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Intelligence & Its Measurement


7.0 Intelligence and Its Measurement

Meaning of Intelligence :- “Intelligence is the aggregate or global capacity of an individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment.”

General characteristics of Intelligence : - imitating, talking ability, numerical ability, transfer of knowledge, environmental adjustment, language ability, learning ability, implicating, global, effective, number, creativeness and evaluation ability.

7.1 Theories of Intelligence

Theories of Intelligence:-

(1) Unitary or Monarchic Theory : - Ross says that, intelligence is inborn and innate. This theory accepted intelligence as a part of body. This is a central point which generates all the mental activities.
(2) The Two Factor Theory (Electic Theory) :- Spearman propogated this theory. According to him, there are two elements in intelligence - (i) general ability (ii) specific ability. General ability is applied in every intellectual activity, and it differs from individual to individual, since very individual differs from another from the viewpoint of mental qualities. As far as specific ability is concerned, it too, differs from individual to individual. It makes its contribution to the individual’s personal development and to the development of concepts.
(3) Multi-Factor Theory:- According to the theory, propogated by Thomdike, there is no such element as a general factor in intelligence. Intelligence is a compound of many factors, because any mental activity is performed by the collective functioning of many factors. It is for this reason that corelation can be found into mental tests.
Thomdike has sought to throw light on the nature of intelligence on the basis of theory of stimulus - response. His view is that the experiences, between which the relationship of stimulus and response is established, help the individual to solve similar problems in the future.
(4) Group Factor Theory :- It is held in this theory propounded by Thurston that intelligence is a collectivity, congregation, aggregate of many factors, which he calls the group factors : -

1. Primary factors - According to Thurston, the primary factors in intelligence are the following :
(i) Number - The ability related to numbers helps in solving numerical or mathematical problems.
(ii) Verbal compherension - This is helpful in the development of logical thinking, scholarly studies, knowledge of words, etc.
(iii) Space - This is essential for the perception of differences and distances, etc.
(iv) Word fluency - As a result of this ability, students develop capacity in the use of language,
(v) Reasoning - Though the medium of this ability, the student’s capacity of reasoning is tested.
(vi) Rote .nemory - This indicates the individual’s capacity for rote learning,
(vii) Perception

2. Secondary factors- This class included the following factors :
(i) Spatial ability - This is of use in discovering the special relations between objects.
(ii) Perceptual speed - This manifests the individual’s speed in understanding an object or seeing it, observing its similarity to other objects and comprehending its difference to other objects.
(iii) Associative memory - The ability to remember two associated experiences falls in the sphere of this ability.
(iv) Problem solving - In the context of this ability, the individual’s ability to solve new problem is tested.


7.2 Types of Intelligence :-
1. Abstract Intelligence :- The function of abstract intelligence is to solve subtle or abstract questions through
reasoning and reflection. It brings the maximum possible clarity to concepts related to specific problems and
experiences. Poets, men of literature, artists and others express their feelings through the use of this form of
intelligence. This form of intelligence makes extensive use of words, numbers and symbols. It is the process of
learning lessons or classroom materials : it is also the process of solving problems involving the use of words or
symbols. It is for the reason that the ability to express one’s thoughts is provided by the abstract intelligence
through the medium of words and symbols. The development of abstract intelligence is very important in the
school where such subjects as reading, mathematics, geography, history etc; are taught.

2. Concrete Intelligence :- Concrete-

intelligence comes into play in the comprehending objects and then responding
to fhem or performing activities related to them. The term “mechanical intelligence” and “motor intelligence” has
also been used for this kind of intelligence.
3. Social Intelligence :- Social intelligence is that part of the individual’s mental ability which generates in him the
capacity to adapt himself to society.

7.3 Intelligence Quotient

Intelligence Quotient:- It was in 1908 that Binet and Simon introduced the concept of mental age, as something distinct from chronological age. As Sorenson has pointed out, “Mental Age (M.A.) is determined by use of mental or intelligence tests. The average score for children of any chronological age indicated level or levels of mental development.” 
In simple terms, mental age can be determined in the following manner. If a child age eight years can solve the questions in an intelligence test intended for ten-year old children, then his mental age be taken to be ten.
However, there were obvious possibilities of errors in the calculation of mental age. Hence, psychologists proposed the concept of Intelligence Quotient. The formula for finding out intelligence quotient the following :
If it is assumed that a child’s chronological age is 12 years, and if it is further assumed that he can take intelligence test meant for 15 year old child, then, according to the formulas, his IQ will be calculated thus :
The intelligence quotient throws light upon the mutual correlation between mental age and chronologcial age, and hence, it indicates the rate of progress of the individual. It should be noted that a child’s I.Q. does not remain the same throughout his life, because mental age develops as the individual’s chronological age increases.
Terman and Merill conducted tests on 3184 students and classified I.Q. in the following manner:-
                   Terman - Merit test result of I.O.
I.Q. Span                      Description                       Percentage
Above140                         Genius                             0.5
130-139                        Very Superior                       3.0
120-129                           Superior                           7.0
110-119                            Bright                             14.0
100-109                        High Normal                         25.0
90-99                            Low Normal                         25.0
80-89                                 Dull                               14.0
70-79                               Inferior                            7.0
60-69                          Feebel - minded                     0.5

7.4 Types of Intelligence Test

Type of Intelligence Tests :- Generally speaking, intelligence tests are divided into the following three types or categories :
1. Individual Intelligence Tests :- As the name itself suggests, these tests are applied to individual one at a time. The greatest virtue of this kind of test is that its conclusions are reliable because the psychologist gets an opportunity to take a close look at the qualities of the subject.
2. Group Intelligence Tests :- The American government used the services of psychologists to construct the Army Alpha and Army Beta intelligence tests to evaluate the intelligence of soldiers. These two tests were designed for literate and illiterate individuals respectively. At the same time, the AGCT and the NGCT tests were also constructed. Besides, the California Mental Maturity Tests and the Terman MacKinner Mental Ability Tests were also construced.
3. Performance Tests :- All the tests evolved upto the year 1911 involved the use of language, and hence they could not apply to deaf, mutes or children belonging to foreign countries and ignorant of the language in which the testwas being administered. In view of this shortcoming, Healy evolved a performance tests in 1911, which becomes famous by the name of the Binet Simon Scale. Freeman has throw light on the nature of performance tests in the following words: “A performance scale is one in which language is used only for instructions or not at all, when directions are given in pantomine.”


As the name itself indicates, in a test of this kind, the subjects is required to do something with some given concrete objects and through analysis of the result obtained, the psychologist studies the subject’s intelligence and ability. These tests are used in conjunction with general intelligence tests. The figure given here provides an example of an Assembling Performance Tests in which the subject is required to put together some disjointed pieces to form a whole.

7.5 Application of Intelligence Test in Education

Application of Intelligence Tests in Education :- Their uses in the sphere can be explained as follows :-
1. Classification
2. Education guidance
3. Vocational guidance
4. Study of sex differences
5. Selection - In the schools make use of intelligence tests while selecting students for admission to the school.
6. Scholarship - In some cases, the tests for selecting students fit for the granting scholarships are essentially intelligence tests.
7. Specific abilities - Intelligence tests are used to identify specific abilities of students so as to facilitate their development in conformity with these abilities.
8. Understanding the personality of students
9. Guidance of learning activity
10. Extra promotion - In some cases, students are promoted through two classes, instead of one, within one academic year on the basis of intelligences tests.
11. Research
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