General Intelligence Versus Multiple Intelligences&nbspResearch Paper

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The Concept of Intelligence in Psychology:

General Intelligence versus Multiple Intelligences

Perhaps no more polarizing concept exists than that of intelligence in psychology. Quantifying intelligence is an emotional, not simply a scientific issue. The idea of whether nature or nurture influences a persons intelligence also has political and social, as well as academic ramifications. But because the idea of intelligence is thought to be useful for educational and vocational guidance, the attempt to do so in a meaningful way continues

The Development of the Stanford-Binet Test

As noted by Becker (2003), the original version of what is now thought of as the Stanford-Binet test was developed within the French school system, not to quantify intelligence, but merely to determine if a child was too developmentally deficient to be able to benefit from schooling. It did quantify degrees of what was called retardation at the beginning of the 20th century, but not degrees of exceptional ability (Becker, 2003). Later, the American Lewis Terman in 1916 began to craft a more systematic version of the French intelligence test, generating the scoring system which is now well known, in which performance was translated directly into mental age (Becker, 2003). In other words, a child might be said to have a mental age of seven, even though the child was ten years old, versus a ten-year-old child with a mental age of twelve. This score of translating a childs mental age is no longer used in practice (Becker, 2003).

The original forms of this intelligence test were also adaptive in nature. Long before the generation of computer-adaptive tests, the trained examiner was supposed to adapt questions to the respondents answers. Examinees experienced a variety of items that changed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Definitions, for example, went from concrete words to abstract words to the comparison of abstract words (Becker, 2003, p.3). Verbal items strongly predominated on the test until the mid-1980s, in response to concerns raised about cultural biases. Until the 1980s, the test also purported to measure a construct called general intelligence, which is still a controversial notion.

General Intelligence (the G-Factor)

General intelligence, often known as the g-factor, suggests that there is a generalizable intelligence quality that can be measured cross-culturally, spanning through all disciplines. This general mental ability is what underlies specific mental skills related to areas such as

The Stanford-Binet test, although it consists of different components, attempts to measure this g-factor, and some research indicates that it is strongly associated with success in school and in the workforce (Cherry, 2021). Fluid reasoning, working memory, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, and visual and spatial reasoning capacity were all part of this general intelligence (Cherry, 2021).

Gardners Multiple Intelligences

As the g-factor was debated within the discipline of psychometrics, challenges to the Stanford-Binet conception began to arise. One of the most influential is that of Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligence theory. It should be stressed that Gardners theory is not the same as the largely debunked learning styles (Howard Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 2020). Regardless of ones intelligence in different areas, it is possible to learn in different ways. In fact, Gardner was quite adamant that teachers use different approaches using all the different intelligences encompassed in his theory, regardless of the composition of the class. Gardner argued tests used to assess general intelligence were extremely limited in their approach and excluded certain aspects of intelligence which were valuable in school, life, and the workplace, and also that having strengths in one area of intelligence did not automatically result in strengths in other areas.

On some basic level, this seems to resonate with what most people assume intuitively. Simply because someone is a great accountant does not necessarily mean that person can effectively analyze Hamlet. But Gardners intention was not to validate what can lead t prejudices in favor of stereotyping certain people (as…

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