Scores from standardized tests tell us how we perform.
It is almost unimaginable that there was a time when people's mental abilities were not measured and tested.
Francis Galton was a pioneer in the study of human intelligence and testing, who started the use of surveys for collecting data.
What makes for a good test, how to interpret your scores on such tests, and what different kinds of tests exist will be reviewed in this chapter.
Intelligence is one of the most tested characteristics.
When we say that a test is standardized, we mean that the test items have been piloted on a similar population of people as those who are meant to take the test and that achievement norms have been established.
The SAT is a test that many of you are familiar with.
When you take the SAT, you take an experimental section, where you will not be evaluated.
The Educational Testing Service is trying to standardize its future exams.
The population of people taking the SAT is fairly representative of those taking the test on a particular date.
The standardization sample is a group of people.
The psychometricians use the performance of the standardization sample on the experimental sections to choose items for future tests.
The purpose of the tests is to distinguish between people.
In order to test questions that virtually everyone answers correctly, the questions that no one can answer should be discarded.
Information that differentiates between the people taking the test is not provided by such items.
The questions on the SAT are arranged in order of difficulty.
The performance of the sample determines the difficulty level of the questions.
A fair comparison between one person's score on the November SAT with another's on the May SAT is possible if this process of standardization yields equivalent exams.
To have any faith in the meaning of a test score, we need to believe the test is reliable and valid.
You might question the reliability of the test if you were to take it three times and get different recommendations.
If you scored 115, 92, and 133 on the same IQ test, you wouldn't have a reason to believe it was accurate.
There are many ways to measure the reliability of a test.
Split-half reliability involves randomly dividing a test into two different sections and then comparing people's performances on the two halves.
The greater the split-half reliability of the test, the closer the correlation coefficients is to +.
There are many tests available.
equivalent-form reliability is the correlation between performance on different forms of the test.
When the test measures what it is supposed to measure, it is valid.
The accuracy of a test is called validity.
A personality test is valid if it measures an individual's personality and career inventory is valid if it measures what jobs a person is best suited for.
An important point is that a test cannot be valid if it is unreliable.
It is clear that the career inventory does not reflect a person's interests or strengths.
A test may not be valid.
The test is not a valid measure of a person's interest if they don't like to cook.
A number of different kinds of validity exist.
If you are looking for a chef but not a doctor, you should take a cake-baking ability test.
Content validity is a type of face validity.
Content validity is how well a measure reflects the entire range of material it is supposed to be testing.
A test that required someone to create an entree and whip up a salad dressing in addition to baking a cake would have greater validity.
criterion-related validity is another type of validity.
There are two types of validity, concurrent and predictive.
It is important to know the terms reliability and validity.
The general population uses these two terms in different ways.
The most meaningful kind of validity is the construct validity.
If an independent measure exists to identify those who will make fine chefs and love their work, we can correlate prospective chefs' performance on that measure with their performance on any new measure.
The higher the correlation, the more validity the new measure has.
The difficulty in creating any measure that we believe is valid in the first place is the limitation.
There are two types of tests.
The ability or potential is measured by the achievement tests.
The intelligence test is supposed to be an aptitude test.
The tests are made to show someone's potential, not their current level of achievement.
Most of the tests you take in school are supposed to be achievement tests.
They are supposed to show how much you have learned.
It is almost impossible to make a test that only measures one of these qualities.
One's experience affects one's aptitude for a particular field or skill.
Someone who has had a lot of education will score better on a test of mathematics aptitude than someone who has never had any formal training in math.
Two people who have achieved the same in biology will not score the same on an achievement test.
She or he will likely outscore the other if they have more test-taking ability.
Even though it is impossible to create a pure achievement test, tests that purport to measure ability or potential are more important than achievement tests that measure how much a person has learned.
It is possible to distinguish between power and speed tests.
A lot of questions are asked in a short amount of time for a speed test.
The goal of a speed test is to see how fast a person can solve a problem.
The amount of time allotted should not be enough to complete the problems.
A power test is used to gauge the difficulty of problems an individual can solve.
There are items of increasing difficulty in power tests.
Since the goal is to determine the ceiling difficulty level, not their problem-solving speed, examinees are given enough time to work through as many problems as they can.
Some tests are group tests while others are individual tests.
Group tests are given to a large number of people.
The people taking the test are not interacting with the examiner.
Instructions are given to the group and people are given a certain amount of time to complete the test.
Group tests are more objective than individual tests and are less expensive to administer.
The examiner and examinee interact more in individual tests.
Individual tests are some of the IQ tests that will be discussed later in this chapter.
The Rorschach inkblot test is an individual test.
The examiner looks at the process by which the person analyzes the stimuli and what the person says about them.
Intelligence is a term that is hard to define.
Intelligence is the ability to gather and use information in productive ways.
Nothing that approaches a consensus has been achieved so we will not present a correct definition of intelligence.
Brief summaries of some of the most popular theories of intelligence will be presented.
There are two types of intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.
Our ability to solve abstract problems and pick up new information and skills are referred to as fluid intelligence.
As adults age, fluid intelligence seems to decrease, but research shows that it may even increase.
A 20-year-old may be able to learn a computer language more quickly than a 60-year-old, but the older person may have an advantage on a vocabulary test or an exercise dependent upon wisdom.
Intelligence refers to a single ability, a small group of abilities, or a wide variety of abilities.
Charles Spearman said intelligence could be expressed by a single factor.
He used factor analysis, a statistical technique that measures the correlations between different items, to conclude that underlying the many different specific abilities that people regard as types of intelligence is a single factor.
Howard is a fan of the idea of multiple intelligences.
The kinds of intelligences that this researcher has named encompass a large range of human behavior.
The three intelligences that fall within the bounds of intelligences arelinguistic, logical-mathematical, and spatial.
To that list has been added musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and naturalist intelligence.
He is trying to name others.
Musical intelligence includes the ability to play an instrument or compose a symphony.
A dancer or athlete would have more intelligence than a hunter.
One's ability to understand oneself is called personal intelligence.
People who are able to persist without becoming discouraged or who can differentiate between situations in which they will be successful and those that will simply frustrate them have intelligence.
Interpersonal intelligence is related to a person's ability to get along with others.
A lot of successful people are psychologists, teachers, and salespeople.
Natural intelligence is found in people who recognize and organize things in the natural environment.
People who are successful in fields such as biology and ecology.
There has been a lot of discussion about emotional intelligence.
Daniel Goleman is one of the main proponents.
It's roughly in line with Gardner's notions of personal and professional intelligence.
The people with the highest IQs are not the most successful people according to researchers.
They say that IQ and EQ are needed to succeed.
Another researcher who has offered a different definition of intelligence is Robert Sternberg.
According to the triarchic theory, there are three types of intelligence.
The skills traditionally thought of as reflecting intelligence include componential or analytic intelligence.
Intelligence is the ability to compare and contrast, explain, and analyze, which is what most of what we are asked to do in school.
Experiential or creative intelligence focuses on people's ability to use their knowledge and experiences in new and innovative ways.
Someone with this type of intelligence might prefer to come up with his or her own theory of intelligence, rather than comparing the different definitions of intelligence that others have offered.
The third kind of intelligence is contextual or practical intelligence.
People with this type of intelligence are street-smart, they are able to apply what they know to real-world situations.
Intelligence is an ability or collection of things that one does not have, according to the other theories of intelligence discussed above.
What is intelligent behavior depends on the situation in which it occurs.
An intelligence test is difficult if intelligence depends on context.
The most common intelligence tests use the view of intelligence as ability based.
The debate over intelligence makes it difficult to make an assessment.
There are two widely used tests of intelligence.
Alfred Binet was a Frenchman who wanted to design a test that would identify which children needed special attention.
He wanted to improve the children's education by finding a way to tailor it to their specific needs.
Binet came up with the idea of mental age, which states that intelligence increases as one gets older.
The average child has a mental age of 10.
The average child will have a mental age of 12 when they grow up.
Binet used this method to create a test that would identify children who lag behind most of their peers, were in step with their peers, and were ahead of their peers.
Binet used the method described in this chapter to create a standardized test.
He created a test to differentiate between children functioning at different levels after administering questions to a sample.
The measure we know as IQ was created by Louis Terman, a professor at the university.
IQ stands for intelligence quotient.
A person's IQ score is calculated by dividing their mental age by their chronological age and then adding 100.
The child described above has an IQ of 100.
A child with a mental age of 10 would have an IQ of 150.
How it deals with adults is a frequently asked question.
Terman assigned all adults an arbitrary age.
David Wechsler used a different method to measure intelligence.
It is still known as an IQ test even though it does not involve finding a quotient.
There are three different Wechsler tests.
The Wechsler adult intelligence scale (WAIS) is used in testing adults, the Wechsler intelligence scale for children (WISC) is given to children between the ages of six and 16, and the Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence (WPPSI) can be The deviation IQ is what the Wechsler tests yield.
The tests are standardized so that the mean is 100, the standard deviation is 15 and the scores form a normal distribution.
Almost all of the scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean, 95 percent fall within two standard deviations of the mean, and 98 to 99 percent fall within three standard deviations of the mean.
People's scores are determined by how many standard deviations they fall away from.
Peter who scores at the 15.87th percentile falls at one standard deviation below the mean and is assigned a score of 85, while Juanita who scores at the 97.72nd percentile has scored two standard deviations above the mean and has scored 130.
Most people don't fall one or two standard deviations above the mean.
Less obvious mathematical calculations are required when using such an example.
The "Statistics" section in Chapter 2 is where you can find more information on the normal curve.
The Wechsler tests result in scores on a number of subscales as well as a total IQ score, and they use a variety of different kinds of questions to yield a single IQ score.
The WAIS has 11 subscales.
A verbal IQ score is produced by six of them.
Performance IQ is indicated by five.
The kinds of questions used to measure verbal IQ ask people to define words, solve mathematical word problems, and explain ways in which different items are similar.
duplicating a pattern with blocks is one of the tasks on the performance section.
Learning disabilities can be identified by differences between a person's score on the verbal and performance sections of the exam.
There is a lot of discussion about whether the SAT is biased against certain groups.
The tests have the same validity for all groups despite the fact that different races and sexes may score differently.
In other words, SAT scores are equally good predictors of college grades for both sexes and for different racial groups and thus, in a sense, the test is not biased.
The tests and college grades are biased in a fundamental way according to other researchers.
The white, middle, and upper class seem to have advantages.
The experiences of other cultural groups seem to work against them on these tests.
The writers of the test assume that the members of these groups have or believe they have experience with, but they may not have been exposed to it.
The tests may be flawed and biased if they are supposed to identify academic potential.
One of the most difficult and controversial issues in psychology is sorting out the effects of nature and nurture.
Nature and nurture both stress the importance of the environment and learning.
Intelligence is one of the more controversial aspects of the nature-nurture debate.
Nature and nurture affect human intelligence.
Genetic and environmental factors play a role in intelligence.
Heritability is an important term used in discussing the effects of nature and nurture.
Heritability is how much of a trait's variation is explained by genetic factors.
Heritability can range from 0 to 1, where 0 indicates that the environment is responsible for differences in the trait and 1 means that all of the variation in the trait can be accounted for genetically.
It's important to point out that heritability doesn't apply to an individual but to a population.
The heritability ratio won't tell us how much of a person's intelligence was determined by nature or nurture.
We can't ethically set up a controlled experiment to provide definitive answers to this question, so we can't solve it once and for all.
The Flynn effect is a finding that shows the increasing performance on intelligence tests.
Environmental factors such as nutrition, education, and television and video games are thought to play a role in intelligence.
Twins who share 100 percent of their genetic material score better on intelligence tests than twins who have only 50 percent of their genes in common.
Monozygotic twins tend to be treated the same as dizygotic twins, according to some researchers.
There are correlations in intelligence scores between identical twins separated at birth.
It is difficult to discern the relative effects of nature and nurture when the twins are placed into similar environments.
If each of the twins is placed into a white, middle-class, suburban home, concluding that all their similarities are genetically based does not make sense.
Some researchers argue that intelligence is largely determined by genetics.
The majority of psychologists believe that the racial differences are more likely explained by differences in environments.
African Americans tend to score less on IQ tests than whites.
Many researchers believe that the main cause of the disparity in test scores is the poverty level of the minority population.
The gap in test scores may be contributed to by test bias.
Head Start, a government program meant to help poor people, has been shown to correlate with higher scores on intelligence tests.
Opponents of such programs say that the gains are limited.
It is unreasonable for advocates of such interventions to expect the gains to last.
When comparing groups of people on any characteristic, keep in mind that differences within groups tend to dwarf differences between groups.
In other words, any one group will be more diverse than any other.
More of a difference will exist between the highest scoring boy and the lowest scoring boy than between the average boy and the average girl if we find that boys perform better on certain tests than girls do.
Knowing that boys generally perform better than girls on this test tells us nothing about the performance of any particular girl.
We need to be careful about how we use the information.
We should evaluate each person as an individual, regardless of group membership.
Between-group differences are smaller than within-group differences.
It is said that we live in a testing society.
We like to measure things and assign them a number.
Keeping in mind the limitations and extraordinary labeling power of these instruments is important.
Many factors affect people's performances on tests, and the definition of intelligence is still being debated.
We need to be careful not to say too much about a test score.
Many schools have stopped measuring all their students' IQs.
Schools that used to base admission to programs for exceptional children solely on these tests now gather information in other ways as well.
When IQ tests are given, the results remain confidential so as not to create expectations about how people should perform.
Well-designed tests can be useful, but we must recognize their limitations.
Five suggested answers or completions are followed by each of the questions or incomplete statements.
Pick the one that is the best.
Paul took a test in the army to see if he would be a good pilot.
Mrs. Cho is careful to make sure that she does not plagiarize the entire year's work on the final exam for her American literature class.
Mary is very popular and outgoing despite her low score on the personality test.
He has a mental age of 10 and is 8 years old.
Nature is more important than nurture in shaping personality according to Desmond.