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How can intelligence be tested? Critically evaluate the underlying assumptions of intelligence tests.

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Introduction

How can intelligence be tested? Critically evaluate the underlying assumptions of intelligence tests. Intelligence is a very controversial. It is seen as an obsession in daily life and focuses on certain types of intelligence. Francis Galton was the first person to design a 'mental' test. Galton believed that an individual's mental ability could be determined through the deviation of their performance on a simple test to the mean. He believed that the greater a person's sensory perception the more intelligence they had. However, Galton never produced a theory about intelligence testing, but paved the way for other psychologists to produce theories and tests. Spearman's (1904) theory suggested that intelligence was an innate, inherited quality. He suggested that there were two main factors that determined a person's intelligence; these were general intelligence, needed to perform all tasks and specific intelligence, which is needed to perform specific tasks .i.e., most people can drink out of some sort of cup, this needs general intelligence, however, not all people can sing in tune, this is specific intelligence. Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon (Simon and Binet, 1905) produced the first form of modern intelligence testing in 1905. ...read more.

Middle

For example if the I.Q scores were not created to produce approximately the same scores for both males and females we may be able to see why females are currently doing better academically than males. Therefore, this could limit the efficiency of I.Q testing through either historically suggesting that women were inferior to men through their lower I.Q. scores, or through influencing the tests to create equal results for both males and females. It is difficult to say whether the tests were gender bias or whether the psychologists behind the changes to the tests did this to provide unbiased results through positive discrimination towards women. Another criticism of the I.Q. tests that there is an average 10-15 point difference between the 'White European' average and the 'Afro- Caribbean' average, (Brody, (1992) Fagan & Singer (1983) Peoples, Fagan & Drotar, 1995); (Neisser et al 1996) Heather, (1976) suggests that this difference can be reduced through changing the questions to suit a more mixed ethnic group of participants. However, it was suggested that this would affect the test's 'Predictive Validity'. By changing the tests to reduce the racial differences, but without changing the social inequalities within our society would only create a more ineffective test. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, research carried out by the mixed-race adoption studies (Scarr & Weinberg, 198) Weinberg, Scarr and Waldman (1992) suggest that African children adopted shortly after birth have only a slightly lower I.Q. score than 'white ' children adopted into the same family. They suggested that it is the teaching of children that affects their I.Q. scores. Schools are designed to teach children a particular form of intellectual activities, where are minority cultures including African raise their children with emphasis on different type of intellectual activities not covered in I.Q. tests. Stevenson and Lee (1990) suggest that it is the cultural beliefs that affect I.Q scores. Within Asian cultures, they do not believe in innate abilities, but focusing on encouragement and hard work. They suggest this is the reason why Asians achieve better I.Q. scores that cultures that focus more on natural abilities. Although the I.Q. tests seem to favour the 'white Europeans' over other ethnic minorities, it is actually the Chinese and Japanese children who consistently perform better on I.Q. tests. (Geary, Bow-Thomas, Fan & Siegler (1993) Stevenson et al, (1990): sue & Okazaki, 1990) Therefore, there is evidence that I.Q. test do not cater for children who are brought up in ethnic minority cultures, especially Africans. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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