The Structure and Measurement of Intelligence
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Measuring Intelligence: Standardization and the Intelligence Quotient
Emotions and Motivations. Video Clip: The Basic Emotions. The Negative Effects of Stress. McDougall now started planning in some detail the scheme of tests for the British Association survey. A year or two later, Dr. Spearman who had also returned to this country from Wundt's laboratory began, in consultation with McDougall, a set of experiments at one or two village schools near Oxford.
Spearman's investigation 3 was modelled. In selecting his tests, his ' guiding principle ', he tells us, was " the opposite of that of Binet ". Instead of " the French procedure of directly handling complex processes " he preferred " the older German procedure of dealing solely with elementary mental processes ". Instead of using verbal or written tests for higher mental functions, he considered that the proper approach would be to employ laboratory methods for measuring the simplest and most fundamental function of all.
But how was this fundamental function to be conceived? At that date most psychologists who believed in a single cognitive factor were inclined to suggest that attention was the most essential factor. Spearman, on the other hand, here as elsewhere, preferred to follow the views of the Spencerian branch of the associa tionist school; and, with Bain and Sully, contended that discrimination was the essential process.
Accordingly, he considered it sufficient to employ three laboratory tests for sense-discrimination only. Intelligence itself was assessed by examination marks and by ratings supplied by teachers. The figures obtained were very similar to those of Wissler. The correlations for the psychological tests were low; those for school marks were high. However, developing a suggestion of Wissler's, he proceeded to calculate the precision or ' reliability ' of the several tests by repeating each twice and calculating the correlations between the two results.
He then ' corrected ' the ' raw ' correlations for unreliability; and thus obtained a hypothetical correlation between sensory discrimination, on the one hand, and intelligence, on the other, amounting to approximately 1. He therefore concluded that this ' fundamental function ' of general intelligence was sufficient to account for all the observed data, and that the influence of ' special abilities ' as Galton had termed them must be ' vanishingly minute '; they were, he held, merely a fictitious relic of the old-fashioned faculty doctrine. There was only one fundamental cognitive. To obtain an "objective measurement " of intelligence, instead of using what he termed " a hotchpot of tests, like that proposed by Binet ", he claimed that the " single monotonous act of discrimination " — such as is provided by " a few minutes' test with a monochord " pitch-discrimination — " has unrivalled advantages ".
The conclusion which Spearman thus put forward departed widely from that reached by other workers who had used a similar technique Wissler, Thorndike, and McDougall's own pupils. Moreover, it was based on extremely few tests 3 at most and extremely few children 22 in the largest group.
PERSONALITY AND THE MEASUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE
Not unnaturally therefore his claims at once aroused the sharpest criticism. Pearson attacked the mathematical formulae ; Thorndike the experimental procedure. Indeed, Thorndike declared that it would be more reasonable to " replace Spearman's statement by the equally extravagant one that there is nothing whatever common to all mental functions ". The Highest Common Factor.
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