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mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.

factor analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one's total score.

general intelligence

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

savant syndrome

a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ablility has an exceptional specific skill, such as computation or drawing.

analytical intelligence

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

creative intelligence

demonstrated in reacting adaptively to novel situations and generating novel ideas.

practical intelligence

often required for everyday tasks, which are frequently ill-defined, with multiple solutions.

emotional intelligence

the ablility to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.


the ablility to produce novel and valuable ideas.


(component) a well-developed base of knowledge.

imaginative thinking skills

(component) provide the ability to see things in novel ways, to recognize patterns, to make connections.

a venturesome personality

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

intrinsic motivation

(component) the focus and motivation comes from things that they naturally want to do.

a creative environment

(component) sparks, supports, and refines creative ideas.

intelligence test

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

mental age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance.


the widely used American revision of Binet's original intelligence test.

intelligence quotient (IQ)

defined originally as the ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100. (mental age/chronological age x 100)

aptitude test

a test designed to predict a person's future performance; the capacity to learn.

achievement test

a test designed to assess what a person has learned.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.


defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested standardization group.

normal curve

the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. (Most scores fall near avg, and fewer & fewer scores lie near extremes)


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.

content validity

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


the behavior that a test is designed to predict; thus, the measure used in defining whether the test has predictive validity.

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.


a reasoning error whereby a person views an abstract thing as if it were a concrete thing.The act of inventing a concept, giving it a name, and convincing yourself that such a thing exists in a concrete form in the real world.

The Flynn Effect

the widespread improvement in intelligence test performance during the past century.

the g factor

the overall-general capacity that underlies all of the specific mental abilities. (Spearman)

fluid intelligence

the ability to quickly reason and solve problems involving complex relationships - such as tests of block design and spatial visualizations.

crystallized intelligence

the knowledge a person has acquired from "book smarts" during their life (verbal & numerical skills).

Gf-Gc theory of intelligence

fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence together are known as ...

theory of multiple intelligences

(Howard Gardner) there are seven intelligences, each independent of the others. (this is an opposite theory of the g factor theory).

verbal, logical, musical, spatial, tactile, interpersonal, intrapersonal

the seven intelligences

threshold effect

you need a certain minimal amount of intelligence to "jump-start" creativity, but that's all.

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