psychological attributes: ability, interests, & personality

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  • Psychological Attributes: Ability, Interests, & Personality

  • Attributes and Decision Making

    Certain psychological attributes have been shown to be more relevant for decision making regarding individuals -- but this depends on the nature of the decision. When using psychological attributes in making decisions, it is absolutely vital to match the appropriate attribute with the predicted behavior.

    For example, measures of general intelligence wouldnt be of much use in determining an appropriate psychological treatment.

  • Attributes and Decision Making (cont.)

    All psychological attributes of interest are assumed to be normally distributed.

    Therefore, all psychological attributes should reveal individual differences (used for comparisons).

    This assumption of normal distribution is necessary in order to analyze data with parametric statistics.

  • Fluid Attributes

    Fluid attributes such as mood can change on an hour to hour basis. This instability indicates that moods are not great predictors of future behavior within a particular situation.

    Attitudes and Opinions are also relatively fluid from 18 to 25.

    Personal Values can also change over time.

    The fluidity of the above attributes makes them less than optimal predictors of important behaviors

  • Stable Attributes Stable attributes are essential in making long term predictions. e.g., Adult Intelligence

    Intelligence, although relatively fluid at an early age, is relatively stable across the majority of adult years.

    Researchers believe that an individuals personality is basically set by age 5.

    Broad classes of Interest are also relatively stable. Due to the relative stability of measures of ability, interest, and personality, these three areas are the primary focus of people using psychological tests to predict future behavior.

  • What is Intelligence? Intelligence is a construct (i.e, concrete observational entities), not a concrete object. Researchers disagree on what the definition of intelligence should be.

    Although we may not be able to definitively answer what intelligence is, we can list behaviors which we feel represent some level of intelligence. For Example:- Crossing a busy street without looking both ways. - Being able to solve a Rubiks cube- Being able to get a super low airfare on Additionally, none of these behaviors alone can be said to represent the entire range of intelligent behavior.

  • What is Intelligence (cont.)?

    Scientists believe that intelligence is a valid and useful construct for two reasons :

    First, a wide variety of mental processing tasks show systematic individual variation. An individual who performs well on one measure of cognitive ability, will likely perform well on other measures of mental processing.

    Second, this construct is related to success in a wide variety of life tasks : school performance, training programs, and work behaviors. So, since intelligence does exhibit consistent individual differences and can be used to predict performance in a number of important areas.

  • What is Intelligence (cont.)?

    Although experts differ on an exact definition of intelligence most agree that intelligent behavior has at least two components:

    1. The ability to learn from experience.

    2. The ability to adapt to the surrounding environment.

  • Definition of Intelligence(1) The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (Webster's) The cognitive abilities of an individual to learn from experience, to reason well, and to cope effectively with the demands of daily living.

  • History of Intelligence

    - Relatively modern phenomenon - not until 1890

    - Before 1900, psychologists were not able distinguish intelligence from other human characteristics

    - Early development of theories of intelligence and test construction started in England & France.

    - Galton & Cattell looked at individual differences - i.e., reaction time, measures of strength

    - Classification of mentally retarded - treatment was inhumane.

  • History of Intelligence (cont.)

    - Binet was commissioned by Ministry of Public Instruction to construct a test that differentiates children with learning disabilities from non-learning disabled children.

    - Binet-Simon scale was created and contained 30 items arranged in order of difficulty.

    - Most items called for the use of language, reasoning, or comprehension.

    - Binet-Simon scale was revised by Terman (1916) and renamed Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test - the term IQ is born.

  • History of Intelligence (cont.)Sir Francis Galton Charles Spearman Louis Thurstone General factor (g)J. P. GuilfordHoward Gardner

  • The Biological Basis of IntelligenceGalton (1822-1911) - view of intelligence is that it is a single general factor that is the basis.

    G factorA greater ability to form neural connections which leads to a better general intellectual performance(i.e. if we are generally intelligent, we are more likely to develop strong mechanical, musical, artistic, and other kinds of ability)

    Brain can process information more quickly Better able to learn from experience

  • Two Factor Theory of Intelligence

    Spearman observed that an individuals scores on any two cognitively demanding tasks were positively correlated. This led him to believe that a general intellectual factor (g), was responsible for this correlation. Basically His Idea Was:Different types of problems require different types of abilities. For example, the abilities needed to fix a car are at least somewhat different from the abilities needed to do a geometric proof in math class. But, all types of problems require an ability to see relationships between things and to manipulate those relationships. All types of problems require g. So performance on all tasks are determined by a general factor (g) which determines the ability to see relationships and manipulate those relationships and more specific factors (s)

  • Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence Crystallized Intelligence - an individuals acquired set of knowledge and skills.

    In cognitive psychology, crystallized intelligence is further divided into: Declarative Knowledge: Fact based information Procedural Knowledge: How to do things.

    Fluid and Crystallized intelligence measures are correlated, but distinct

    Cattell (1963) agreed with Spearman but argued that g was made up of two types of general intelligence: Fluid Intelligence - the ability to see relationships, i.e. analogies and number and digit series completion. For example : 2 4 8 16 ___

  • Grouping Factors of Intelligence

    Thurstone didnt believe that the g factor could explain all variation across cognitive tests.

    Thurstone theorized that there were common group factors present in different classes of tests. For example, a reading comprehension test and a vocabulary test show greater correlation than do a reading comprehension test and a measure of numerical ability.

    These group factors are independent of one another, but still related to g.

  • Grouping Factors of Intelligence (cont.)

    Thurstone hypothesized seven primary mental abilities, which together combined to create g:

    1. Verbal Comprehension - vocabulary, reading, verbal analogies 2. Word Fluency --- anagrams, rhyming tests 3. Number -- mathematical operations 4. Space - spatial visualizations and mental transformation. 5. Associative Memory -- rote memory 6. Perceptual Speed -- quickness in noticing similarities and differences 7. Reasoning - skill in inductive, deductive, and math problems

  • Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligence7 Independent Types of IntelligenceLinguistic (verbal)Logical-mathematicalMusicalSpatial (artistic)Kinesthetic (athletic)Interpersonal (social skills)Intrapersonal (personal adjustment)Howard Gardiner argues that there are really many different and independent types of intelligences. He suggests that people may be very good at some of these skills, while not at others.

  • Gardners Seven Intelligences

  • Gardners Seven Intelligences

  • Measures of Intelligence - Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - The Wechsler ScalesGroup TestsArmy Alpha : consisted of 8 subtests measuring verbal, numerical, & reasoning abilities.

    Army Beta : equivalent non-verbal test and used pictorials & nonverbal instructionIndividual Intelligence Tests

  • Stanford-Binet Measure of Intelligence- Students who were not succeeding in school were being placed in schools for the mentally retarded. But some of these students were not mentally retarded at all, but were not succeeding in school for other reasons. So

    - Binet's job was to come up with a test that would distinguish between those two groups of students.

    - Binet's test was later adapted in the United States by Lewis Terman at Stanford University. Hence the test is now known as the Stanford/Binet Test. It includes questions testing vocabulary knowledge, comprehension, recognition of absurdities, the ability to reproduce visual patterns etc.

  • The Wechsler ScalesThe most common current intelligence test is the Weschler Intelligence test. There are different Weschler tests for different age groups. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) The Weschler tests g


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