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Definitions of Intelligence in Psychology Report

Definitions of Intelligence

Intelligence is an aspect that has been known for quite some time now. However, there has been no consensus on the definition of the concept. This has seen various scholars come up with different definitions regarding the concept of intelligence.

It can be noted that tracing the origin of the aspect of intelligence has remained unresolved. In the same breadth, the valuation of validity and accuracy regarding intelligence has not been defined. There are many definitions regarding the concept of intelligence from different scholars.

According to Gardner (1999), intelligence refers to when an individual can get and apply knowledge. From a different perspective, the concept of intelligence is referred to as the aspect that can be measured by intelligence tests.

Usually, the definitions are used in a general sense. However, these definitions can be criticized in various aspects. For instance, there are cases where individuals suffer from certain diseases that affect their intelligence in one way or the other. This includes autistic individuals or those who may appear to be mentally challenged.

These individuals can have exceptional skills in certain areas of life and poor in others (Angela, 2003). In addition, it has to be noted that the environment is very important in the life of an individual. Therefore, it is possible for individuals to perform certain things due to the opportunities presented by their environment as opposed to being intelligent.

For instance, a kid that has been bought a play station will know how to operate it compared to that kid who does not have one. Furthermore, some people can perform certain things due to inherited traits as opposed to being intelligent.

The health condition of an individual may have an impact on intelligence. Lastly, there are those who have been raised in a given environment, but cannot make use of the opportunities presented in the environment to perform certain things. Such individuals are normally referred to as less intelligent.

The theory of multiple intelligences has been seen as the best option given my instruments of choice. This theory was propounded by Howard Gardner. He came up with 7 constituents of intelligence. These elements are independent, and people possess each element to a varying amount (Gardner, 2000).

The seven elements include “the visual-spatial intelligence, the verbal-linguistic intelligence, the bodily-kinetic intelligence, the logical-mathematical intelligence, the interpersonal, and the musical, intrapersonal and naturalistic intelligence” (Stremba & Bisson, 2009, p. 26).

Instruments Used to Test Intelligence and Achievement

The instruments chosen include the ACER Test of Reasoning ability and the Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI) for intelligence. The ACER Test of Reasoning ability has multiple choice items. This is meant to gauge the capability of young learners between the ages of nine and eleven.

The one being tested is required to answer all the questions provided. This instrument is widely used in Australia. Attention is given on scores. The outcome is used to determine the necessary vocational training for learners.

The CTI has over 100 self-reporting items and is commonly used by adults. In this case, the individual is required to respond to the statements given. The scale rates from 1 to 5. The outcome of the assessment can be by psychotherapists, as well as in counseling sessions.

This test is meant to evaluate an individual’s capacity to think in a constructive or destructive manner (Simons, 1998). It can be noted that several assessments for evaluating the intelligence levels have been proposed. They focus on the knowledge and abilities of individuals in general, as well as on certain areas with specificity.

On the other hand, the Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI) and the Test of Academic Performance (TOAP) were chosen for achievement. The administration of the BASI instrument is done in a group. This instrument is critical in the identification of learning frailties among students.

On its part, TOAP is instrumental in the estimation of the academic performances among students. The instrument can be used to classify students based on their performances. TOAP make use of 6 subjects whereby the test is to be implemented within a designated period, and in an efficient manner (Reynolds & Miller, 2003).

Reliability and Validity of the Intelligence Instruments

The evaluation of testing instruments is critical to the validity and reliability of the tests. Therefore, the ACER Test of Reasoning ability can be subjected to the reliability test. In this case, various items that are said to measure the same aspect should be put to test to evaluate whether they can produce congruent outcomes.

In the case of the ACER Test of Reasoning ability, the individuals are tested based on the seventy items. The focus is on the intelligence and the general knowledge. This test has been given a score of over 80% in terms of reliability.

The aspect of validity has been defined as the strength of the conclusions or inferences (Oswald, 2001). In this regard, a relationship should be feasible between students’ scores and the ratings given by the instructor. Reliability and validity of a test should be used in determining issues in the education sector such as vocational training.

The normative aspect of the tests related to the selection of the individuals who are to be tested. The test is likely to be implemented in an expansive area with different demographics and cultural aspects. Thus, there is a possibility that anomalies will occur on the outcome.

The aspect of bias can be noted in gender issues. In this case, there are those disciplines where a certain gender will perform better and not in others.

On the part of the Constructive Thinking Inventory, the aspect of reliability can also be tested. The scale has items that are aimed at testing different aspects. These items measure what they were intended to measure. In addition, the items should be sufficient to measure the variables.

Validity is closely associated with correlation studies. In this case, there are various items that can be used to test the emotional and physical aspects of an individual. Bias can be noted in various aspects including age, educational level, and gender. The bias should be eliminated from the test to be accepted.

The Difference Between the Achievements and Intelligence Tests

Intelligence tests and achievement tests can be difficult to differentiate. Nonetheless, the two tests have recognizable differences when closely analyzed. Notably, the achievement tests evaluate what an individual has already learnt. On the other hand, the intelligence tests are meant to evaluate an individual’s potential.

In addition, there is a variation in the score of the two tests. In this case, the intelligence tests rely on the standard deviation in measuring individuals. On the other hand, the achievement tests only require an individual to score high marks to show that what is being measured has been grasped by the individual.

Ethical Consideration

It has to be acknowledged that any human undertaking has its ethical aspects. Therefore, there are several ethical issues that can be related to the achievement and intelligence tests. This is especially in an academic setting. It should be acknowledged that examination can have serious consequences in the life of individuals.

In this case, before the administration of any examination, the examiner should take the necessary precautionary measures. For instance, for those students whose performance is low, they can be given special attention to ensure that their needs are well addressed.

In this case, such students cannot learn at the same speed as the normal students and thus require special attention. Furthermore, when the test is affected by cultural bias, there is a high chance that the performance of the affected students being affected.

Thus, the aspect of bias while administering the test should be avoided. The IQ tests are usually considered culturally biased. However, they are widely used and have an impact on the performance of the individuals being tested.

The assessments done on students should have undisputed validity and reliability to ensure that they are widely accepted. This will remove any bias and doubts that may affect the applicability of the assessments.

Notably, it is clear that intelligence has been defined differently. In this case, there is no one definition of the concept, which has been agreed upon by various scholars. There are also numerous theories that have been put forward in an effort to comprehend intelligence.

Furthermore, numerous tests and measures have been established to help in measuring intelligence. These tests should be used appropriately to come up with reliable and valid outcomes.


Angela, C. (2003). Intelligence and Autism. New York. Pride BooksGardner,

Gardner, H. (2000). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: BasicBooks.

Oswald, H. (2001). Tests for Research Instruments. Vermouth: Cedar Pine Publishers

Reynolds, W.M., & Miller, G.E. (2003). Educational psychology. New York: Wiley.

Simons, T. (1998). Tests and Measurements of Intelligence. Hollywood: Noel Publications.

Stremba, B., & Bisson, C. A. (2009). Teaching adventure education theory: Best practices. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

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