Psychology AQA A PSYA3 Intelligence



Spearman: general intelligence - same performance on all types on intelligence, specific intelligence - perform better on one type of test than others.

RS - Duncan: PET scans showed that the frontal lobes lit up during tasks associated with g.

However: Spearman had committed the error or reification (treating an abstract concept as a concrete thing.

Cattell: too simplistic, g is made up of two parts. Gc (crystallised) is acquired knowledge e.g. vocabulary and language. Gf (fluid) is reasoning and problem solving. The higher the Gf the faster the increase of Gc. Examples: expertise and Tower of Hanoi.

RS - Geary: PET scans. Gc = Hippocampus (LTM), Gf = Frontal cortex (STM).

However - Undheim: 5000 participants no distinction between Gf and Gc as it may be difficult to isolate them from STM and LTM

Culture bias - Robert Yerkes: US army IQ test. European immigrants and African Americans had lowest mental age, but questions were American e.g. food so was biased.

Alt exp. Meat sharing hypothesis / Gardener

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Information Processing

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory: Analytical (ability to combine most appropriate mechanisms: meta, performance and knowledge acquisition components). Practical (ability to decide on response based on context, adaption, shaping and selection. Creative (ability to decide whether automisation or new problem, based on experience)

RS - Williams: assessed PIFS and found that there was a significant improvement in practical intelligence. Suggests teaching triarchically in schools increases intelligence.

However - Gottfredson: not enough evidence and Sternberg admitted there is no known test of triarchic abilities, therefore not falsifiable.

Can be applied across cultures - Kenyan children: those who were good at identifying medicinal herbs didn't learn well at school and vice versa. Also Brazilian street children who were good at everyday maths e.g. money but poor academic performance. 

Processing Speed: faster the speed the higher the IQ, decreases with age.

RS - Fry and Hale: almost half of age related changes in IQ was due to changes in processing speed.

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Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence.

Eight intelligences: musical, linguistic, logic-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, natural

Criteria for Intelligence: Neuropsychological evidence (each intelligence has distinct part in brain e.g. brain-damaged musician can't speak but still play music. Child Prodigies and Autistic Savants with exceptional talent (Stephen Wiltshire can draw London skyline from memory but can't speak much). Distinct developmental history (e.g. 1+1=2, 325 x 243 = 78975). Research evidence (can speak and dance but not speak and crossword)

RS - Douglas: found that teaching methods which focus on multiple intelligence produce significant increase in social, emotional and academic.

However: may be skills not intelligence

Difficult to test, not falsifiable.

Culture Differences: value different intelligence e.g. In Poland intrapersonal intelligence predicts overall intelligence.

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Classical Conditioning

Pavlov's Dogs - when UCS (food) is paired with NS (bell), it creates a response (salivation). After a few parings the bell becomes CS and produces a CR. Acquisition, extinction, stimulus generalisation, timing.

Is used with animals in captivity, research. Can lead to association between humans and food which is bad if animal is to be released into wild. Can be overcome by Compound conditionng: using signal and having human present without food.

Adaptive advantage as it can be used to predict mating and ensure success.

RS - Matthews: Male quails placed in chambers which either signalled access to females or not. The female then mated with both males and 72% of eggs were fertilised by quails who had signal.

Ethical issues: testing on animals

Evo persective - Seligman: biological preparedness to learn certain associations which will help survival.

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Operant Conditioning

Skinner box - rats and pigeons: spontaneously press level and get rewarded with food so are more likely to repeat the behaviour = Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement = removal of negative thing e.g. pressing lever prevents shocks, so more likely to repeat behaviour. Positive punishment = hitting dog for biting, less likely to do behaviour. Negative punshiment = confiscate phone for texting in class, less likely to do again.

Foraging: woodpeckers are more likely to return to a tree where they have been rewarded with food before.

RS - Agetsuma: manipulated monkeys food patches, they returned to high quality food patches.

Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT): desensitisation by pairing fearful object with rewards so it becomes less stressful. Used in captivity and animal research labs.

RS - Clay: Monkeys who were given PRT for six weeks showed significant decrease in fearful cringing behaviour than control monkeys. PRT can enhance welfare of captive animals.

Animal research is unethical.

This theory is falsifiable

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Intelligence in non-human animals

Machiavellian: manipulating and deceiving others without causing aggression within the social group, used by Great Apes, they divert attention to profit themselves e.g. groom to ****** food. Rhesus monkeys form alliances with most powerful monkeys and females mate with dominants to ensure survival and protection of offspring.

RS - Byrne and Whiten gathered 253 accounts of deception in primates. Apes concealed items and Saki monkeys stole twigs when grooming others.

Alt exp. biological approach: Byrne & Corp found positive correlation between tactical deception in primates and neocortex volume which is responsible for higher cognitive functioning.

Self-recognition: ability to recognise self in a mirror: chimps, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins, killer whales and elephants.

RS - Gallup: chimps touched forehead when looking in mirror after anaesthetic and marking.     Reiss & Marino: dolphins looked in most reflective object and spent longer when marked.

Plotnik: elephants used mirror to look behind ears and in mouth. Happy passed the mark test. However it may be that she felt it. But they also did sham mark and she touched her head.

Species bias: other animals don't rely on vision e.g. dogs use smell.

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Evolutionary factors in human intelligence

Meat-sharing hypothesis: Stanford believes it required cognitive abilities to keep a running score of debts and credits. Used to form alliances and get sex from females.

RS - Hill and Kaplan: male members of Ache tribe don't share insects and grubs outside of family but do share meat to form alliances. Mitani and Watts: Male chimps shared more meat with other males than with females. Shows that allliances are important for survival by gaining status and protection from group.

Gender biased: only looks at male meat sharing behaviour.

Brain size: sexual selection has caused large brains to evolve as it is attractive to opposite sex and leads to more chance of survival. Innovation, social learning and tool use positively correlated with brain size in 116 primate species. Encephelisation Quotient (EQ) calculated by dividing actual brain mass by expected brain mass. Humans 7, Chimps 2.5, whales 1.

RS - Broman: head circumference at birth and age 7 significantly predicted later IQ.           Andreasen used MRI and found 0.4 correlation between brain size and IQ

Gender differences - Ankney: autopsies found males brains larger but womens more organised.

Culture differences - Beals analysed 200 skulls. Asians 1415, Europeans 1362, Africans 1268.

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Genetic Factors in intelligence test performance

Twin studies: MZ share 100% genes, DZ share 50%. RS - Bouchard & Mcgue: concordance rate of 60% for DZ reared together and 72% for MZ reared apart.

However, twins not representative, score 4.2 points less than single borns, may be because of shorter gestation and reduced foetal growth.

Adoption studies: compare IQ of child, adopted parents and biological parents.

RS - Horn: Texan Adoption Project, 300 texan adoptions, at first assessment highest correlation between child and adoptive parents, 10 years later highest correlation between child and bio parents.

Gene for intelligence? - Hill tested 6-15 yr olds and placed them into two groups. Super brights had mean IQ of 136 and average group had mean IQ 103. Hill found that IGF2R was twice as common in the bright group (32% vs 16%).

However: majority of bright group didn't have gene and some in average group did have gene.

Gene-environment interaction - Caspi: children with FADS2, breastfeeding increased IQ.

Ethical Issues: implications for future, genetic engineering?

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Environmental Factors: Family environment

Socioeconomic status (SES): occupation, income, parents education, status.

RS - Mackintosh: British National Child Development Study (NCDS) found that children with Class I fathers scored 10 points higher on IQ tests than children with Class V fathers.

However it may be due to access to resources. In 2000 71% of Class I had internet access compared to just 26% of Class V.

Birth Order and Family Size: Belmont and Marolla found that first borns had higher levels of IQ and children from larger families had lower IQs.

RS - Bjerkedal: First borns scored 3 points higher in IQ tests and if firstborn died then second born takes its place and increases IQ to a level similar to average firstborns.

Counter evidence - Blake: 1000 people and found no difference in IQ scores between first borns and other children in small and medium families.

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Environmental factors: Education

Education: Ceci carried out a meta-analysis and found that children who regularly attend school score higher on IQ tests than children who don't.

RS - High scope/ Perry preschool project: 128 african-american 3-4 yr olds at high risk of school failure. Half received 2 and 1/2 hours a day preschool while other half were control. 67% of program had IQ of over 90 after program compared to 28% of control. They were followed up at age 27:

  • 11.9 vs 11 years of schooling.
  • 3.9. vs 5.2. yrs in special ed.
  • 65% vs 45% graduated

However: all had lower than normal IQ to begin with and after program, although 67% were over 90 that is still lower than average which is 100.

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Environmental Factors: Culture

Group Socialisation Theory (Harris): As children get older, they are more influence by outside influences such as peers than their family. The shared norms of the group dictate most of their development e.g. children whose friends read book are more likely to read books.

Ethnicity and IQ: Herrnstein and Murray compared IQ scores and found that immigrants had lower IQ scores than Americans and that as more immigrants moved to America the overall IQ is decreasing and social problems related to low IQ are increasing.

Culture biased: these test are based on american culture and is unfair to give to immigrants who may not be used to using the technology.

Alt exp. Beals cranial volumes. East Asians: 1415, Europeans: 1362, Africans: 1268 suggests culture does have influence on IQ and brain size.

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