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The Methods of Measuring Intelligence and Its Theories Essay


The articles that have been chosen are related to various aspects of intelligence testing. In particular, they can be used to discuss different theoretical assumptions that underlie the methods of measuring intelligence. It is possible to identify several theories that still remain rather influential. First of all, one can speak about Charles Spearman’s theory of general intelligence.

This framework is based on the premise that there is a strong relation between various cognitive skills (Harrison and Brand, 2003, p. 9). Moreover, this model implies that it is possible to assess the general intelligence of an individual by using the methods of statistical analysis (Harrison and Brand, 2003, p. 9). In this case, one should pay attention to the so-called g factor that can throw light on the cognitive skills of a person (Harrison and Brand, 2003, p. 9).

It is possible to say that Charles Spearman’s theory contributed to the development of various intelligence tests that are often used by educators (Harrison and Brand, 2003). To a great extent, it still remains influential. Nevertheless, there are some researchers who critique the validity of this concept because modern methods of intelligence testing are limited since they are oriented towards the quantitative aspects of cognitive skills. In other cases, this theory cannot be effectively applied.

Yet, it is also possible to speak about the theory of multiple intelligences which was introduced by Howard Gardner. This framework implies that psychologists should not focus only on those aspects of intelligence that can be easily quantified (Eisner, 2004). In this case, one can speak primarily about the tests measure the ability of a person to solve abstract problems. This is one of the limitations that can be considered. In turn, such an approach can give only a very narrow idea of what intelligence is (Eisner, 2004).

In contrast, according to the approach developed by Howard Gardner, that intelligence includes various modalities or domains that are relatively independent of one another (Eisner, 2004, p.33). For example, one can speak about the so-called bodily-kinesthetic intelligence which is related to a person’s ability to control the movement of one’s body. This ability is critical if one speaks about athletes.

However, it is not identified in any of the existing IQ tests. Overall, the importance of this theory is recognized by psychologists since they understand the limitations of existing intelligence tests. Nevertheless, this approach also has significant limitations. In particular, it is difficult to falsify it or find examples that can prove or disprove this model.

This is another detail that should be taken into consideration by psychologists. Nonetheless, Howard Gardner’s model is useful since it helps psychologists to re-evaluate the methods that they use. Moreover, it has changed the way in which educators perceive the very notion of intelligence.

To a great extent, these articles can throw light on the efficiency of intelligence testing. In particular, researchers acknowledge that existing methods still require elaboration (Sparrow\& Davis, 2000). It is necessary to design task that help psychologists objective assess different cognitive skills. Nevertheless, one can say that that this form of measurement is a good predictor of how the student can perform in various professional or academic areas.

For instance, it is possible to speak about the ability of an individual to solve mathematical problems. There are numerous IQ tests that can be used by various professionals such as educators or HR professionals. Moreover, these techniques can helpful for identifying possible developmental problems at an early stage. This is why it is not permissible to dismiss the techniques of measuring intelligence. These are some of the main points that can be made.

Nevertheless, it is also important to remember that there are some important elements of intelligence that cannot be accurately measured. For instance, one can speak about such an aspect as emotional and interpersonal intelligence. They are related to the ability of a person to empathize with other people and understand their feelings.

Currently, there are no tests that enable psychologists to evaluate these aspects of intelligence in a quantitative way. However, these skills are essential for the development of a person. Additionally, the validity of such tests depends on the clarity of instructions. Furthermore, psychologists should make allowances for a person’s linguistic capacity. If these requirements are not met, the accuracy of these methods can be questioned. This is one of the major shortcomings that should be considered by researchers.

On the whole, this discussion shows that intelligence testing is critical for psychologists and educators. There are certain cognitive abilities that can be accurately evaluated in a quantitative way. Nevertheless, one should not suppose that modern methods of intelligence testing can accurately assess every component that can be related to intelligence.

More importantly, one should not overlook the cultural and linguistic background of a person who takes an IQ test; otherwise, the results of the assessment may not be accurate. These are the main arguments that can be put forward.

Reference List

Eisner, E. (2004). Multiple Intelligences: Its Tensions and Possibilities. Teachers College Record 106(1), 31-39.

Harrison, K. & Brand, C. The importance of Spearman’s g as a psychometric concept. The Occidental Quarterly, 3 (1), 7-30.

Sparrow, S., & Davis, S. (2000). Recent Advances in the Assessment of Intelligence and Cognition. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41 (1), 117-131.

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IvyPanda. (2019, August 20). The Methods of Measuring Intelligence and Its Theories. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/intelligence-testing-2/

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Methods of Measuring Intelligence and Its Theories." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/intelligence-testing-2/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Methods of Measuring Intelligence and Its Theories'. 20 August.

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