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What is Intelligence? Definitions, Theories and IQ Testing

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Original Student Questions:

What is intelligence?
Compare the early and contemporary theories of intelligences?
How do we measure intelligence?
What are the characteristics of a good intelligence test?

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The definition of intelligence is an open and hotly debated question. To start off, it is important to distinguish between a functional or 'operational' definition which is required by in any experimental investigation of this topic, and the actual various meaning of intelligence. An operational definition, precise definition used experimentally, must be clear and ultimately quantifiable in some sense in order for it to have any value.

The most common general definition of intelligence is the ability to show flexible, personally beneficial, adaptive behaviour. This is a very general definition and ultimately it begs the question of what abilities and even traits form the basis of intelligent behaviour in humans. It also inevitably raises the issue of how socially defined perceptions of intelligence are since every society has varying measures of success and what constitutes successful adaptive behaviour. These answer to these issues is open to debate and therefore any possible measure that claims to capture even some aspect of human intelligence will hotly ...

Solution Summary

Following questions are discussed in detail:

What is intelligence?
Compare and contrast early and contemporary theories on intelligence.
How is intelligence measured?
What are the main characteristics of a good intelligence test?

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Intelligence Definition and Measurement

I need help selecting two assessments of intelligence and two achievement tests.

I need to addressing the following:

- Critique the major definitions of intelligence.
- Determine which theory of intelligence best fits your selected instruments. Explain how the definition and the measures are related.
- Evaluate the measures of intelligence you selected for reliability, validity, normative procedures, and bias.
- Compare and contrast your selected intelligence and achievement assessments. How are the goals of the tests similar and different? How are the tests used? What are the purposes of giving these differing tests?
- Examine the ethical considerations associated with achievement and intelligence tests in education.

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