The Big Bang Theory “Who’s Smarter, Sheldon or Leonard?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZUVqyrctI4
Describe an Intelligent Person Form a group consisting of 3 or 4 students. Imagine your group is looking for one more member who will give your group the best chance at winning an intelligence competition. Create a list of the characteristics you are looking for in your new member.
Intelligence Test: Build a bridge over the creek with the materials provided
Intelligence Test: Make a profit at the PCC flea market
Defining Intelligence Intelligence in Everyday Life Intelligence involves more than just a particular fixed set of characteristics. Laypersons and experts agree on three clusters of intelligence: –Problem-solving ability –Verbal ability –Social competence
Defining Intelligence A Life-Span View of Intelligence includes four concepts: 1. Multidimensionality: There are many domains of intellectual abilities
Defining Intelligence 2. Multidirectionality: Abilities change over life span, but the pattern of change depends on each ability
Defining Intelligence 3. Plasticity: The ability to modify cognitive functioning and skills over time 4. Interindividual variability: Adults differ in the direction of their intellectual development
Research Approaches to Intelligence The psychometric approach –Measuring intelligence as a score on a standardized test Focus is on getting correct answers. The cognitive-structural approach –Ways in which people conceptualize and solve problems emphasizing developmental changes in modes and styles of thinking
Psychometric Measurement of Intelligence Primary mental abilities - intellectual abilities and their interrelationships that are focused on in the psychometric approach: –Numerical facility—basic math skills and reasoning –Word fluency—production of verbal descriptions –Verbal Meanings—vocabulary –Inductive reasoning—extrapolating from facts to general concepts –Spatial orientation—ability to reason 3-dimensionally –Perceptual Speed—rapid visual processing –Verbal memory—ability to recall language
Age-Related Changes in Primary Abilities Data from Schaie’s Seattle Longitudinal Study of more than 5,000 individuals from 1956 to 1998 in six testing cycles: –People tend to improve on primary abilities until late 30s or early 40s. –Scores stabilize until mid-50s and early 60s. –By late 60s consistent declines are seen. –Nearly everyone shows a decline in one ability, but few show decline on four or five abilities.
Secondary Mental Abilities Secondary Mental Abilities: broad-ranging skills composed of several primary abilities Fluid Intelligence: Abilities that make you a flexible and adaptive thinker, to draw inferences, and relationships between concepts independent of knowledge and experience Crystallized Intelligence: The knowledge acquired through life experience and education in a particular culture
Moderators of Intellectual Change Information processing –Perceptual speed may account for age-related decline. –Working memory decline may account for poor performance of older adults if coordination between old and new information is required.
Moderators of Intellectual Change Social and lifestyle variables –Slower rates in intellectual decline are related to: Gaining skills needed in different occupations Higher education and socioeconomic status A cognitively engaging lifestyle Personality –High levels of fluid abilities and a high sense of internal control lead to positive changes in people’s perception of their abilities.
Moderators of Intellectual Change Health –A connection between disease and intelligence has been established in general and in cardiovascular disease in particular. –The participants in the Seattle Longitudinal Study who declined in inductive reasoning had significantly more illness diagnoses and visits to physicians for cardiovascular disease. –Hypertension is not as clear. Severe HT may indicate decline whereas mild HT may have positive effects on intellectual functioning.
Modifying primary abilities Project ADEPT and Project ACTIVE –Seven year follow-up to the original Project ADEPT showed significant training effects. 64% of trained group’s performance was above the pre- training level compared to 33% of the control group. –Project ACTIVE training slows declines and has reversed 14-year declines in some abilities
Piaget’s Theory: A Cognitive-Structural Approach Basic concepts –Assimilation Use of currently available information to make sense out of incoming information (e.g. zebra=horse with stripes) –Accommodation Changing one’s thoughts to make a better approximation of the world of experience (e.g. zebra=new category of animal)
Piaget’s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor Period –Object permanence: objects exist even when they are out of sight
Piaget’s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development Preoperational Period –Egocentrism: the inability to view the world from another person’s perspective
Piaget’s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development Concrete Operations Period –Classification, conservation, mental reversing
Piaget’s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development Formal Operations Period –Abstract thought
Going Beyond Piaget Postformal Thought—thinking that is characterized by the recognition that: –truth varies from situation to situation –solutions must be realistic to be reasonable –ambiguity and contradiction are the rule rather than the exception –emotion and subjective factors usually play a role in thinking
Wisdom Involves practical knowledge Is given altruistically Involves psychological insights Based on life experience Implicit conceptions of wisdom are widely shared within a culture and include: –Exceptional level of functioning –A dynamic balance between intellect, emotion, and motivation –A high degree of personal and interpersonal competence –Good intentions