The study of individual differences in ability in psychology is one of the very oldest areas of psychology. Test assessing individual differences in mental ability have been of great practical value in occupational, industrial and educational psychology. The psychology of ability is one of the 4 main branches of individual differences, the others being personality, mood, and motivation. The term “mental ability” or “intelligence” is used to describe a person’s performance on some task that has a substantial information-processing component when the person is trying to perform the task as well as possible. Tests of ability involve thinking, rather than remembering and reflect how well individuals can process various types of information. Intelligence can be described as a multifaceted capacity that manifests itself in a different way 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, and 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 situations. You should measure well-motivated people that try to do their best at the tasks. Mental abilities reflect cognitive processes and skills which are partly developed during education or training. Therefore, it is difficult to assess without taking educational background and interests into consideration. So what is intelligence.. In our own intuitive understanding of what is intelligence, we might say that someone who is intelligent is able to make logical reasonable decisions, to size up situations quickly and well, has read extensively, and comes up with good ideas. It's not a simple thing to come up with a definition of intelligence that will satisfy everyone. For our purposes, though, we'll use very basic, simple and general definition: Intelligence is the ability to learn and understand or deal with new or trying situations. It`s the ability to apply knowledge, plan effectively, be intuitive, make sound judgments etc. Intelligence Tests
Intelligence tests, such as “shapes” and “clues” are often used in occupational settings for various purposes, including sifting, assessment and selection of applicants, and potential diagnosis in management development programs. Other tests of intelligence often used include the Stanford-Binet test, the Wechsler Test, the WAIS, and WISC. GMA is another test that is often used. It has strong theoretical foundation, high validity and low cost. Many studies have confirmed GMA to be a good predictor of job performance and training results. Theory and Research
In the following paragraphs, I will discuss most common approaches to studying Intelligence. These include the Psychometric Approach, Information Processing Approach, and the Neuropsychological Approach. I will then briefly discuss how intelligence varies over a lifespan and discuss recent research in genetic and biological roots of intelligence. Psychometric Approach to Intelligence
Since it is such a vast number of mental abilities, psychometric studies try to establish the basic structure of abilities. The major aim is to understand the nature of the underlying social, biological, cognitive and other processes that cause the individual differences to emerge. Most researchers use factor analysis of the correlations between ability test items to try to reveal the underlying structure of abilities (same as they have done with personality traits – the Big Five, for example). If this is done successfully, one may be able to measure individuals` performance on a very wide range of ability tasks, correlate their scores on the items (or test) together and factor-analyze this table of correlations. The factors that emerge should represent the main dimensions of ability....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document