 what makes a good intelligence test?  do intelligence tests actually measure intelligence?

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  • What makes a good intelligence test? Do Intelligence Tests actually measure intelligence?
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  • Our definition: Discovering things Inventing things Contributing to science Contributing to the economy Peace activists Streetsmart
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  • No agreed upon definition by psychologists Why? Because intelligence can not be directly observed. A broad definition of intelligence states that intelligence is a term that refers to mental abilities such as thinking, reasoning, problem- solving and adapting effectively to ones environment
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  • The application of cognitive skills and knowledge to solve problems and obtain ends that are valued by an individual or culture while being able to adapt to and perform better in the environment (Gregory, 2008)
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  • Is it fair to focus a definition of intelligence on cognitive skills alone though? Does emotion play a role in intelligence? So if we cannot define intelligence how do we know it exists? It is generally accepted that intelligence is a thing that some people have and others do not. It is also generally accepted that intelligence does involve cognitive abilities (reasoning, learning, memory, problem solving).
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  • The ability to learn from experience The ability to obtain new knowledge The ability to solve problems The ability to adapt to the environment. Hopefully by now you have a clearer idea of what intelligence is. Would you change your order of famous people based on this knowledge?
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  • Intelligence tests were developed before the theories of intelligence So are they actually measuring modern definitions of intelligence? Are they catering to cultural differences? It is well accepted that what is considered intelligent in one culture may not be considered intelligent in another.
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  • The first standardised intelligence test Developed in Paris by Alfred Binet and Ted Simon in 1905 Binet recognised that psychologists attempts to measure intelligence as a physical entity were inadequate (brain size, reactivity, etc) He developed the test for children to help identify normal children from those requiring special help with schooling He believed intelligence was expressed as mental abilities and the items on his test asked children to name object, copy shapes, count, memorise things and recall common knowledge.
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  • After a revision in 1908 the Binet-Simon intelligence scale became popular and widely used. It formed the basis of many of today's popular intelligence tests. The revision included an outline of what a child at a certain age should be able to answer. This lead to the idea of a mental age. If a seven year old could only answer the questions equivalent to a 5 year old their mental age would be 5 and they were behind in their mental development.
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  • Unfortunately those who scored poorly were labelled as idiots (lowest scores), imbeciles, and morons (highest of the low scores).
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  • The Binet-Simon intelligence scale scored each participant as a single number- their mental age. Stern and Terman (1900s) developed the intelligence quotient : Intelligence Quotient (IQ) = mental age (MA) x100 chronological age (CA) E.g. If you are 16 and you complete the test at the same level an 18 would, your IQ would be 18/16 x 100 = 112.5
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  • Developed in 1916 by Lewis Terman Provides participants with an IQ score and not just their mental age Applicable to adults Specifically designed for the US Modifications of the original still in extensive use today. Has since been revised 5 times. The most current version is the SB5 (2003).
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  • Most widely used today Developed by David Wechsler Some items similar to the Stanford-Binet Focuses, as Binet did, on cognitive abilities Made his test more applicable to adults than Stanford-Binet Participant will have three scores: verbal score, performance score and overall score (IQ) Test has sub-scales that measure different abilities
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  • WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale for 16 up), WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children for 5 15 year olds), WPPSI (Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scale of Intelligence 2 7) See page 398 399 for the sub scales and examples of the questions asked. Introduced the deviation quotient (not dependent on age).
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  • Replaced the IQ (although when the term IQ is used today it mostly refers to a DQ) A participants score is based on their performance relative to an average score. This average is usually 100. If you score above 100, you are above average. If you score below 100, you are below average. There is however a standard deviation of 15. This means that scores from 85 115 are still considered in the average range. Based on the assumption that intelligence is constant in adulthood.
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  • How did you go with your online intelligence tests? They would have provided you with an IQ score (as a DQ). You do not need to tell anyone your scores. Were your scores the same for all of the tests? Did you tire if you did the tests all at the one time? Were you distracted by your environment? Did the tests ask different types of questions?
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  • It appears that the following factors will affect an IQ or DQ score, not just the intelligence of the participant The type of test The mood of the participant The time of day The external environment- distracts etc Motivation
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  • Advantages: Stanford-Binet and Wechsler both rigorously tested and standardised (lots of people completed the test to calculate the median) Both tests have been proven to be valid (actually test what they are designed to test) and reliable (when a person repeats the test, they obtain the same score). Psychometrics refers to intelligence testing that is scientifically based and thus valid and reliable.
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  • Disadvantages: It is easy to misinterpret the results- does a single number actually represent intelligence? Therefore scores are not reported on many occasions. IQ scores have led to people being labelled Tests are biased towards western cultures Focus on intelligence testing has taken focus away from the concept of intelligence Focus on cognitive abilities have meant that other possible contributors to intelligence have been overlooked
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  • We will be reviewing only a small selection of intelligence theories. We will review two classic theories: CHC Stenbergs Triarchic Theory And two contemporary theories Gardeners theory of multiple intelligences Salovey and Mayers emotional intelligence


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