Introduction to Psychology/Intelligence


The concept of intelligence is, in many ways, culturally bound. Not all languages or cultural groups have a word equivalent to "intelligence;" to cultures in which academic work and achievement are unimportant, the idea of "intelligence" is moot.


In 1904, the French Ministry of Education asked Alfred Binet to come up with a way to identify children who would need remedial help with schoolwork. They wanted to identify these children as early as possible. In 1912, William Stern developed a formula often misattributed to Binet or Lewis Terman to capture the essence of Binet's work: Intelligence Quotient = Mental Age/Chronological Age x 100. This is typically written: IQ = MA/CA X 100. In other words, if a child of 6 years (CA) is achieving at the same level as his 6-year-old peers (MA), his IQ = 6/6 x 100, or 100. For this reason, the score of 100 became the "average" IQ, and remains so today.

Theories of IntelligenceEdit

Since Binet, psychologists have gone back and forth between believing intelligence is one thing and believing it consists of many talents or intelligences. Many of the most reliable modern intelligence tests are based on the idea of intelligence as one thing (in keeping with Binet's original mission, typically something that is highly correlated with academic achievement), but proponents of multiple intelligences argue that

One Thing or Many?Edit

General (g), Crystallized (gc), and Fluid Intelligence (gf)Edit

Assessment of IntelligenceEdit

The Bell CurveEdit

the testing of iq

The Flynn EffectEdit

Cultural Biases in Intelligence TestingEdit

Herrnstein and Murray's Bell CurveEdit

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