Intelligence the Idea of Intelligence Term Paper

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Because of the difficulties he analyzed in a testtaker's response to a task, he called for more complex measurements of intellectual ability than previously undertaken.

Wechsler built upon these views, compiling a more complete definition of intelligence but as parochial as that examined by Sternberg. "Intelligence, operationally defined, is the aggregate or global capacity of the individually to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal with his environment." (235)

Wechsler critically added that intelligence is not just the sum of the abilities included in the definition, but it is something only understandable by the measurement of the various aspects of those abilities. (235) Likewise, he added that an individual's ability to perceive and respond to social, moral, and aesthetic values contributed to a personality of intelligence.

Examining the cognitive process of young children, Piaget found that intelligence was an evolving process of a certain adaptation to the outside world. He observed that as cognitive skills were developed, adaptation increases to the rest of the world through a series of physical trial and error. He found that cognitive development was neither a matter of solely maturation or learning, but a unified process in which the external world was as critical as that internally. "He believed that as a consequence of interaction with the environment, psychological structures become reorganized." Accordingly, biological aspects of intelligence development are determined by natural maturation mechanisms, which ultimately determine a person's ability for mental assimilation and accommodation.

Charles Spearman was the first to develop techniques that measured "intercorrelations" between different tests of intelligence. The development of these theories lead to the evolution of the two-factor theory of intelligence, in which he postulated that the existence of a general intellectual ability factor that can and is tapped by all other mental abilities such as linguistic, mechanical, and arithmetic abilities. (238) Spearman instituted tests that measured the magnitude of this general intelligence and concluded that the higher the general intelligence, the greater a subject's overall intelligence would be. (237)

Spearman's work led directly to the development of multi-intelligence models, like those of Guilford (1967), that attempt to explain the varied types of identifiable intelligence witnessed throughout the general population. Evolving from the discussion of intelligence as a general idea accepted by the lay population but without real definition, psychologists from Sternberg to Spearman attempted to decipher the popular idea of intelligence, capture it within an acceptable definition, and understand its origins, growth, possibilities, and application. Each scientist presented a new way to examine the nebulous idea, mollifying its uncertain nature with an infusion of definition and standards, shedding light on the wholly inconspicuous concept of brilliance.

Cohen and Swerdlik, Jay and Mark…

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Charles Spearman was the first to develop techniques that measured "intercorrelations" between different tests of intelligence. The development of these theories lead to the evolution of the two-factor theory of intelligence, in which he postulated that the existence of a general intellectual ability factor that can and is tapped by all other mental abilities such as linguistic, mechanical, and arithmetic abilities. (238) Spearman instituted tests that measured the magnitude of this general intelligence and concluded that the higher the general intelligence, the greater a subject's overall intelligence would be. (237)

Spearman's work led directly to the development of multi-intelligence models, like those of Guilford (1967), that attempt to explain the varied types of identifiable intelligence witnessed throughout the general population. Evolving from the discussion of intelligence as a general idea accepted by the lay population but without real definition, psychologists from Sternberg to Spearman attempted to decipher the popular idea of intelligence, capture it within an acceptable definition, and understand its origins, growth, possibilities, and application. Each scientist presented a new way to examine the nebulous idea, mollifying its uncertain nature with an infusion of definition and standards, shedding light on the wholly inconspicuous concept of brilliance.

Cohen and Swerdlik, Jay and Mark E. Psychological Testing and Assessment. 6th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

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