Intelligence and Its Measurement

Chapter 8

What is intelligence?

"We may define intelligence as a multifaceted capacity that manifests itself in different ways across the lifespan, but in general includes the abilities and capacities to acquire and apply knowledge, to reason logically, to plan effectively, to infer perceptively, to exhibit sound judgment and problem-solving ability, to grasp and visualize concepts, to be mentally alert and intuitive, to be able to find the right words and thoughts with facility, and to be able to cope, adjust, and make the most of new situationsĖ but please do not interpret these words as the last word on what intelligence is" (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2002, p. 224).

What is intelligence?

No general definition of intelligence has been adopted.

Definitions created by experts and lay public overlap and include

Problem solving ability.

Verbal ability.

Social competence.

Yussen & Kane (1980) found that even first graders have ideas about intelligence.

Interpersonal skills are emphasized by younger children, whereas academic skills are emphasized by older children.

Intelligence Defined: Views of Scholars and Test Professionals

Francis Galton

Heritability of intelligence.

The better oneís sensory abilities, the higher his/her intelligence.

Because information passes through our sensory system prior to its processing, oneís ability to attend to and differentiate information is important.

Measured sensorimotor skills and developed perception-related tests.

Intelligence Defined: Views of Scholars and Test Professionals

Alfred Binet

Spearheaded the testing movement in the early 1900ís.

Test to identify Parisian students who required special education.

Interestingly, did not leave behind a clear definition of intelligence.

Did identify reasoning, judgment, memory, and abstraction as components of intelligence.

Interested in complex measurement as he believed intelligence was a result of an interaction of abilities.

Intelligence Defined: Views of Scholars and Test Professionals

David Wechsler

"Intelligence, operationally defined, is the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment" (1958, p.7).

Recognized that other factors, such as personality, motivation, and social and moral values, must be considered when evaluating intelligence.

Intelligence Defined: Views of Scholars and Test Professionals

Jean Piaget

Cognitive structure develop through the interaction between child and environment.

This interaction is at first physical and later involves mental operations.

Piagetís stages of cognitive development:

Sensorimotor period

Preoperational period

Concrete Operational period

Formal Operational period

Factor-Analytic Theories of Intelligence


Two-factor theory of intelligence

Posited that a general intellectual ability factor (g) comprised of electrochemical energy existed that is partially tapped by all other mental abilities.

As a result, g represents the portion of the variance that all intelligence tests have in common.

Specific components (s) or error (e) account for the remaining variance.

g is a better predictor of overall intelligence than s.

Spearmanís Two-Factor Theory of Intelligence

Factor-Analytic Theories of Intelligence


Argued against the existence of g.

Created a 3 dimensional structure of intellect (SOI).




Factor-Analytic Theories of Intelligence


Viewed intelligence as the aggregate of seven "primary abilities".

Due to moderate correlations among these primary abilities, Thurstone concluded that any intelligence test will tap g.


Proposed the presence of multiple intelligences (8 domains).

Gardner link.

Factor-Analytic Theories of Intelligence

Raymond B. Cattell

Two major types of cognitive abilities:

Crystallized (Gc)

Acquired skills and knowledge dependent on exposure to a particular culture.

Skills acquired from formal and informal education.

Fluid (Gf)

Nonverbal, culture-free, and independent of specific instruction.

Horn proposed additional factors.

Carroll proposed the three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities.

The Information Processing View


Focused on how information is processed instead of what is processed.

Simultaneous processing

Gazing out the window at a beautiful sunset, the scene is processed as a whole.

Sequential processing

When organizing your thoughts to write a paper, most place the information into a logical order to ensure the readerís understanding.

The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) is based on these concepts of intelligence.

The Information Processing View

Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) model of intellectual functioning was created by Naglieri and Das.

The Cognitive Assessment System was developed by Naglieri and Das to evaluate the PASS factors.


Triarchic theory of intelligence


Performance components

Knowledge-acquisition components.

Skeptic Interview with Sternberg

Measuring Intelligence

Types of tasks


Turning over

Lifting the head

Sitting up

Following a moving object with the eyes

Imitating gestures

Reaching for objects (alerting and orienting responses)

Measuring Intelligence

Types of tasks


General fund of information


Social judgment



Numerical concepts

Auditory and visual memory



Spatial visualization

Measuring Intelligence

Types of tasks


Retention of general information

Quantitative reasoning

Expressive language and memory

Social judgment

Considerable overlap exists between tasks used to assess intelligence in childhood and those used in adulthood; however content typically differs.

Intelligence: Some Issues

Nature versus nurture

Preformationism- all living organisms are preformed at birth.

PredeterminismĖ genetic inheritance predetermines abilities; learning has no effect.

Inheritance and interactionism

Inheritance doesnít determine success in a particular domain.

Consider athletes

Consider gifted individuals who donít succeed.

Intelligence: Some Issues

Flynn Effect

"The Mean IQ of Americans: Massive Gains 1932 to 1978"

Intelligence score inflation rising each year following the testís initial publication.


Temperament at age 3 found to predict differences in personality (health-risk-related behaviors) at age 21 (Caspi et al., 1997).

Intelligence: Some Issues


Family environment

Older mothers tend to have babies with higher IQs, even after social class, birth order, and family size were controlled (Davis et al., 1972; Zybert et al., 1978).


Culture free vs. culture fair.

Tests of Intelligence

Chapter 9

Considerations of the Test User

The theory on which the test is based.

Ease of administration.

Ease of scoring.

Ease of interpretation.

The adequacy and appropriateness of norms.

The acceptability of published reliability and validity indices.

Tests of Intelligence

Stanford-Binet: Fourth Edition

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Third Edition

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Third Edition

Wechsler preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Revised

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking