Psychometric approach to intelligence

The psychometric approach to intelligence

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"Psychometric approach refers to the practice of measuring psychological characteristics in a person"
General Intelligence
In the early days intelligence was measured by testing particular purposes such as
educational applications or military personnel. This all changed when psychologist Charles
Spearman was able to analyse correlations between different test results using a statistical
technique called factor analysis.
Spearman came up with this idea as a general factor of underlying intelligence that
determined how people managed in such tests.
Spearman called this the general factor (or g) and with his own research he was able to
provide compelling evidence that all intelligent behaviour was derived from one pool of
mental energy.
Spearman's two-factor theory
Using his factor analysis , in 1972 he discovered that individuals who do well on one test of
intelligence (IQ test) also do well on others. People who did poorly on one test also did
poorly on others. This led Spearman to propose his two factors that together could explain
why this was the case.
Factor one ­ specific abilities(s) ­ Individuals performed consistently well (or badly) on
specific aspects of intelligence such as : vocabulary or mathematical intelligence but on no
other aspects.
Factor two ­ general intelligence (g) Spearman believed that what explained the positive
correlation between the different test performances and the specific abilities that make up
these tests was a general intelligence, which determined performance on all types of
intelligence test.
Multifactor theories
Later theorists also used the factor analysis to separate out different aspects of intelligence.
Because of their focus on multiple factors of intelligence rather than just one underlying
factor they are known as multifactor theorists.
Cattell's Gf-Gc theory - Cattell 1943 acknowledged Spearman's work on (g) and suggested
that it actually compromises two distinct components "crystallised intelligence" and "fluid
intelligence" , which represented different aspects of underlying intelligence or (g).
Crystallised intelligence (Gc) ­ refers to acquired knowledge and skills such as the factual
knowledge that we pick up as a result of our cultural and educational experiences. Our
vocabulary , language comprehension and general knowledge would all be aspects of Gc.

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Fluid intelligence (Gf) ­ refers to reasoning and problem solving abilities. It is our on the spot
reasoning ability , a skill not basically dependent upon our experience. Gf is seen as
providing the raw material for the development of Gc.
The relationship between Gf and Gc ­ People with a high capacity for Gf tend to acquire Gc
knowledge at a faster rate ­ a phenomenon referred to as "investment".…read more

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The Flynn effect- (1987) provides evidence that IQ scores have been increasing over the
past 50 years. He discovered this effect by analysing changes in test scores over the years.
Guilford's structure of intellect theory - has made several important contributions to our
understanding of intelligence.
Guilford was among the first to define intelligence very broadly.
Guilford recognised the importance of precise testing of theories.
Guilford's theory had sufficient detail for it to be tested and disconfirmed if appropriate.…read more


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