Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Intelligence Testing

Intelligence Testing Article Analysis
Intelligence is a well-researched avenue of psychology.  Intelligence can be labeled as one’s ability to comprehend one’s environment and correctly adapt to it based on various cogitative processes by ways of reason, the ability to solve various problems, as well as seeking answers from resources.  The way someone’s intelligence is comprehended can vary based on one’s culture thus explaining why there are so many different intelligent tests defining what is ingenious.  Testing one’s intelligence has been the most provocative assessment done in the psychological field to date.  The validity, the concepts behind nature versus nurture, as well as cultural prejudices are factors that could sway the discord by the use of articles that are related to intelligence.
A Definition of Intelligence
Intelligence varies from culture to culture as well as individual to individual so the definition is hard to just make one blanket statement and allow it to be the rule.  Some could think that because a person is excellent in math that they are intelligent, where as another could think that knowing multiple languages could classify them as gifted.  However if someone lived in a remote part of Africa for example would have a different set of life skills than a person living in a highly populated country like Rio de Janeiro.  The skills associated with both of these are very different, but yet they have very different aspects as to what is intelligent because if their culture.  Since there are so many ways to define intelligence this could lead to the statement that intelligence is a unitary quality.  Because of the many different definitions it makes it nearly impossible to grasp what the right definition could be because it could be related to one’s mental abilities or if there is a blanket general intelligence.  Because of the various claims what intelligence could be or not for that matter, the definition is agreeing and challenging as well as impossible at the same time.   This rationalizes why there are so many different theories when trying to unravel the essence of intelligence (Segal, Dasen, Berry & Poortinga, 1999).
Theories of Intelligence
There are various theories that try and explain intelligence, but also how it also can be tested.  The first proposition came from Charles Spearman in 1927 (Spearman, 1904).  In his proposition he claimed that there were two different types of intelligence, general (g) and specific (s).  Louis Leon Thurstone came along nearly ten years later and added to Spearman’s two propositions adding the multifactor theory after he examined a school of students (Guilford, 1957).  Thurstone concluded that there are many different primary mental performaces which include reasoning, number ability, explaining, as wsell as ability that contribut to one’s intelligence.  Edward.L. Thordike also provided useful information expounding on intelligence as well. Thordike opposed the idea of others that suggested were ways to label intellignance with his opinion that intelligence is abstract, social and practical (J.A. Plucker, 2012).  Joy Paul Guilford expounded upon Thorndikes ideas of there being more than one demension of intelligence as well as inventing the multifactor approach of intelligence (Guilford J. P., 2012).  Guilford depicted there is a framework that contains five groups of operations, six types of products and four sorts of content.  The hierarchical theory was propositioned by Phillip E Vernon.  This theory is made up of several factors related to the hierarchial manner.  Vernon’s theory came from a colaboration of all the works of Guilford, Thurstone, Thorndike, and Spearman (Drummond & Jones, 2006).  
Psychologists like Raymond Cattell stated that there was fluid and crystalized intelligence.  By using Cattell’s idea of factor analytic studies there is a two factor theory of intelligence.  Howard Garner also believed that one acquires multiple intelligences and that each work independantly from the other.  Garder broke them down into seven sorts of intelligence, “verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and environmental” (Drummond & Jones, 2006, p. 130).  Jean Piaget also developed a theory on cognitive development by watching children and Robert Sternberg’s theory uses information processing elements of intelligence (Drummond & Jones, 2006). 
Culture-Fair Intelligence Test, Graduate Management Assessment, and Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scale
Often many universities will implement the use of a graduate management assessment (GMA) in order to classify various applicants. Being able to use fluid and crystallized intelligence shows what applicants are the most qualified (Furnham, Dissou, Sloan & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2007).  Some universities and colleges use the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) which uses fluid intelligence but leaves out culturally based bias (Avery, 1972).  Multiple intelligence developmental assessment scale (MIDAS) stems fro the theory of multiple intelligences, often used by various employment counselors. A MIDAS test shows an individual his or her strengths in understandable terms (Shearer & Luzzo, 2009).  Incorporating Gardner’s theory of observation allows instructors to see how students learn while adapting their teaching style.  Educators are interested in teaching the student and having that student reach his or her full potential.  However, one of the challenges is how to meet the requirements of every student because each person learns differently.  Using strategies suggested by Gardner’s theory will aid instructors how to plan successfully as well as meet the needs of the students (Gouws, 2007). 

Effectiveness of Intelligence Testing
Intelligence test can be administered “individual or group tests, verbal and nonverbal or performance tests, culture-fair tests, and developmental scales” (Drummond & Jones, 2006, p. 132). Because there are many things that could affect the validity of any intelligence test, it is imperative to know why someone would be administered an intelligence test.  Once that question has been answered, the correct type of test can then be submitted (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).  The benefits of intelligence test can aid in restructuring organizations.  If the tests are not performed accuratly, or if one does not consider minorities, then the results could be inacurrate.  Using the tools in culture-fair IQ tests will eleviate discrimination and tweak the effectiveness of the tests (Feldman, 2010).
Intelligence is a very documented subject in the field of psychology, however it remains one of the most controversial topics and the one with the most definitions. The amount of discussions on the topic of intelligence came from the countless theories based on intelligence.  One cannot have a clear understanding of what intelligence is without these theories.   Because of these theories it has contributed the assessments in measuring the intelligence quotient.  One must keep in mind that not all tests are equal so there could be some undermining in the definition of intelligence. 


Arvey, R. (1972). Some comments on culture fair tests. Personnel Psychology, 25(3), 433-448.
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Drummond, R., J & Jones, K., D.(2006). Assessment Procedures for Counselors and Helping
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Feldman, R., S. (2010). Psychology and your life. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Furnham, A., Dissou, G., Sloan, P., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2007). Personality and
            Intelligence in Business People: A Study of Two Personality and Two Intelligence            Measures. Journal of Business & Psychology, 22(1), 99-109. doi:10.1007/s10869-007-            9051-z.
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Spearman, C. (1904). "GENERAL INTELLIGENCE," OBJECTIVELY DETERMINED AND   MEASURE. American Journal of Psychology , 15, 201-293.

Psychological Disorder

Psychological Disorder
One’s socialization along side one’s human development are influenced by one’s culture, predispositions, environment, and perceptions that all intertwine with each other.  Life is a journey allowing one to pass through many stages from birth to death.  The way one turns out is a direct reflection on how easily he or she made it through those stages.  How entwined human development and socialization is in a person’s life could spawn various psychological disorders.  How these disorders could arise will be discussed in this paper.  This paper will further analyze the affiliation between socialization and human development and its effects on anxiety development will also be examined.
Anxiety Disorders
In the United States, 1-year prevalence for all anxiety disorders among adults ages 18 to 54 exceeds 16 percent”, (David Satcher, 2007).  The heartrending thought is that probably that number could almost be doubled if it were reported Because of the various anxiety disorders it can be said that there is not just one factor that contributes to the development of any one-anxiety disorder.  One can easily lay blame on genetics because it does play a major role in studies relating to offspring being diagnosed with the same disorder as his or her parents. It is also noted by (Hoehn-Saric, 1982), that a neurotransmitter called serotonin could be closely related to one’s anxiety level. This can also account for the deficiency of various chemicals that are created in the brain that could be the cause of anxiety disorders. (Hansell & Damour, 2008), state anxiety disorder is a learned response to stress thus triggered by one’s environment. A cognitive perspective could lie with wrongfully formed thoughts (Fiest & Feist, 2009).  There are five major anxiety disorders phobic disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (Feldman, 2010).
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD occurs when a traumatic event occurs is supplemented with feelings of fear and helplessness.  PTSD is different from all of the other anxiety disorders because it is brought on by a life event.  Roughly 7-8% of the population will suffer from PTSD, 5.2 million adults have PTSD in a given year which the Department of Veterans Affairs states is a small number considering how many people suffer a traumatic event in a given year, and finally, women are twice as likely to develop PTSD over the male population (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2007).  The likely hood of suffering from PTSD stems from the origin of the traumatic event and the risk becomes increased with the number of times one experiences this event.  For example, if a young child was to witness or be involved in a traumatic event such as the sudden death of his or her father or mother, every funeral, or knowledge of the death of a family member could trigger those traumatized memories seared in his or her mind. Gender, education and other personal characteristics can lend aid to someone developing PTSD (Alloy, Riskind, & Manos, 2005).
Human Development and Socialization Affecting Anxiety
Socialization and human development go hand in hand, it is a staple in everyday life.  As much as the two influence life, they are dissimilar from each other.   Human development is the alteration of psychological, social and physical behavior where socialization is at tool with which one can identify himself or herself to a given culture through adaptation of values and behaviors.  (Shiraev & Levy, 2010) state that ones development and socialization are affected by both quality of life and way of living as well as expectations set forth by the society within their culture. Developing an anxiety disorder can be triggered by any one of these factors and can further explain why certain cultures and therefore individuals may develop certain disorders over other societies and cultures.  The Japanese culture for example, values others within their culture, which could lead to this culture having a higher risk for social phobias.  Greenland, on the other hand, has a large population of seal hunters.  Their fears would be from drowning thus leading to panic attacks.  These are just a couple of examples that support that ones attitude, one’s belief, and ones perception are influenced by the way he or she has grown up as well as how he or she lives with in their culture.  The occurrence of various anxiety disorders differ from culture to culture could be because “factors such as attitudes toward mental illness, stress levels, the nature of relationships within families, and the prevalence of poverty” (Kring, Davidson, Neale, & Johnson, 2007, p. 132), which play a role in how well a disorder is documented.
There are countless factors not just culture and environment that contribute to one’s outcome and what could trigger a disorder.  It is clear that socialization and human development do play a vital role in how someone acts in today’s life.  How he or she acknowledges others in his or her culture may explain why someone is more prone to develop an anxiety disorder over someone else.

Alloy, L., B., Riskind, J., H. & Manos, M., J (2005). Abnormal Perspectives. New York,             NY:The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc
David Satcher, M. P. (2007, January 18). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved March 28, 2012, from Anxiety Disorders:   
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Feldman, R., S. (2010). Psychology and your life. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill     Companies, Inc.
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Hoehn-Saric, R. (1982). Neurotransmitters in anxiety. Arch Gen Psychiatry , 39 (6), 735-  42.
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Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross Culture Psychology 4ed. Boston, MA: Allyn and    Bacon.

Cross Cultural Psychology

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Having culture as a field of psychology makes sense because culture plays a significant role in everyday life.  Culture allows someone to define who they are how they survive.  Expressions of who one is can be done in many ways, by behavior, appearance, and language.  Without culture, one’s human nature would rely on instinct to remain alive.  Culture is a product of one’s environment.  How important culture is and how culture influences oneself and others will be discussed in this paper.  Examining various types of relationships as it pertains to culture and cross cultural psychology will also be deliberated.  Critical thinking and the role it plays in cross cultural psychology and the use of scientific method will also be covered. 
Definition of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
There are many avenues when looking at what culture stands for, but for most there is an agreement that culture is passed down from one generation to the next, there is a strong influence of molding one’s behavior, and that culture is learned.  One’s environment  is based on the culture that he or she is subjected to.  Culture influences humans in many ways that is what makes humans human.  Culture separates individuals from any other species and affords one the opportunity to use instinct and cultural knowledge to survive.  Culture is woven into one’s fabric of daily life, and aids in how one interacts with others.  By definition psychology is the study of performance and human behavior, so when tying to define one’s actions, it is imperative that incorporating one’s culture into the equation.  The behaviors of a person can be directly related to the environment or various biological factors, but, behavior can not be solely answered by just those two things without examining the social cultural conditions which impact that person’s behavior.  Cultural psychology looks for the connection between psychology and one’s culture.  By looking at this link the correlation between culture and behavior is recognized.  Acknowledging this permits that cognitive operations are the variable in culture and oneself based on the environment that he or she is surrounded by (Segal, Dasen, Berry & Poortinga, 1999).
Culture can bring people together as well as separate others.  Cross-cultural psychology is a newer specialty in the field.  This field does not just focus on one specific culture when attempting to clarify the actions of someone’s behavior. Rather it views many different cultures that could be affected a person.  It is imperative to know not to confuse race, ethnicity and society with culture.  They do offer a look at a person’s individualism but it is different than one’s culture.  A society consists of people where a culture is a common interest shared by persons with in a group that lead to a given behavior.  To understand human behavior, viewing other approaches like sociological, cultural mixtures, integrative approach, eco-cultural and evolutionary all help in understanding how a human’s behavior could fluctuate based on.  For example, when looking at the evolutionary approach views the biological factors contributing to the behavior over the eco-cultural approach views the environment (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
The Relationship between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
 There are two different disciplines, anthropology and philosophy, that overlap in cultural psychology.  Then reviewing other disciplines there is a wider viewpoint when researching various actions that others do.  The purpose of cultural psychology is to unearth how someone’s culture affects behavior as well as how the connection is generated.  Human energy cannot be the only factory determining one’s predisposition.  Cultural psychology interprets that one’s mind should not be viewed as separate when explaining behavior.  However, cross culture psychology relates to not only history and anthropology but also similarities and differences between histories.  Regardless, both disciplines take into account culture so their foundations are close.  The difference occurs because cultural psychology is interested in the relationship with culture someone has versus cross-cultural being interested in comparison on cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).

The Role of Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology
Using critical thinking the right way, there are many ways that critical thinking that be a benefit.  Life can be complex and complicated to understand.  Critical thinking provides someone the ability to steer through life with a certainty.  This being said, critical thinking is learned, not an inherited trait.  Being able to think hypothetically, decrypt puzzles, synchronizing thoughts and communicating all require critical thinking.  Using critical thinking means that one asks questions that will ultimately solve problems.  If someone is unqualified or unskilled, it is possible they will not develop to full potential.  By developing the critical thinking skill, this means that one could grow and learn.  The use of language, patience when making important decisions, and ability to organize (Hunter, 2009). 
            All of those that were mentioned are influences in cross-cultural psychology.  Language can lead to discrimination for example.  The way words are translated can be confused because of the way that it is understood.  Translating word for word could lead to an incorrect translation.  Understanding that any language can be translated into other meanings causing traumatization or inspiring depending on the interpretation.  The research is another part of cross-cultural psychology that is attached to critical thinking.  Research that is conducted without bias, emotion, choosing right from wrong, and accepting validity and reliability of that research is a form of critical thinking.  It is normal for there to be comparisons made when linking groups or cultures.  Here are a few instances how critical thinking and cross-cultural psychology are intertwined.  Without a critical thinking understanding how culture affects behavior could form the wrong impression (Segal, Dasen, Berry & Poortinga, 1999).

Methodology Associated with Cross-Cultural Research
Research is a critical part of cross cultural psychology.  Without having research the only information about cross-cultural psychology would be assumptions.  Psychologists who focus their studies on cross cultural psychologists are intrigued with the commonalities between cultures.  As psychologists explain, foretell and manage various behaviors of those they observe they do so because humans are consumed with the interactions he or she has with others resulting in behaviors.  Generating research is done by scientific investigation.  Cross cultural psychology research is subdivided into quantitative and qualitative research.  Quantitative research is done through observation by mode, median and mean.  Qualitative research is unconditioned settings  or a natural setting.  This method is picked when the variables are impossible to gather because the tools are not available.    There are two different strategies that are also available to use; the application orientated and comparativist strategy.  The data collected by these strategies can be done through systematic or random sampling (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).  “Observation (naturalistic and laboratory), survey (direct and indirect), experimental studies (independent and dependent variables), content-analysis, psychobiography, meta-analysis, focus-group method” (Shiraev & Levy, 2010, pp. 35-40) are all available to psychologists who are interested in cross cultural insestigations.
When using cross cultural psychology hindrances could occur.  Language could create problems when completing research consequently ensuring correct translation is of the utmost importance.  Investigators should be able to decipher a specific method as realistically as possible.  Attention should also be paid when associating two phenomena and also avoid biases at all times (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
Since culture plays a vital role in one’s life, it is critical to recognize that it is what causes one’s behavior.  Culture is manmade and appears all of the time without much thought.  It is important for one to be a successful psychologist that there is a clear understanding of both cultural and cross cultural psychology and how it effects the individual as well as his or her environment.  Because of cultural psychology one can trace the connection between culture and psychology and eventually behavior.  Viewing various parallels in cultural psychology can help see the differences as well as similarities between cultures and how it impacts one’s actions.  Without it, there will always be a mystery surrounding humanity. 


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