Whether Intelligence Can be Defined and Measured Accurately or Not

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Whether Intelligence Can be Defined and Measured Accurately or Not In this essay I will look at whether intelligence can be defined and measured accurately through looking at various definitions of intelligence; including definitions from Binet, Wechsler, Terman, Hebbs, Cattel and Vernon. I will discuss a selection of more well known and popular intelligence tests ranging from Galton to Wechsler, what they measure and what they don’t measure. I will look at an example of a famous person renowned for being intelligent and what there IQ test result would likely of been, if tested. Starting with a definition from the oxford dictionary we can then go on to see how varied the definitions of…show more content…
Terman (1921) describes intelligence as a person’s ability of abstract thinking (1921, cited in Heim, 1970). It seems that psychologists find it hard to reach an agreement to define intelligence, resulting in the final definition I will mention from Vernon (1969) “intelligence is what intelligence tests measure” (1969, cited in Howe, 1997). Although most definitions seem to have a similarity, the meaning of intelligence can vary over time and through cultures. It was once thought that intelligence was all down to a persons ability with spelling and arithmetic, whereas in the islands of the south pacific a persons ability to navigate the oceans and there spatial memory are the way to judge a persons intelligence level (MSN, 2005). It seems a nomothetic approach is needed to even attempt to measure intelligence. All tests need to be reliable, correlate with existing test scores and show face, internal and ecological validity (MSN, 2005). Intelligence tests were developed to predict school children’s eventual academic results (MSN, 2005). In England in the 1880’s Galton made the first attempt at measuring intelligence. Galton’s theory was that a person with a good degree of intelligence would
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