The Difficulties in Defining and Measuring Intelligence

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THE DIFFICULTIES IN DEFINING AND MEASURING INTELLIGENCE Intelligence can be described in many ways with many tests focusing on an individual’s cognitive abilities and failing to account for the social and practical aspects of intelligence. Tests to measure intelligence vary immensely and test different types of intelligence; such as Emotional Intelligence, which has proved popular in more recent years. Although researchers are unable to agree upon a general definition of intelligence they do agree that there are 2 factors to be included in a broad definition: an individual’s ability to adapt to their environment and a capacity to learn from experience (Sternberg and Detterman, 1986). Tests do not , however, measure these components…show more content…
Salovey and Mayer (1990) defined emotional intelligence as a very broad set of abilities. While Goleman (1995) has defined it as a set of skills distinct from cognitive intelligence that can be learned, Mayer et al (2008) developed a formal 4-branch model of emotional intelligence that combines cognition and emotion. Abilities are at different levels: from perceiving emotions (lowest level); using emotions; understanding emotions; to managing emotions (highest level). These abilities mean that people are aware of their own and others’ emotions and their consequences in different social circumstances. The link between cognition and emotion can be seen in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), where negative cognitions are challenged and new behaviours introduced which will impact on emotional processing. Research using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) supports the Mayer et al (2008) model and has shown that emotional intelligence increases with age, suggesting it can be learned. The test also has predictive value (McEnrue & Groves, 2006), for example, relating to leadership potential. However, it seems to measure some factors better than others and its validity for different cultures, ages and ethnic groups has not as yet been tested. Emotional intelligence tests use self-assessment methods, which may not capture the

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