Psychometric theories of intelligence

Psychometric theories of intelligence

General intelligence - Spearman's two facto theory - A01 and A02

Multifactor theories - Cattell's Gf-Gc theory - A01 and A02

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  • Psychometric theories
    • Spearman's two-factor theory
      • Spearman used factor analysis and found that individuals who performed well on one IQ test also performed well on other types of test
      • Specific analysis (s) -  individuals tend to perform consistently well on specific aspects of intelligence such as vocab and maths
      • General intelligence (g) - positive correlation between individuals' performance on different tests is explained by general intelligence - almost entirely inherited
      • There is neurological evidence from Duncan et al.
        • Used PET scans and presented participants with tasks that required general intelligence or did not. Regardless of type of task, same areas of the frontal lobes lit up during 'g' tasks, but not during 'non-g' tasks
      • Spearman committed the logical error of reification
        • Gould claimed Spearman gave an abstract thing (g) a concrete status - this leads to circular reasoning, the explanation of a positive correlation between test performances is only a correlation
      • There is cultural bias in intelligence testing
        • In 1921, US army tested 1.75 million men using psychometric IQ tests. Showed white Americans scored significantly higher than European immigrants/black Americans
          • Poor scores found in immigrant/black groups were a result of cultural bias of the test items used to test them - questions were relating to US sports, food and customs
    • Multifactor theories - Cattell's Gf-Gc theory
      • Cattell proposed intelligence was comprised of 2 distinct components
        • Crystallised intelligence (Gc) - acquired knowledge and skills which are the result of cultural and educational experiences (vocab and general knowledge)
        • Fluid intelligence (Gf) - reasoning and problem solving ability which is not dependent on experience. Provides the raw material for development of Gc
      • Theories that focus on multiple factors in intelligence rather than one underlying 'g' are known as multifactor theories


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