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. 


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