Not One, but Many
Topics in Psychology
Robert C. Gates
- General Intelligence: g - The idea
( probably incorrect ) that intelligence is one basic trait underlying
all cognitive abilities. (Spearman, 1927) According to this concept.
people have varying levels of this general ability.
- In the 60ís, Cattell & Horn differentiated fluid intelligence from crystallized intelligence:
- Fluid intelligence: flexible reasoning and is made up of the basic mental abilities such as inductive reasoning, abstract thinking and speed of thinking required for understanding any subject.
- Crystallized intelligence: refers to the accumulation of facts, information and knowledge that comes with education and experience within a particular culture.
- Originally, psychologists believed that fluid intelligence was primarily genetic and that crystallized intelligence was primarily learned. This nature-nurture distinction is probably invalid, in part because the acquisition of crystallized intelligence is affected by the quality of fluid intelligence.
- Fluid intelligence declines during adulthood, although this decline is temporarily masked by an increase in crystallized intelligence. This contrast is revealed in WAIS scores: verbal IQ remains relatively stable throughout adulthood, while performance IQ drops an average of 25 points.
- Robert Sternberg has proposed that intelligence is composed of 3 distinct parts; the
analytic / academic aspect: consists of mental processes that foster efficient learning, remembering and thinking.
note: Multiple choice tests, with one & only one right answer reward analytic intelligence.
creative aspect: involves the capacity to be flexible and innovative when dealing with new situations.
practical aspect: enables the person to adapt his/her abilities to contextual demands.
- Most adults value practical abilities more as they grow older. Research demonstrates that practical problem solving skills improve from early adulthood to middle age, and perhaps beyond.
- Gardner maintains that each of his intelligences has its own neurological network in the brain; the value placed on each dimension depends on the particular cultural environment & therefore on the training of the individual and on those evaluating him or her.
Cultures that emphasize activities that the old can do, such as yoga & tai-chi have healthier elderly people because that aspect of intelligence is still practiced.
In review, Gardner's 8 Intellegences are:
- Interpersonal ( social-understanding )
- Intrapersonal ( self understanding )
Human Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates