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Chapter 9 Thinking, Language, and Intelligence Power. Point® Presentation by Jim Foley
Thinking and language are two talents that are part of being human. But. . . § how unique are these talents to humans? § in what ways are these talents better suited for survival than for thinking like a scientist?
Thinking and Language Questions § How do we form concepts, make judgments, solve problems, and make decisions? § How does our intuitive thinking style, though it may help us survive, lead us astray? § How does language work in words and in the brain, and how unique is human language? § How do thought and language work together?
Thinking Topics to Think About § Concepts: Categories and Prototypes § Problem Solving: Algorithms, Insights, heuristics § Judgment errors: Availability Heuristic, Overconfidence, Belief Perseverance § The effects of Framing on judgment § Cognitive skills in other species
Thinking, a. k. a. Cognition refers to mental activities and processes associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating information. § Cognition can include reasoning, judgment, and assembling new information into knowledge. § Cognition also supports these other psychological processes: attention, emotion, consciousness, perception, learning, memory, language, mental health, and social interaction.
Thinking: Topics Concepts: the building blocks of thinking Do other animals have thinking skills like humans do? Problem solving strategies and obstacles to effective problem solving
Pieces of Cognition: Concepts A concept is a mental grouping of similar objects, events, states, ideas, and/or people, etc. A concept can be represented and communicated by an image, or by a word such as “chair, ” “party, ” or “democracy. ”
How do we form/learn concepts? § We think we form concepts by definitions. For example, we define a triangle as an object with three sides. § But is this how we actually form concepts? § Often, we form concepts by developing prototypes, that is, mental images of the best example of a concept. What does your prototype of the triangle look like? Draw the triangle that you imagine; that is, draw your prototype of a triangle.
The Urge to Categorize What was the percentage Asian in this blended Caucasian/Asian face? What was the percentage Caucasian in the second blended face? We tend to mold our memories and perceptions to fit pre-existing categories/ concepts.
When Prototypes Fail Us § Prototypes fail us when examples stretch our definitions, as in considering whether a stool is a chair. § Prototypes fail us when the boundary between concepts is fuzzy, as in judging bluegreen colors or computer-blended faces. § Prototypes fail us when examples contradict our prototypes, such as considering whether a whale is a mammal, or a penguin is a bird.
Strategies for arriving at solutions include: Problem Solving Problem solving refers to the thinking we do in order to answer a complex question or to figure out how to resolve an unfavorable situation. trial and error Trial and error involves trying various possible solutions, and if that fails, trying others. • When it’s useful: perfecting an invention like the light bulb by trying a thousand filaments • When it fails: when there is a clear solution but trial and error might miss it forever algorithms An algorithm is a step by step strategy for solving a problem, methodically leading to a specific solution. heuristics A heuristic is a short-cut, step-saving thinking strategy or principle which generates a solution quickly (but possibly in error). insight Insight refers to a sudden realization, a leap forward in thinking, that leads to a solution.
Clarifying Problem Solving Examples Where’s. To thefind apple a juice? Dospecific I look on every item in shelf in the store, or do I a supermarket search where there is similar stuff? Trial and error Algorithms Heuristics Wander around a supermarket randomly to find it. Create a methodical path to make sure you check every single aisle. Check only related aisles.
Trial and Error vs. Algorithms To solve a word jumble, you can use: Trial and error--randomly trying different combinations in no particular order An algorithm (below)--carefully checking every single combination beginning with the letter “C” before moving on to a different starting letter. 1. C L O O Y S P H Y G 2. C O L O Y S P H Y G 3. C O O L Y S P H Y G… The problem with using trial and error to solve a word jumble is that there are 782, 200 (10!/(2!*2!)) different ways to combine those letters. At least with the algorithm method, you are sure to get through them all without counting any of them twice.
To solve a word jumble, you can try a heuristic. To solve the jumbled word more quickly, It would help to use heuristics, shortcuts that save steps, to reduce the options we need to try, such as: 1. putting a “Y” at the end. 2. thinking about where the other “Y” could go. 3. trying the “H” preceded by “C” and “S” and “P” before trying other combinations. 4. speculating that with so few vowels, the “O”s will probably not be together. 1. C L O O Y S P H Y G SP S PS LY O P CY HO OCL H OG GY Y
Algorithms: Not Just Thoroughness A father and a son are currently 40 and 10; when will the son be half the father’s age? It might be tempting to use trial and error, but algebra gives us an algorithm, a single, certain, systematic path to the answer: x = ½ (x + 30) 2 x = x + 30 x = 30 Answer: when the son is 30, the father will be 60.
Three Methods of Problem Solving Problem: given 100 one-foot lengths of fence, construct a rectangle that encloses the biggest area. Trial and error approach: make a lot of rectangles W W For each width: Total Area Algorithm approach: rectangle of unknown width Maximum area is when width is 25, which means all sides are 25 ½ (100 -2 W) Area = Width times length = W times half of what’s left after making the widths, or ½ (1002 W). We could graph all the different W’s and all the areas produced by different values for W, but instead of trial and area we graphed a function, Area = W x ½(100 -2 W), or Area = 50 x – x 2, , which makes a parabola, shown at the left. Notice that at W = 25, the area is at a maximum, and length = ½(100 -2(25)) = 25 also. Different values for Width Heuristic: a square encloses the most area
Insight: The “Aha” Moment Insight refers to a sudden realization, a leap forward in thinking, that leads to a solution. § We say “aha” and feel a sense of satisfaction when an answer seems to pop into our minds. § We also may laugh; joke punchlines rely on sudden insight. Insight and the Brain In one study, participants monitored by f. MRI and EEG were asked, “which word will form a compound word with the words pine, crab, and sauce? ” What the brains did along with the “aha!” of getting the answer: 1. extra frontal lobe activity 2. experiencing the “aha!” moment and stating the answer 3. a burst of activity in right temporal lobe (shown here)
A Use of Insight to Find the Right Heuristic Problem: can the 62 squares of this clipped chess-board be tiled with 2 -square dominoes? How did you arrive at your solution?
Obstacles to Effective Problem Solving There are certain tendencies in human cognition which make it more difficult to find correct solutions to problems. Confirmation bias Fixation/ mental set Heuristics (which help solve problems quickly but can lead to mistaken conclusions)
Confirmation Bias § Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for information which confirms our current theory, disregarding contradictory evidence. § Natural tendency: “If I’m right, then fact “C” will confirm my theory. I must look for fact “C. ” § Scientific practice: “If I’m right, then fact “D” will disprove or at least disconfirm my theory. I must search for fact “D. ” Studying Confirmation Bias: Peter Wason’s Selection Test 1. He gave the sequence of numbers “ 2, 4, 6. ” 2. He asked students to guess his rule, and ask him whether other certain numbers fit the rule. § The problem was not the students’ theory, but their strategy. If you think the rule is “even numbers, ” what numbers would you need to ask him about to TEST rather that CONFIRM your theory?
Confirmation Bias Test Hypothesized rule/fact: everyone who drinks alcohol at this party is at least 21 years of age. You meet four people about whom you know limited information: Holding a beer Holding a cola Age is 25 Age is 18 If you could find out more about just two of these people, which two would you investigate to help find out whether your hypothesis is true?
Confirmation Bias Test You are given the cards below, that have a letter on one side and a numeral on the other side. Claim: if a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an odd number on the other side. A D 6 7 Which two cards would you turn over to find out if the claim is true?
Confirmation Bias Test: Research The ultimate test of our mastery of confirmation bias in psychology might be our ability to avoid confirmation bias in research. If we believe that overeating candy is the main cause of ADHD symptoms, what types of people do we need to look for to really test our theory? Kids who: 1. eat a lot of sugar. 2. do not eat candy. 3. have ADHD. 4. do not have ADHD.
Other Problem-Solving Habits Mental set The tendency to approach problems using a mindset (procedures and methods) that has worked previously. Fixation The tendency to get stuck in one way of thinking; an inability to see a problem from a new perspective.
Mental Set: Demonstration What is next in these sequences? O, T, T, F, F, ___, J, F, M, A, M, ___, S, M, T, N, U, ___, W, I, N, I, T, ___? O, T, T, F, F, S, S (numbers) J, F, M, A, M, J, J (months) S, M, T, N, U, O, V, P, W, Q, X, R W, I, N, I, T, S ? If you are “primed” to use a certain problem-solving strategy, you can form a mental set that makes it harder to solve a new, similar problem.
Fixation Problem: how can you arrange six matches to form four equilateral triangles? When people struggle with this, what fixation is going on? Hint: what assumption might be fixed in their minds? Our mental set, perhaps from our past experiences with matchsticks, assumes we arranging them in two dimensions.
Fixation: The Nine-dot Problem Use four straight lines to connect the nine dots. Solving this requires escaping fixation by thinking outside the box. Literally.
Nine-dot Problem: The Sequel Can you use only THREE straight lines to connect these nine dots?
Intuition § The human cognitive style of making judgments and decisions is more efficient than logical. § The quick-acting, automatic source of ideas we use instead of careful reasoning is known as intuition. § Using intuition to make a decision has some downsides, as we’ll soon see, but it also has some benefits. Making Quick Judgments and Decisions As with problem-solving, there are mental habits which make intuition-style judgments simpler and quicker, but may lead to errors: 1. the availability heuristic 2. overconfidence 3. belief perseverance 4. framing All of these habits enable us to quickly make hundreds of small “gut” decisions each day without bothering with systematic reasoning.
The Availability Heuristic We use the availability heuristic when we estimate the likelihood of an event based on how much it stands out in our mind, that is, how much it’s available as a mental reference. Example: thinking that winning at a slot machine is likely because we vividly recall the times we’ve won before (thanks to bells, lights, and flowing coins)
Weighted Attention: Why We Fear the Wrong Things The availability heuristic misleads us about whether a plane ride or a motorcycle ride is more dangerous. § Of the many experiences available to us in forming our judgments, we tend to give more weight to some experiences than others. § We know of both plane crashes and motorcycle crashes, but the plane crashes scare us more, and stand out more in the news and in memory. Why do some dangers stand out more? § Perhaps biology or natural selection predisposes us to fear heights, lack of control, and confinement… all of which are part of our image of a plane ride.
The Overconfidence Error Overconfidence in judgments refers to our tendency to be more confident than correct. We overestimate the accuracy of our estimates, predictions, and knowledge. Examples: § thinking you can put off work and still get it done well § thinking you have test material mastered when you scan it and it feels familiar.
The Overconfidence Error Question: Why do we tend to be overconfident even though it leads to false convictions, bad investments, and disappointing test scores? Answer: It may have had survival value: § overconfidence allows quick decisions § feeling certainty reduces stress and anxiety § overconfident people may gain social power Preventing the Overconfidence Error § When you plan to state an opinion, prediction, or judgment, say “I think” rather than “I know. ” § Be open to feedback and to correction. § ASK for other opinions, predictions, and factors you have not considered. § Keep track of when you were wrong.
Belief Perseverance Error Overcoming Belief Perseverance “My mind is made up; do not § You can’t cure someone confuse me with the facts. ” else of belief perseverance. § Belief perseverance is the Just telling someone the tendency to hold onto our “right” information won’t beliefs when facing contrary override it. evidence. § Instead, watch for this in § We interpret information in yourself. Take opposing a way that fits our beliefs. views and information We might claim that the seriously, always assuming new information is wrong, that you could be wrong. biased, or just “doesn’t make sense. ”
Confirmation Bias vs. Belief Perseverance Definition: not bothering to seek out information that contradicts your ideas Definition: holding on to your ideas over time, and actively rejecting information that contradicts your ideas Benefits and downsides: enables quick solutions, but misses finding out when first guesses are wrong Benefits and downsides: less internal mental conflict, but more social conflict
Framing is the focus, emphasis, or perspective that affects our judgments and decisions. Example: are condoms effective if they… work 95 percent of the time? fail 5 percent of the time? Do you want to go to a store today if prices are: 20 percent off? an average of $6 off? everyday low prices?
How to use it well Intuition How it may have been adaptive When it’s effective § We have seen that § Intuition is effective in complex when it is a product situations, it helps of expertise built up § Judging quickly to use careful from trial and error; what to eat and reasoning to avoid this hones one’s what might kill us mistakes made by judgment to the might have helped intuitive judgments. point of being more our ancestors accurate than logical § However, research survive long analysis. supports the idea enough to that sometimes we § Examples: knowing reproduce. need to let our the sex of a chick, § The times that our unconscious mind making a diagnosis, intuition was do some work. speed chess, incorrect may not quarterback § Incubation refers to have been fatal; if decisions the power of taking humans avoided a break from careful § The mind’s ability to all red plants thinking, even to judge a situation instead of “sleep on it, ” to from experience is poisonous berries, allow leaps in more efficient than they might have cognition. any step-by-step been hungry, but analysis. still alive.
Creativity refers to the ability to produce ideas that are novel and valuable. [Creative intelligence involves using those ideas to adapt to novel situations. ] Convergent thinking is a left-brain activity involving zeroing in on a single correct answer. Creativity uses divergent thinking, the ability to generate new ideas, new actions, and multiple options and answers. Does chess involve creativity?
Robert Sternberg’s Five Components of Creativity Creative environment: having support, feedback, encouragement, and time and space to think Venturesome personality: tending to seek out new experiences despite risk, ambiguity, and obstacles Expertise: possessing a welldeveloped base of knowledge Intrinsic motivation: enjoying the pursuit of interests and challenge, without needing external direction or rewards Imaginative thinking: having the ability to see new perspectives, combinations, and connections
To Boost Creativity: Four Strategies § Pursue an interest until you develop expertise. § Allow time for incubation (“sleeping on it”) with your attention away from projects, during which unconscious connections can form. § Allow time for mental wandering and aimless daydreaming with no distractions. § Improve mental flexibility by experiencing other cultures and ways of thinking.
Do Other Species Think? If thinking consists of understanding concepts, including words, numbers, and qualities, then. . . § many creatures can memorize the names of many objects. Parrots can speak the names. § birds can sort objects by shape, color, and type. § Alex the African parrot could add numbers, and answer complex questions such as “what color bigger”? [“Tell me the color of the object that is the bigger of these two. ”]
Do Other Species Think? If thinking consists of solving problems with insight, devising behaviors that were not trained or rewarded, and putting strategies together in new combinations, then. . . § chimpanzees do not say, “Aha, ” but one showed sudden leaps in problemsolving. After putting down a short stick that could not reach a fruit, he jumped up suddenly to use that short stick to reach a longer stick.
Do Other Species Think? If thinking consists of using and passing on cultural (learned, not instinctual) practices such as tool use, then. . . § chimpanzees have local customs for tool use, grooming, communication, hunting, and courtship. These are “customs”, not instincts, because: § they vary not by family, but by group. § they are learned/acquired by observation. § they involve varied tools and strategies, such as crafting a flexible stick to “fish” for termites.
Animal Socio-cognitive Skills § Baboons can recognize 80 individual voices; sheep can recognize individual faces. § Chimpanzees and some monkeys can read intention in your facial expression and actions. § Dolphins, apes, elephants, and social birds appear to recognize themselves in a mirror.
Language and Thought Topics to talk about § Structure, and Use of Language § Stages of Language Development § How Language Develops: Nature, Nurture, and Critical Periods § Language and the Brian § Language in other Species? § Thinking and language influence each other § Thinking in images, not verbal language
LANGUAGE: Definitions § Language consists of the use of symbols to represent, transmit, and store meaning/information. § Symbols include organized patterns of sounds, visual representations, and movements. § Meaning includes concepts, quantities, plans, identity, feelings, ideas, facts, and customs.
Language: Uses and Structure § We can hear about and understand phenomena we have never experienced. § We can connect to people far away. § We can make plans and have others carry them out. § We can know what another person is thinking more directly than just by observing their behavior. § We can store information. What is language made of? § Phonemes are the smallest units of sound (vowels and consonants). § Morphemes are the units of meaning, i. e. words and meaningful parts of words such as suffixes, prefixes). § Grammar refers to the rules for using words, including semantics, definitions, connotations, and syntax (how the order of words makes meaning).
How do we learn language? Language Development is an Amazing Process § We acquire the use of 10 new words per day (on average) between ages 2 and 18. § Children learn the basic grammar of language before they can add 2 + 2. § Most kids can recall words and meanings, and assemble words into sentences, while simultaneously following social rules for speaking and listening. abbreviate absorbent accept accessible accessory acoustics accumulate adjust aerial affects alien allotment allotted already altercation amass amendment amorous ancestor anecdote angular anonymous antidote antique
How do we learn language? Language Talents and Stages Age (months) Talent/Behavior/Stage 0 -4 months Receptive language: associating sounds with facial In fantis movements, and recognizing when sounds are broken (“not speaking”) into words 4 months Productive language: babbling in multilingual sounds and gestures 10 months Babbling sounds more like the parents’/household’s language 12 months One-word stage: understanding and beginning to say many nouns “telegraphic”/tweet speech: adding verbs, 18 -24 months Two-word, and making sentences but missing words (“See bird! Ree book? Go park!”) 24+ months, 2+ years Speaking full sentences and understanding complex sentences
Explaining Language Acquisition: Nature and Nurture CT A G NAV PER The Role of Genes § We seem to have an inborn (genetic) talent for acquiring language, though no particular kind of language is in the genes. ABA The Role of Experience MID § We also seem to have a “statistical” pattern CAN recognition talent. Infants quickly recognize patterns in syllable frequency and sequence, preparing them to later learn words and syntax. N TIO
Critical Periods § According to one study with immigrants, beginning a language later made it harder to learn the pronunciation and the grammar of the second language. § It is important to begin appropriate language exposure/education early so that language centers of the brain continue to develop. § Language might never develop if not begun by age seven.
Deaf and Blind Children Deaf and blind children can use complex adapted languages by using other senses that are heightened. Sign language has the syntax, grammar, and complex meaning of any spoken language. “Blindness cuts people off from things; deafness cuts people off from people. ”—Helen Keller What happens if a deaf infant’s parents don’t use sign language? Hint: critical period
Brain and Language: Lessons from damage Aphasia: an impairment in the ability to produce or understand language, usually caused by damage to the brain Broca’s area, in the left temporal lobe Damage to Broca’s area leads to difficulty in putting words together in sentences or even speaking single words, although a person can sing a song. Examples of aphasia: having the ability to speak but not read, to produce words in song but not in conversation, and to speak but not repeat; or producing words in jumbled order Wernicke’s area, left temporal lobe Damage to Wernicke’s area leads to difficulty comprehending speech and producing coherent speech (not easily monitoring one’s own speech to make sure it makes sense).
Language and the Brain How to read a word, steps 1 to 5 Remember: language functions are divided in the brain.
Do Other Species Use Language? § Receptive language for individual human words seems to exist for a few species; dogs can follow hundreds of commands. § Productive language: many animals have “words”: sounds, gestures, dances (bees) to communicate information, including different “words” for different objects, states, and places Can other species communicate with us through language? § Washoe the chimpanzee learned to use 245 signs to express what she wanted or noticed. § Fellow chimpanzees learned signs from each other without training and without rewards. § A deaf N. Y. Times reporter visited Washoe and said, “I realized I was conversing with a member of another species in my native tongue. ”
Is the chimp signing really language? § Washoe seemed to combine words in new ways to convey meaning; Washoe used the phrase “apple which is orange” for an orange (fruit). § Chimps do not pick up words as easily as human children. § Chimp word production lacks syntax, but a bonobo correctly understood “make the dog bite the snake. ” Signing “baby”
Thinking and Language, Language and Thinking How does our style of thinking shape our use of language? How does language shape the way we think? Can we think without language by using images?
Language Influencing Thought Linguistic determinism: the idea that our specific language determines how we think § For example, Benjamin Whorf (1897 -1941) proposed that because the Hopi do not have past tense forms for verbs, it is hard for them to think about the past. § Can you think about something that you do not have a name for? If so, does that disprove linguistic determinism?
Language’s Influence on Thought § § Does language shape emotions or reflect them? Speaking in Japanese provides many extra words for interpersonal emotions such as sympathy and empathy, which Americans might have trouble differentiating. Speaking English gives us many words for self-focused emotions, such as sadness. Do language differences shape personality differences? Bilingual people appear to have different personality profiles when describing themselves in different languages. “Learn a new language and get a new soul. ”--Czech proverb. Color Perception § We use our native language to classify and to remember colors. Different languages may vary in where they put the separation between “blue” and “green, ” or they may not have separate words for these colors. § Which squares are green? teal? blue?
Language Influences Thought Gender neutral vs. male-based usage § Even if “he” and “mankind” are meant at times to be genderinclusive, people do create a male image in their mind when they hear these terms. § Instead of replacing “he” with “he/she” or “their”, we can rewrite sentences without pronouns and possessives; for example, “his” can become “the. ”
Languages Improve Thinking The Bilingual Advantage § People who are bilingual have numerous brain connections and neural networks. § They also have a hidden talent, the ability to suppress one language while learning another. § This ability tends to go along with other forms of executive control, such as resisting distraction and inhibiting impulses.
Thinking in Images Without Words § Is there conscious thinking that goes on without being formed as words? § Some everyday decisions, such as which turn to take while driving, are certainly made based on images or other nonverbal content such as mental maps. Using Imagery to Improve Learning § Image rehearsal can help us improve behavior, even skilled performance such as playing piano or playing sports. § If you imagine getting an A (outcome simulation), it may shift your mood up or down but will not improve your grade. Imagining the detailed actions of studying (process simulation), though, does improve grades. § Think about the road, not the destination.
Conclusions Thinking affects our language, which then affects our thought. 1. Thinking in a culture affects the formation of a language, especially its vocabulary. 2. Thinking and language develop together in an individual as they grow. 3. Learning a language and using a language as an adult can affect one’s style and content of thinking.
Intelligence Overview Overall question to consider: does each of us have an inborn level of talent, a general mental capacity or set of abilities, and can that level be measured and represented by a score on a test? § Definitions of intelligence § One ability or many? § The role of creativity and emotional intelligence § How to construct tests to try to assess intelligence § Intelligence stability, change, and extremes § Genetic vs. environmental influences § Group differences in ability § Racial difference or cultural test bias?
Intelligence: An Introduction Topics: What do we mean by intelligence? § Defining intelligence § Types and components of intelligence: § Spearman’s g, § Gardner’s 8, § Sternberg’s 3 § Intelligence and creativity § Emotional Intelligence
“Definition” of Intelligence § Intelligence tests are a series of questions and other exercises which attempt to assess people’s mental abilities in a way that generates a numerical score, so that one person can be compared to another. § Intelligence can be defined as “whatever intelligence tests measure. ” § Your college entrance test measures how good you are at scoring well on that test.
Definition of Intelligence: Beyond the Test? The text defines intelligence, whether it’s math ability or a rainforest dweller’s understanding of plants, as the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
General Intelligence, also known as g Charles Spearman (1863 -1945) performed a factor analysis* of different skills and found that people who did well in one area also did well in another. Spearman speculated that these people had a high “g” (general intelligence). *Factor analysis refers to a statistical technique that determines how different variables relate to each other; for example whether they form clusters that tend to vary together.
Multiple Intelligences The “savant syndrome” refers to having isolated “islands” of high ability amidst a sea of below-average cognitive and social functioning. This suggest that there can be isolated pieces of intelligence. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences § Howard Gardner (b. 1943) noted that different people have intelligence/abilities in different areas. § He felt that levels of these “intelligences” could vary independent of each other. § Factor analysis suggests, though, that for most people there may be a correlation among these intelligences.
Howard Gardner’s Eight Intelligences
Sternberg’s Intelligence Triarchy Robert Sternberg (b. 1949) proposed that “success” in life is related to three types of ability. Analytical intelligence: Practical intelligence: expertise and talent that help to complete the tasks and manage the complex challenges of everyday life solving a welldefined problem with a single answer Creative intelligence: generating new ideas to help adapt to novel situations
Critique of Multiple Intelligence theories § The different intelligence factors tend to correlate with each other, and with a general level of intelligence. § Success, financial and otherwise, correlates with overall intelligence § Success also correlates with hard work, connections, and the development of expertise (The 10 year Rule regarding intensive daily practice).
Social and Emotional Intelligence Social intelligence refers to the ability to understand navigate social situations. Emotional intelligence involves processing and managing the emotional component of those social situations, including one’s own emotions.
Emotional Intelligence: Components Perceiving emotions • Recognizing emotions in facial expressions, stories, and even in music Understanding emotions • Being able to see blended emotions, and to predict emotional states and changes in self and others Managing emotions • Modulating and expressing emotions in various situations Using emotions • Using emotions as fuel and motivation for creative, adaptive thinking Benefits of Emotional Intelligence People with high emotional intelligence often have other beneficial traits, such as the ability to delay gratification while pursuing long-term goals. The level of emotional intelligence, including the skill of reading the emotions of others, correlates with success in career and other social situations.
Assessing Intelligence § Binet’s mental age test: Predicting school learning challenges § Terman and the Stanford-Binet IQ test: Innate intelligence § Wechsler tests § Standardization, Reliability, and Validity § Is intelligence stable over the lifespan? § Cross-sectional vs. longitudinal studies § Extremes of Intelligence
Alfred Binet’s intelligence testing: to predict school achievement § In the late 1800 s, a new law in France required universal education. § Alfred Binet knew that some new students would need help to succeed. § Binet develop tests to predict a child’s level of success in regular education. § Goal: to determine which students would need support.
Intelligence: a place on the path of development? § Alfred Binet assumed that all children follow the same course of development, some going more quickly, and others more slowly. § Binet’s tests attempted to measure mental age--how far the child had come along on the “normal” developmental pathway. § The implication was that children with lower ability were delayed (with a mental age below their chronological age), and not disabled; with help, they could improve. § Others saw intelligence as innate and fixed, including: Lewis Terman, who turned Binet’s test into the Stanford. Binet Intelligence Test.
Binet Terman Stanford-Binet IQ § Lewis Terman, of Stanford University, adapted Alfred Binet’s test, adding new test items and extending the age range into adulthood. § Terman also tested many California residents to develop new norms, that is, new information about how people typically performed on the test. § The result was the Stanford-Binet intelligence test. William Stern added a way of scoring of the Stanford-Binet test known as the Intelligence Quotient. Binet reported scores as simply one’s mental age; a 10 year old with below average intelligence might have a mental age of 8. Stern described Intelligence as a Quotient, a ratio comparing mental age to chronological age. Q: What IQ score do we get for
What do scores mean? § Lewis Terman, of Stanford University, began with a different assumption than Binet; Terman felt that intelligence was unchanging and innate (genetic). § Later, Terman saw how scores can be affected by people’s level of education and their familiarity with the language and culture used in the test. What to do if you score low on an IQ test? Study, and develop selfdiscipline and attention span. Binet
Aptitude vs. Achievement § Achievement tests measure what you already have learned. Examples include a literacy test, a driver’s license exam, and a final exam in a psychology course. § Aptitude tests attempt to predict your ability to learn new skills. § The SAT, ACT, and GRE are supposed to predict your ability to do well in future academic work. If the SAT is an aptitude test, should it correlate with IQ? IQ SAT scores (verbal + quantitative)
Wechsler’s Tests: Intelligence PLUS The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) measure “g”/IQ. Challenges include: § Describing similarities and differences § Timed math problems § Vocabulary knowledge § Re-sequencing and recall of letters and numbers § Arranging blocks to produce designs
Principles of Test Construction In order for intelligence or other psychological tests to generate results that are considered useful, the tests (and their scores) must be: standardized. reliable. valid.
Standardization: How we know whether your IQ score is average. Many intelligence tests generate a raw score based on the number of answers correct. Can we turn this into a number that tells us how smart/capable a person is compared to the general population? Yes: by Standardizing. Standardization: defining the meaning of scores based on a comparison with the performance of others who have taken the test before. The current method for generating an IQ score is to determine where your raw score falls on a distribution of scores by people of your chronological age. (Next slide).
Standardization: How “Normal” is Your Score? Number of people with this score If we stacked a bunch of intelligence tests in piles ordered by raw score (#of test items correct), there would be a few very high scores and a few low scores, and a big pile in the middle; this bellshaped set of scores is called the normal curve. Standardization: Calling the average raw score “IQ 100. ” Comparing your score to this standard set of scores: if you score higher than 50 percent of people, your IQ is 100. If your score is higher than 98 percent of the population, your IQ is around what number?
Reliability and Validity of Measures A test or other measuring tool is reliable when it generates consistent results. § § Split-half reliability: two halves of the test yield the same results. Test-retest reliability: the test gives the same result if administered again. Example: If your height was measured with a ruler made of stretchy dough. A test or measure has validity if it accurately measures what it is supposed to measure. § § Content validity: the test correlates well with the actual trait being measured Predictive validity: the test accurately predicts future performance. Example: If your height was measured with a yardstick on which the “inches” varied in size.
Stability of Intelligence during Aging: Based on this chart, at what age might you do best at completing a crossword puzzle completely? Quickly?
Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence Fluid intelligence: the ability to think quickly and abstractly. This type of intelligence tends to be strongest in youth. Crystallized intelligence: accumulated wisdom, knowledge, expertise, and vocabulary. These stay strong into old age.
Extremes of Intelligence The Wechsler Intelligence Scale is set so that about 2 percent of the population is above 130 and about 2 percent of the population is below 70. Intellectual Disability Very High Intelligence, Gifted
Extremes of Intelligence “Intellectual disability” refers to people who § have an IQ around 70 or below. § have difficulty with adaptive skills, such as: § conceptual skills (literacy and calculation). § social skills, including making safe social choices. § practical daily living skills such as hygiene, occupational skills, and using transportation. § Although some people with high intelligence test scores can seem socially delayed or withdrawn, most are “successful. ” § “Gifted” children, like any children, learn best with an appropriate level of challenge. § Segregated, “tracked” programs, however, often unfairly widen achievement gaps.
Influences on Intelligence: Genes and Environment What we are born with, what we can change § Heritability § Results from Twin and Adoption Studies § Environmental Influences: Early Childhood and School § Group Differences in Intelligence Scores: Due to Genes or Environment? § Gender Similarities and Differences in IQ scores § Racial/Ethnic Similarities and Differences in IQ scores § The Effect of Stereotype threat on IQ scores § Two Meanings of “Bias” in test design: group harm vs. predictive effectiveness
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence (Nature and Nurture) § Even if we agree for argument’s sake that “success” in life is caused in part by some kind of intelligence, there is still a debate over the origin of that intelligence. – Are people “successful” because of inborn talents? – Or are they “successful” because of their unequal access to better nurture? § Information to tease out the answers can be found in some twin and adoption studies.
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence Studies of Twins Raised Apart What explains this difference? Findings from these studies indicate that both nature and nurture affect intelligence test scores.
Clarifying Heritability § If three people had exactly the same education, § When you see variation nutrition, and experiences, in intelligence between some psychologists speculate two or more people, the that genes might be heritability of that trait responsible for perhaps 40 is the amount of percent of their intelligence; variation that is nurture certainly made a big apparently explained by impact. genetic factors. § However, such identical § This does NOT tell us the nurturing (which is actually proportion that genes impossible) could not create contribute to the trait for differences in intelligence. any one person. § With identical nurture, the heritability of intelligence would be virtually 100 percent.
Genetic Influences on Intelligence § Identical twins seem to show similarity in specific talents such as music, math and sports. § The brains of twins show similar structure and functioning. § There are specific genes which may have a small influence on ability.
Adoption Studies With age, the intelligence test scores of adoptees looks more and more like that of their ______ parents. (adoptive? birth/biological? ) In another study, heritability of intelligence test scores continued to increase beyond age 16.
Environmental Influences on Intelligence § Environment has more influence on intelligence under extreme conditions such as abuse, neglect, or extreme poverty. § Tutored human enrichment has a larger impact on compensating for deprivation than on boosting intelligence under normal conditions.
Schooling and Intelligence § Preschool and elementary school clearly have at least a temporary impact on intelligence test scores. § College can have a positive impact on intelligence test scores if students have: – motivation and incentives. – belief that people can improve. – study skills, especially the willingness to practice.
Understanding Group Differences in Test Scores Now, let’s look at: § gender differences. § “racial” differences. § understanding the impact of environment. § within-group differences and between-group differences. § the impact of test bias and stereotype threat on performance.
Male-Female Ability Differences Male/female difference related to overall intelligence test score. Boys are more likely than girls to be at the high or low end of the intelligence test score spectrum.
Male-Female Ability Differences § Girls tend to be better at spelling, locating objects, and detecting emotions. § Girls tend to be more verbally fluent, and more sensitive to touch, taste, and color. § Boys tend to be better at handling spatial reasoning and complex math problems. § It is a myth that boys generally do better in math than girls. Girls do at least as well as boys in overall math performance and especially in math computation.
Ethnic/Racial Differences in Intelligence Test Scores White Americans, on average, have in past decades scored higher on intelligence tests than other groups. Still, as we can see below, it is incorrect to use race as a basis to prejudge the intelligence of an individual. If Blacks scored at IQ 100 on average and members of the Green race scored 85 on average, there are still lots of Greens with higher IQ than the average Black. There are issues test bias and other factors affecting scores for people who are part of minority ethnic and racial groups. But first…
Understanding Group Differences: Within -group vs. Between-group Group differences, including intelligence test score differences between racial groups, can be caused by environmental factors. Below: the difference between groups is caused by poor soil (environment).
The “Racial” Intelligence Test Score Gap § Racial categories are not distinct genetically and are unscientific. § Both “whites” and “blacks” have higher intelligence test scores than “whites” of the 1930 s. § “Whites” may have more access to “fertile soil” for developing their potential, such as: § schools and educational opportunities. § wealth, nutrition, support, and educated mentors. § relative freedom from discrimination.
Two Problems Called “Bias” Test makers must prevent “bias” in the popular sense of the word: making it easier for one group than another to score high on a test. Test makers also strive to prevent the scientific form of bias: making it easier for one group than for another to have their abilities accurately assessed, and their future performance predicted. Are Tests Biased? Let’s use the two definitions: Bias #1: In the popular sense of the word, intelligence tests are often biased. Often, tests have questions which rely on knowledge of “mainstream” culture, which not everyone will be equally familiar with. Bias #2: Aptitude tests seem to predict future achievement equally well for various ethnic groups, and for men and women.
The Effect of Stereotype Threat Study result: Blacks/African-Americans scored higher when tested by Blacks rather than being tested by Whites. Why? Study result: Blacks/African-Americans did worse on intelligence tests when reminded of their racial/ethnic identification right before the test. Why? Study result: Women did worse on math tests than men, except when they are told first that women usually do as well as men on the test. Why?
The Power of Expectations § Stereotype threat: a feeling that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype. § Stereotype threat may interfere with performance by making people use their working memory for worrying instead of thinking. § This worry, then, is self-confirming/fulfilling: worrying about a negative evaluation leads to a negative evaluation.
Issues Related to Intelligence Tests Is discriminating among college or job applicants based on test scores better than discriminating based on appearance? Can test scores be used as Alfred Binet suggested: to identify those who would benefit from educational interventions? Can a person’s worth and potential be summed up in one intelligence test score?
Photo Credits • • Slide 2: Jaimie Duplass/Shutterstock Slide 4: – – • • Slide 8: Dr. Jamin Halberstadt Slide 12: B 2 M Productions/Digital Vision/Getty Images Slide 17: From Mark Jung-Beeman, Northwestern University and John Kounios, Drexel University Slide 26: From “Problem Solving” by M. Scheerer. Copyright © 1963 by Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 41: Life on white / Alamy Slide 42: Ben Chase /The Image Bank/Getty Images Slide 44: – – – • • • From Mark Jung-Beeman, Northwestern University and John Kounios, Drexel University From “Problem Solving” by M. Scheerer. Copyright © 1963 by Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved AP Photo/Neurology/PA Paul Fusco/Magnum Photos Johan Swanepoel/Alamy Slide 56: Paul Fusco/Magnum Photos Slide 67: imagebroker/Alamy Slide 69: Boston Globe/Getty Images Slide 75: Lew Merrim / Science Source Slide 76 & 79: Bettmann/Corbis Slide 81: Lew Merrim / Science Source Slide 86: Ann Baldwin/Shutterstock Slide 88: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes Slide 94: Dennis Mac. Donald/Photo Edit Slide 96: Josef Polleross/The Image Works