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mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations. Intelligence is a socially constructed concept; cultures deem "intelligent" whatever attributes enable success in their culture.

Charles Spearman

argued that intelligence can be expressed by a single factor. He used factor analysis to show that intelligence can be a single number he simply called g (generalized intelligence). He believed that if a person scored high in one area then he/she would score high in other areas; good things come packaged together.

Factor Analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one's total score. It takes multiple items and meshes them into one number, g.

Generalized Intelligence (g)

a general intelligence factor that according to Spearman and others underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.

Howard Gardner

believes that there exist multiple intelligences and if you are not good at one aspect, you may be gifted in others.

Linguistic Intelligence

involves sensitivity to written and spoken language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals (writers, poets, lawyers, and speakers).

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically (Albert Einstein).

Musical Intelligence

involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns; it encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms (composers, song writers).

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems (dancers).

Spatial Intelligence

involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas (artists - Picasso).

Interpersonal Intelligence

(other people) is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations, and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others (educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders, Gandhi).

Intrapersonal Intelligence

(self) entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears, and motivations (Sigmund Freud, psychiatrist).

Naturalist Intelligence

the ability to discriminate among living things and to see patterns; also, a sensitivity to features of the natural world (Charles Darwin).

Robert Sternberg

Sternberg's triarchic theory - he stated that three types of intelligence exist.

Analytical Intelligence

school smarts; assessed by intelligence tests, which present well-defined problems having a single right answer.

Experiential (creative) Intelligence

the ability for one to use their knowledge in creative ways; demonstrated in reacting adaptively to novel situations and generating novel ideas.

Practical Intelligence

street smarts or the ability to apply what you know in the real world; often required for everyday tasks, which are frequently illdefined, with multiple solutions.

Daniel Goleman

EQ was coined by John Mayer (unh) and Peter Salovey (yale) and was further developed by Goleman.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions. Many studies suggest that a high EQ has a greater correlation with financial success than IQ, but both a high IQ and EQ probably works best.


the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas; there are five components to creativity: expertise, imaginative thinking skills, venturesome personality, intrinsic motivation, and a creative environment. The fear of being judged may cause you not to be as creative as your potential allows. Damage to certain areas in the frontal lobe can destroy imagination but the indivdual may still be able to read, write, and do math.


a well-developed base of knowledge with ideas, images, and phrases.

Imaginative Thinking Skills

the ability to see things in novel ways, to recognize patterns, and to make connections. Having mastered a problem's basic element's, we redefine or explore it in a new way.

Venturesome Personality

tolerates ambiguity and risk, perseveres in overcoming obstacles, and seeks new experiences rather than following the pack.

Intrinsic Motivation

motivated by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge.

Creative Environment

being mentored, challenged, and supported by others.

Crystallized Intelligence

accumulated knowledge overtime; increases with age.

Fluid Intelligence

our ability to quickly solve abstract problems; declines in age.

Intelligence Tests

a method for assessing an individual's mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.

Albert Binet

a French dude who set out to design a test that would identify which kids in the French school system needed special attention. He set benchmarks to where a child's intelligence should be at; which he called mental age. He didn't believe that intelligence was in born or fixed.

Mental Age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.

Louis Terman

a Stanford professor who believed "children of successful and cultured parents test higher than children from wretched and ignorant homes for the simple reason that their heredity is better."

Stanford-Binet IQ Test

the widely used American revision of Binet's original intelligence test. Terman tried setting an arbitrary age of 20 for all adults, but it didn't work so well.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 [thus, IQ = (ma/ca) x 100]. On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.

David Weschler

constructed three different types of IQ tests: WAIS, WISC, and the WPPSI. These tests test intelligence on many different subtests (accounting for many types of skills) and that your score is placed on a normal curve against the rest of the population.


an IQ test for adults, called the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale


an IQ test for children, called the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children


an IQ test for really young kids, called the Weschler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. (today it is known as the WAIS-III).

Flynn Effect

one problem with Weschler's intelligence tests is that people are scoring higher on them every year and we don't know why; the phenomenon that we are scoring better on these tests and becoming more intelligent year after year.


the questions have been piloted (tested) on a population of people who are similar to those who are going to take the test (IQ tests, SATs).

Normal Curve

the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes. (lowest 2.28% = mental retardation).


the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting.


the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to. (reliability measures the consistency of a test and validity measures it's accuracy).

Content Validity

the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest (such as a driving test that samples driving tasks).

Predictive Validity

the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior.

Aptitude Test

a test designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn. (NFL combine).

Achievement Test

a test designed to assess what a person has learned (any quiz or test you take in school, the ap test, and any other test you can study for).

Speed Tests

consist of a large amount of questions in a finite amount of time. The goal of a speed test is to see how quickly you can solve problems.

Power Tests

people are given significant amounts of time to finish the work, but the questions become increasingly more difficult.

Individual Tests

require much interaction between the proctor and test taker one-on-one (the Rorschach inkblot test).

Group Tests

many people are given the test at the same time and there is little interaction between the proctor and the test takers.

Genetic Influences

people who share the same genes (twins) have comprable mental abilities; genes and environment do correlate; if you have a natural aptitude for math, you will tend to take more math classes leading to higher scores on achievement/aptitude tests.

Environmental Influences

must have early intervention; Head Start (1965) U.S. government funded pre-school; Schooling Effects (Ceci and Williams) - students' intelligence scores increase during school year and decrease during summer months.

Group Differences

individual differences within a race are much greater than differences between races; students in Asia outperform students in the United States on math tests due to length of school year (students in Asia attend school 54 more days, 234 total, per school year).

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