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Assessing Intelligence

The Dynamics of
By: Amy Oh, Julie Han, Eunice Ki, Hannah
Schoenberg, Catherine Ramirez

The Origins of Intelligence Testing

(Objective 8)

Intelligence testing- a method for assessing an individuals mental aptitudes and comparing
them with those of others, using numerical scores

Alfred Binet

Frances minister of public education

With his collaborator, Thodore Simon, he began

by thinking that all children follow the same
course of intelligence

set out to measure what came to be mental age

(the chronological age typical of a given level of
performance). He hoped his test will help predict
French school childrens future progress.
An IQ score, on the other hand, depends not
only on processing ability but on what one has
been taught. (Article)

Lewis Terman

He extended Binets test by establishing

American norms--called the Stanford-Binet, the
American revised Intelligence Test

believed intelligence is inherited

Terman expected the test to encourage only

smart and fit people to reproduce, eliminating
the incompetent population
-William Stern created the Intelligence
Quotient (the ratio of mental age to
chronological age multiplied by 100) from
Termans tests.
IQ scores, by
convention, are based on how much one knows
relative to one's age peers. (A)

Modern Tests for Mental Abilities

(Objective 9)

aptitude test: a test designed to predict a persons future performance; aptitude

is the capacity to learn

achievement test: a test designed to assess what a person has learned

David Wechsler created the most widely used intelligence test, the Wechsler
Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

Determines separate scores: verbal comprehension, perceptual organization,

working memory, and processing speed

Wechsler later created the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) for
preschool children

The SAT is an aptitude test

Principles of Test Construction (Objective 10)

Lewis Terman and his colleagues recognized his ideas

by standardization, the process of defining
meaningful scores relative to a pretested group.

Standardization usually forms a normal distribution, a

bell-shaped pattern of scores that forms the normal
curve. The bell shape is clustered around the
average and increasingly fewer are distributed at the

Intelligence test scores form this type of curve, but in the past 6 decades, the average score
rose by 27 points--phenomenon called the Flynn effect
given that college entrance aptitude scores were dropping in the 60s and 70s,
intelligence test performance has been improving


In order for a test to be good, it has

to hold reliably consistent scores.
To check its reliability, researchers
retest people using the same test,
another form of it, or two halves of
the test. If the two scores correlate,
the test is reliable.
A test can be reliable but not valid.

(Objectives 11 and 12)

validity-the extent to which the test
measures/predicts what it is supposed
content validity-the extent to which a
test samples relative behavior (for
example, a driving test measures
driving ability)
predictive validity-how much the test
predicts a behavior that it is made to
predict (aptitude tests are designed to
have the predictive ability of predicting
future achievements).
The measure used to predict
predictive validity is the criterion

Stability and Changes

(Objective 13)

Before age 3, casual observation and intelligence tests dont predict


Childrens performance on intelligence tests predict their adolescent

and adult score by age 4

By age 7, intelligence tests stabilize

The consistency of scores over time increases with the age of the child

Being born before or after a particular date may have a great deal to
do with whether a child is in the fourth or the fifth grade by the age 10
and, consequently, with how much the child has been taught by the age
of 10 (Article)

Depending on the amount of information acquired by grade level,

intelligence and IQ scores differ greatly.

Extremes of Intelligence
The Low Extremes

(0bjective 14)

The High Extremes

To have mental retardation, a child must

have a low test score and difficulty adapting

Students with high extremes tend to be

healthy, well-adjusted, and unusually
successful academically

Down Syndrome (disorder of varying

severity caused by an extra chromosome
21) is a physical cause of mental retardation

These children eventually grow up to

be doctors, lawyers, professors,
scientists, and writers

With conventional IQ tests, 3 to 6 years

must typically pass before retardation in
the 50-70 IQ range can be diagnosed--an IQ
range encompassing almost 90% of
retarded children. (Article)
The Fagan test is now in use in over 200
research centers around the world.

However, critics note that tracking by

aptitude creates a self-fulfilling
prophecy, creating a greater
achievement gap between the gifted
students and the others