Psychology

Finding the Real Meaning of Intelligence



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To understand the meaning of intelligence one must be aware of how and what is being measured. Francis Galton initiated intelligence testing through recognition of differences in individual senses (as cited in Galton, 1883). Alfred Binet helped to place mentally unable Paris schoolchildren and believed that assessments could be made to distinguish processes and abilities (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005). David Wechsler contributed to strengthening intelligence testing by theorizing that individuals aggregate is assessable from purposeful acts, rational thought, and ones ability to function in their environment (as cited in Weschler, 1958). Jean Piaget contributions expanded further on environmental variables and included biological adaptations to ones environment as a measurement of intelligence. These theorist laid the foundation for other theorist such as Spearman, Simon, Gardner, Goddard, Cattel, Kaufman, and Sternberg and many more who have contributed to intelligence testing (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005).



Effective feedback from assesses help to contribute to intelligence assessment as well as from other sources of input (immediate family or friends). In the case of a child parents, guardians or other care takers may contribute to the assessment process. Having a qualified professional that can choose an appropriate test to measure intelligence can be beneficial for interests of individuals or proper placement in an organizational setting. Intelligence testing can provide a foundation to begin with; however other variables must be included. Intelligence testing is a good starting point, but is not a holistic construct of ones maxim mental construct. For example, one may be termed intelligent but may not have the ability to altruistically act in an emergency situation.



The Flynn effect theories intelligence is becoming inflated from testing, and varies, from cultural specific factors. This effect questions validity measurement, of fluid and crystallized intelligence. Flynn even continues to claim that tests are administered to fit agendas for labling (as cited in Flynn, 2000). Tests can be inappropriately administered or even misinterpreted for the betterment of organizations opposed to individuals. Many intelligence tests are constantly being revised. Often, cultural limitations have an affect on a test takers results. As our culture in the United States is ever growing as a diverse nation personality, gender, family environment and culture must be incorporated into revisions of intelligence testing (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005).



If one is trying to maximize their own learning potential than intelligence testing may enhance their ability to focus on desired interests. One may not be aware that they have a mathematical deficiency and could use a proper instrument to help them gain insight of their standing. Intelligence testing may help to properly place individuals in organizations that will allow for increased performance. Intelligence testing is very popular and will continue to be used and further research will be conducted in intelligence testing.



Factors related to the intelligence measurement process can vary including: the author's definition of intelligence, the diligence of the examiner, and the feedback given to the examinee (as cited in Vygotsky, 1978). One may take an assessment and believe that they cannot perform any better and may not ever attempt to increase their ability to rationalize or expand upon what a particular intelligence test concluded. One must be aware of what a test is measuring, the qualifications of the assessor, and other variables that may positively or negatively affect the outcome of an intelligence assessment.

References:
Cohen, R. J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (2005). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (6th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Flynn, J. R. (2000). The hidden history of IQ and special education: Can the problem be solved? Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 6, 191-198.

Galton, F. (1883). Inquiries into human faculty and its development. London: Macmillian.

Miyahke, A., Friedman, N. P., Rettinger, D. A., Shah, P., & Hegarty, M. (2001). Hoe are visuospatial working memory, executive functioning, and spatial abilities related? A latent-variable analysis [Electronic version]. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 4, 621 640.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Wechsler, D. (1958). The measurement and appraisal of adult intelligence (4th ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

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