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By youshireen Dec 04, 2012 621 Words
Discuss the Main Issues Involved in Defining and Measuring Intelligence Individual differences
Discuss the main issues involved in defining and measuring intelligence

Since the end of the nineteenth century psychologists were studding intelligence and they were trying to find the answer what is the intelligence and how it can be measure? Psychologists have /made a huge progress in the development of measuring intelligence but a little progress in defining intelligence. I will first outline the main issue involved in defining intelligence. I will then go on to discuss the measurements of intelligence. Psychologists describes intelligence as the ability to learn, others as ability to adopt to the environment, and also some of psychologists considered that intelligence is a tendency to develop skills. Later, psychologists focused their attention to the fact that some people seem to be intelligent in some areas, but less in others areas. Then, they constructed theory, where intelligence is a composite of specific talents, named general abilities. As a significant factor of the personality, it was important to provide a test of intelligence. The first useful test of intelligence developed in 1905 by French psychologists Alfred Binet (1857-1911). This test was used to evaluate child learning abilities for example, to provide the word definition. Binet in cooperation with Theodore Simon, has modified the original test, changing it into a useful children and adolescents test. Is known as the Binet- Simon scale. Moreover, in 1916 the scale was revised by Luis Terman of Stanford University, called the Stanford- Binet intelligence scale. Terman developed the concept for comparing child’s mental age with their chronological age by calculating the intelligence quotient( IQ). Secondly, theory of intelligent launched in England by Charles Spearman( 1863- 1945), who said that there is a general intellectual factor “g” , which is present in all types of intellectual activity. Spearman also identified special factor( s) to a different range of impact. Next representatives of this theory is J.P. Guilford( 1967) , who has defined 120 factors of intellect. Another set of intelligence tests called “ Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale” and “Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children” produced by David Wechsler(1939). The revised forms of these scales are in wide use. Include two sub-scales, verbal which contain a verbal IQ-measure general knowledge, and performance which contain performance IQ. The total IQ is combination of verbal and performance scores. Nowadays there are two main ways of looking at intelligence. Theory of multiple intelligences- Howard Gardner (1983), who suggested that there are many intelligences and proposed seven types of intellectual abilities: linguistic, musical, logical- mathematical, spatial, bodily kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal intelligence. According to Gardner, these types are completely separate. One the one hand, some people are genius in one particular ability, on the other hand they are poor in others. What is more, Gardner ignored the social influences on these separate intelligences, where some of psychologists consider that influence is important. Robert Sternberg (1985) defined intelligence as” mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection and shaping of, real- world environments relevant to one’s life”. Sternberg developed the” triarchic theory of intelligence”. He identified three aspects of intelligent behaviour: contextual, experiential and componential. The first- contextual intelligence, it happens in the society and in culture. Second one- experiential intelligence, focuses on the role that experience can influence intelligence. Third, called componential intelligence which contain: ability to learn, identifying problems to find the solution and also mental ability such as making decisions. We can see that, from the beginning of research into the intelligence to the present day there are still controversial aspects about intelligence, there is no single definition of intelligence.


Myers,D.G.(2007). Psychology, eight edition
Vander Zander, J.W.(1993). Human Development, fifth edition

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