Is It Possible to Define and Measure Intelligence?

Topics: Intelligence quotient, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Pages: 3 (982 words) Published: January 15, 2012
Is it possible to define and measure intelligence?
Over the years there have been a lot of definitions for the word intelligence. Whether it is a fix concept like height or an innate general cognitive ability, intelligence can mean differently to everyone and consciously everyone has a definition for it. So does that mean there have a general understanding of the word? No, an agreement on some level has been found but there are some aspects that have yet to a fixed definition in psychology. The possibility of defining intelligence has been controversial as researcher try to prove their definitions and develop a way to measure it over the years. This is when the famous “IQ” (short for intelligence quotient) test was developed. The question of intelligence being a single ability or multiple has taken a long and ongoing debate where researchers like Charlie Spearman, who helped develop factor analysis, believed that there was something called general intelligence ‘g’ factor that underlines the fact that, even you are have special ability to stand out, generally people who score higher in one aspect usually score higher on other aspects too. Spearman also believed that this communality, the ‘g’ factor, underlies all our intelligence behaviour since birth. Other researchers disputed that was Howard Gardner. He believed that there was something called multiple intelligences. He disputed that brain damage may diminish one type of ability but not all. Gardner studied people with exceptional abilities, including those who excelled in only one. Some may say that is a biased verdict and that he didn’t have the communality that Spearman had but Gardner observed that dissimilar abilities enable our ancestors to cope with diverse environmental challenges. Gardner’s multiple intelligences consisted of Linguistics, Logical-mathematical, Musical, Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Intrapersonal (self), Intrapersonal (other people) and Naturalist. Each relatively independent of the...

References: 1. Summery Handout of Burt, C. (1931). "The Differentiation Of Intellectual Ability". The British Journal of Educational Psychology.
2. Suzuki, L., & Aronson, J. (2005). Cultural malleability of the racial/ethnic hierarchy of intelligence. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.
3. Myers, D.G. (2009). Psychology, Ninth Edition. New York: Worth.
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