binet test yielded scores in terms of intelligence quotient, or IQ.
- The Wechsler test yields scores based on a normal
- Although the term IQ is still used, current intelligence
tests present scores based on a normal distribution.
- Group intelligence tests are often used in educational settings.
- Some researchers have suggested that there are biological indices of
intelligence, such as reaction time and perceptual
- Many psychologists believe that cultural bias affects
- Intelligence tests are standardized.
Norms provide information about how a score compares with
other people’s scores.
- Intelligence tests are very reliable.
- Intelligence tests are reasonably valid measures of academic ability.
- Intelligence tests have both critics and advocates.
The Influence of Heredity and Environment
- There is dispute about how and how much heredity and environment affect
- Evidence for hereditary influences come from family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies.
Heritability estimates for intelligence vary depending on the
method used for estimation.
- Evidence for environmental influences comes from adoption
studies, studies of environmental deprivation, and the Flynn effect.
- There is probably a reaction range for IQ. Reaction range refers to limits set on IQ by heredity. Environment determines where IQ will lie
within these limits.
- There is a discrepancy in IQ scores between whites and some minority
- There are both hereditary and environmental explanations for this
- The higher IQ test scores and better school performance of Asian Americans
may be due to cultural factors.