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Dynamics of Intelligence

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Dynamics of Intelligence

We all like to think of ourselves as being intelligent. How do we measure up to others? What are our individual strengths? Why are some people better at certain skills while others perform better in other areas? Can I become more intelligent than I am right now? What will happen to my intelligence as I become older?

  • What are the dynamics of intelligence in psychology?

  • What are the different types of intelligence in psychology?

  • How do the dynamics of intelligence interact with age?

  • What are some examples of the extremely high and low ends of intelligence?

  • How should we interpret group differences in intelligence?

Definition of the Dynamics of Intelligence

Psychologists want to understand what intelligence is all about. There are so many theories about intelligence and types of intelligence! What is it? Intelligence is the ability to learn from your life experiences, adapt to new circumstances in life, and solve life problems. In the past, some scientists argued that intelligence is one general ability. We now have a richer understanding of intelligence as a dynamic concept that includes many factors.

Psychologist Alfred Binet created the first intelligence test. To identify students in the Paris school system who were struggling and might benefit from extra help, Binet developed a formal intelligence test designed to determine a child's mental age.

Binet believed that intelligence was an expression of multiple mental abilities. His test included reasoning questions and problem-solving questions. Binet's test was designed to help identify children who might need more help in the school system. Other intelligence tests are designed to yield an Intelligence Quotient or IQ score.

IQ = chronological age ÷mental age × 100

According to IQ testing, a 10-year-old child with a mental age of 10 would have an IQ of 100. However, a 10-year-old child with a mental age of 12 would have an IQ of 120.

IQ scores are measured against a normal distribution or bell curve. You might remember this term from research statistics. It means that most people score somewhere in the middle in terms of IQ. Some people score very low, and some people score very high. The rest of us score somewhere in the middle. In intelligence tests, the average score is 100.

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is an intelligence test that measures five mental abilities: knowledge, quantitative reasoning, fluid reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. Scores are collected in all five categories and combined to give a person's intelligence score.

Today's most commonly used intelligence test is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), created by psychologist David Wechsler. This test includes four categories: verbal comprehension, processing speed, working memory, and perceptual organization. It also has a section that measures non-verbal skills to help eliminate educational and cultural biases.

Dynamic of Intelligence, brain inside a lightbulb, StudySmarterBrain lightbulb, pixabay.com

Types of Intelligence in Psychology

What makes us intelligent? How can we know for sure that we are intelligent? Maybe we do well if someone tests us verbally, but we have a hard time with written tests. We may feel like an expert in some fields and a beginner in others. Is intelligence a single quality that we either have or not? Researchers believe many types of intelligence play a part in our overall cognitive ability. Here are a few dynamics of intelligence:

  • Fluid Reasoning - Reasoning and problem-solving without previously-acquired knowledge.

  • Visual-Spatial Processing - The ability to accurately perceive objects in a spatial environment, including judging distance, body movements, map directions, and spatial patterns.

  • Working Memory - The relatively small amount of information that we hold in our minds for a few seconds to do certain tasks.

  • Quantitative Reasoning - The ability to solve everyday problems using mathematical concepts.

  • Knowledge - How much we know about specific topics.

Emotional Intelligence

Psychologist Daniel Goelman studied one specialized area of intelligence. Our emotional intelligence pertains to our social skills and encompasses things like emotional regulation and understanding, and appropriately responding to the emotions of others. Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer took Goleman's idea even further. They created the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS) to measure emotional intelligence. They argued that emotional intelligence comprises four abilities: perceiving, understanding, managing, and using emotions.

  • Perceiving - Correctly perceiving the emotional state of others, empathy

  • Understanding - The interpersonal skill of recognizing relationship dynamics and another person's emotional patterns

  • Managing - The ability to appropriately express emotions and respond to the emotions of others.

  • Using - How we respond to our own emotions and use them creatively or effectively.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of study focused on imitating human reasoning, learning, and language ability through computers and technology. AI scientists work on developing computer programming that can effectively problem-solve. The computers developed so far can intelligently learn and adapt in limited ways.

The Dynamics of Intelligence and Age

How does intelligence hold up over time? Can we gain more intelligence and cognitive abilities as we get older? Based on intelligence testing, cognitive abilities seem to stabilize around ages 4-6. As children grow into teens, their intelligence becomes even more stable. Those who score high on intelligence tests as children tend to score high throughout their lives.

Wait. Does this mean that adults are no more intelligent than kids? Well, yes and no. Some types of intelligence decrease with age; other types increase with age! Psychologist Raymond Cattell divided intelligence into two categories: crystallized and fluid intelligence.

Crystallized intelligence is based on facts and experiences. It encompasses language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. This type of intelligence increases with age! As we age, we are exposed to new situations and collect more experiences. We develop a richer vocabulary, and our experiential knowledge deepens. So, those who have lived more life than you are generally more intelligent than you in some ways.

Fluid intelligence involves abstract reasoning. This intelligence encompasses creativity, solving problems, and figuring out puzzles. Figuring out the answer to a problem in your mind that you have never solved before is an example of fluid intelligence at work. This type of intelligence decreases slowly and gradually as we age. We may not be as quick at solving problems or processing information as we get older, but we continue to expand our knowledge and vocabulary.

Dynamics of Intelligence, graphic of a man reading a book while sitting on a stack of books, StudySmarterReading, pixabay.com

Examples of the Dynamics of Intelligence

Each person's intelligence is unique since so many dynamics are in play. You might score high on verbal reasoning but low on reading comprehension. This is normal! What about those who score extremely high or low on an intelligence test?

Those who score 70 or below on IQ tests may have an intellectual disability. In general, individuals with very low intelligence scores struggle with social, practical, and conceptual skills to some degree. Those with a mild intellectual disability can usually care for themselves, graduate high school, hold a job, and maintain relationships. Individuals with a significant intellectual disability have more limited social and practical skills and may need full-time care.

Have you heard of something called savant syndrome? You may have heard someone call a person a savant. This means that the individual's overall intelligence is lower than average, but they possess exceptional abilities. For example, someone with savant syndrome may not be able to care for themselves entirely; at the same time, they may have excellent math or art skills.

At the other extreme of intelligence are people who score very high. These individuals are often called gifted. Longitudinal studies found that children who score exceptionally well on IQ tests usually achieve high academic or professional success levels later on. Gifted individuals are different than someone with savant syndrome—a person who is gifted scores high on overall intelligence.

Group Differences in Intelligence

Have you ever wondered if women are smarter than men or if men are smarter than women? In terms of intelligence, men and women generally score the same. Interestingly, though, men and women tend to excel in different areas. Women generally score higher in tests of verbal fluency, spelling, perceiving emotions, and sensitivity to taste, touch, and color. Men score higher in tests of spatial ability. When the scores on each ability are combined together, however, men and women are just as smart.

Scientists who studied IQ in the US found differences in intelligence scores from one racial group to another. In other words, they found racial disparities in IQ scores. Some racial groups scored 10 to 15 points below the average for Caucasian test-takers. How do we make sense of these findings? The within-group differences are much more significant than the between-group differences.

Even though there was a difference between racial groups, the range of IQ scores within each racial group was way bigger than the differences between each group. This means that when all IQ scores are combined together across racial groups, the differences even out. Your intelligence does not depend on your race or ethnicity! Environmental factors play a big role in intelligence. Family income, parent occupation, area of residence, physical exercise, and nutrition all influence a child's intelligence.

Dynamics of Intelligence - Key takeaways

  • Intelligence is the ability to learn from your life experiences, adapt to new circumstances in life, and solve life problems.
  • IQ scores are measured against a normal distribution or bell curve, and the average score is 100.
  • Our emotional intelligence pertains to our social skills and encompasses things like emotional regulation and understanding, and appropriately responding to the emotions of others.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of study focused on imitating human reasoning, learning, and language ability through computers and technology.
  • Fluid intelligence decreases with age, while crystallized intelligence generally increases with age.
  • Those who score 70 or below on IQ tests may have an intellectual disability and struggle with social, practical, and conceptual skills to some degree.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dynamics of Intelligence

The dynamics of intelligence encompass many different mental or cognitive abilities.

Intelligence is dynamic and multi-faceted. 

Intelligence begins to stabilize by age four. 

Age usually correlates with intelligence, except in instances of abnormally high or low scores. 

Fluid Intelligence is the type of intelligence that declines with age.

Final Dynamics of Intelligence Quiz

Question

What is dynamic intelligence? 

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Answer

The understanding that intelligence includes many factors. 

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Question

Which of the following is not a type of intelligence test? 

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Answer

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

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Question

Which type of intelligence decreases with age?

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Answer

Fluid Intelligence

Show question

Question

According to Goleman's Theory of Emotional Intelligence, emotional intelligence is made up of which 4 abilities?

Show answer

Answer

Perceiving, understanding, managing, and using emotions. 

Show question

Question

True or False: Crystallized intelligence typically decreases with age. 

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Answer

False

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Question

A single generalized unit of measurement of intelligence is called _________.

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Answer

G-factor

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Question

This type of intelligence test measures achievement with standard IQ testing, but also provides scores for 4 other factors, verbal comprehension, processing speed, working memory, and perceptual organization. 

Show answer

Answer

Wechsler's Adult Intelligence Scale 

Show question

Question

This intelligence test measures abilities across 5 different factors, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, fluid reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. 

Show answer

Answer

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale 

Show question

Question

Define Intelligence

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Answer

Intelligence is the ability to learn from your life experiences, adapt to new circumstances in life, and solve life problems.

Show question

Question

Who created the first intelligence test?

Show answer

Answer

Psychologist Alfred Binet created the first intelligence test.

Show question

Question

Why did Alfred Binet design the first intelligence test?

Show answer

Answer

In order to help identify children who might need more help in the school system.

Show question

Question

What is the average score of intelligence tests?

Show answer

Answer

The average score is 100. 

Show question

Question

Cognitive abilities stabilize around which age? 

Show answer

Answer

Around ages 4-6.

Show question

Question

This kind of intelligence is based on facts and includes things like language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

Show answer

Answer

Crystallized Intelligence

Show question

Question

This kind of intelligence involves abstract reasoning and includes things like creativity, solving problems, and figuring out puzzles. 

Show answer

Answer

Fluid Intelligence

Show question

Question

Describe the abilities of a person with mild intellectual disability. 

Show answer

Answer

Those with a mild intellectual disability can usually care for themselves, graduate high school, hold a job, and maintain relationships.

Show question

Question

Describe the abilities of a person with a significant intellectual disability. 

Show answer

Answer

Individuals with a significant intellectual disability have more limited social and practical skills and may need full-time care to see to their basic needs like meals and hygiene.

Show question

Question

Someone with low cognitive skills but exceptional math or art skills might have which syndrome?


Show answer

Answer

Savant syndrome

Show question

Question

True or False: In terms of intelligence, men and women generally score the same. 

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

True or False: Women generally score higher in tests of verbal fluency, spelling, perceiving emotions, and sensitivity to taste, touch, and color.

Show answer

Answer

True 

Show question

Question

True or False: Women score higher in tests of spatial ability. 

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

Describe within-group differences in intelligence.

Show answer

Answer

the many different IQ scores within a particular demographic or group.

Show question

Question

Describe between-group differences in intelligence.

Show answer

Answer

The difference between average IQ scores of 2 or more demographics or groups. 

Show question

Question

What are a few environmental factors that can affect intelligence? 

Show answer

Answer

Family income, parent occupation, area of residence, physical exercise, and nutrition.

Show question

Question

This is a field of study focused on imitating human reasoning, learning, and language ability through computers and technology. 


Show answer

Answer

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Show question

Question

Name a few dynamics of intelligence that were listed in the text. 

Show answer

Answer

Fluid reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory, quantitative reasoning, and knowledge. 

Show question

Question

According to the theory of emotional intelligence, empathy and orrectly perceiving the emotional state of others describes which ability?


Show answer

Answer

Perceiving Emotion

Show question

Question

According to the theory of emotional intelligence, recognizing relationship dynamics and another person's emotional patterns describes which ability? 


Show answer

Answer

Understanding Emotion

Show question

Question

According to the theory of emotional intelligence, the ability to respond appropriately to the emotions of others describes which ability? 

Show answer

Answer

Managing Emotion

Show question

Question

According to the theory of emotional intelligence, how we respond to our own emotions and use them creatively or effectively describes which ability? 


Show answer

Answer

Using Emotion

Show question

Question

Reasoning and problem-solving without previously-acquired knowledge is called:

Show answer

Answer

Fluid Reasoning

Show question

Question

The ability to accurately perceive objects in a spatial environment is called:


Show answer

Answer

Visual-Spatial Processing

Show question

Question

The relatively small amount of information that we hold in our minds for a few seconds to do certain tasks is called: 


Show answer

Answer

Working Memory

Show question

Question

The ability to solve everyday problems using mathematical concepts is called:


Show answer

Answer

Quantitative Reasoning

Show question

Question

Define Knowledge

Show answer

Answer

How much we know about specific topics. 

Show question

Question

This test was created to measure emotional intelligence. 

Show answer

Answer

The Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS) 

Show question

Question

What IQ score determines intellectual disability?

Show answer

Answer

70 or below

Show question

Question

True or False: The within-group differences in intelligence are much more significant than the between-group differences. 


Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

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