INTRODUCTION: In 1917, as the United States mobilized its vast resources for the war against Germany, Professor Lewis Terman of Stanford University traveled east to meet with a group of prominent psychologists. Terman was an expert on intelligence testing, for he had pioneered the application of a French intelligence test (developed by Alfred Binet) in the U. S. Terman, a devoted member of the Stanford University faculty, called his test the Stanford- Binet, and it was widely used in clinical settings.
But why was Terman meeting with other psychologists? Their goal: to develop some kind of psychological test that the U. S. Army could give to the thousands of new recruits coming into the army. The test would help them decide who had the intellectual potential to be an officer, who did not.
Terman carried in his briefcase the rough materials his student Arthur Otis had designed for a questionnaire measure of intelligence. In several weeks the group of psychologists had designed the Army Alpha Examination, based on the Otis scales. The test was given to 1, 700, 000 men, and it seemed to work. Some were sent off to the trenches, and others were selected to lead them there. And psychologists, delighted with their success, began to spread their testing into civilian settings: particularly in educational settings. School systems and colleges snatched up the tests for use in pupil classification, guidance, and admissions Within 30 months of the first publication of the group test some four million children had been tested, and the IQ test was on its way to acceptance I.
... calls for similar capabilities. In school settings, psychologists often joke that IQ is what IQ tests measure. There is a lot ... symposium conducted in 1921 at which 13 psychologists gave 13 different definitions of intelligence (1992, pp. 44-45). Some ... 1914), Terman coined the phrase IQ, an acronym for Intelligence Quotient. The intelligence quotient is found by dividing the mental age (test score) ...
Intelligence Testing. Historical Development 1) Alfred Binet Charged by the Minister of Public Instruction in Paris to develop a method of detecting ‘defective’ children who could then be given special instructions Although he toyed with the idea of developing a physiological measure, he ended up with a test he called ‘aptitude for academic achievement ” this test was designed to be relevant in academic settings Simple procedures used identified behaviors for each age (important – this test was age specific – also known as the ‘age-standard method’).
This made it possible to establish range of normality (‘norms’), then checked to see if the child / person possessed these abilities a) 3 years: show eyes, nose, mouth, name objects in a picture, repeat figures, repeat a sentence of 6 syllables, give last name) 5 years: compare 2 boxes of different weights, copy a square, repeat a sentence of 10 syllables, put together 2 pieces of a game) 7 years: indicate omissions in drawings, copy a written sentence, copy a triangle and a diamond, etc. d) 9 years: give the date complete, name days of the week, give definitions, memory this measure proved highly successful in predicting school success 2) In 1916, an American psychologist (TERMAN) revised and translated the testa) problem: unfair to say an 8 year old is more intelligent than a 6 year old simply because he or she gets more questions right) need to adjust for chronological age) He used the formula IQ = MA/CA X 100 (to get rid of decimals) – HOWEVER, this formula was actually developed by William Stern in 1912 in order to avoid the inconvenience of decimals. For example – A 10 year old with a mental age of 8 has a ratio of 8/10 = .
8 and a 6 year old with a mental age of 4 has a ratio of 4/6 = . 67. This indicates that the 6 year old is relatively farther behind his or her age peers. STERN then got rid of the decimal point so. 8 becomes 80, and.
... harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of ... of physical abuse when the victim is below the age of 15 years, but in practice this is rarely done.Efforts to ... In this modern age of irresponsibility, many children suffer hours, days, weeks, and even months of pain caused ...
67 becomes 67. d. if 100, just right. This would mean that a person has the same mental age and chronological age. B. Types of Tests 1) Individual Tests) Stanford-Binet: This made it possible to test adults & children 1.
established the procedures to use in administering the test – takes 1 hour or more so it was not good for collecting data from groups very quickly. This was not good if you wanted to test military troops – So, Otis instead created an oral intelligence test (goes back to introduction).
2. established the norms for the test (e. g. , how many an ‘X’ year old got correct) But, there is still a problem here.
This test still utilized the intelligence quotient developed by Stern – but mental age slows dramatically after childhood. So, someone could go from gifted as a young person, to mentally challenged as an older adult without actually getting ‘less intelligent’. Example: a 15 year old female with a mental age of 20: 20/15 x 100 = 133, which would classify her as ‘gifted’. Then, as an adult of age 40, let’s say she retained the mental age of 20: 20/40 x 100 = 50. Now she would be classified as mentally retarded, yet she may be successful doctor. This problem was overcome by the introduction of the DEVIATION IQ, by Wechsler.
3. Wechsler tests This scale compares a person’s intelligence test scores with those of the mean scores of their age peers. Those who perform exactly the same as their age peers would receive the score of 100. a) developed many tests, three very important: WISC (W Int. Scale for Children), the WAIS (W. adult int.
scale), and the WPP SI (W preschool and primary scale of intelligence; good for ages 4-6 1/2) b) attempted to bring in more behavioral measures rather than just verbal c) two subsections: verbal sub tests, performance sub tests – verbal: information, comprehension, arithmetic, digit span, similarities, and vocabulary -performance: picture arrangement, picture completion, block design, etc. C. Forms of Intelligence 1) Basic approach: verbal and math 2) Sternberg’s Triarchic theory of intelligence Sternberg performed poorly on IQ tests as a child and suffered from severe test anxiety. Yet he was able to become a successful cognitive psychologist and a leader in the field of intelligence. This was a major influence in his belief that intelligence was much more than those abilities measured by traditional intelligence tests. He and colleagues wanted to know what the ‘lay person’ though intelligence was so they interviewed many people.
... have a mental age of 8. Like mental age, the intelligence quotient (IQ) is a unit of measure for expressing the results of intelligence tests. Introduced in ... made. Binet’s two principles of test construction were age differentiation and general mental ability. Age differentiation refers to the fact that with increasing ...
Most people indicated that intelligent people have good verbal skills, problem-solving skills, and social judgment. Thus, he developed the Triarchic theory which is comprised of the following: a) componential intelligence – reflects our information-processing abilities. This is similar to traditional intelligence tests. b) experiential intelligence – ability to combine different experiences in insightful ways to solve novel problems.
Reflects creativity. c) contextual intelligence – ability to function in practical, everyday social situations. Reflects ‘street smarts’. Sternberg recognized that situations may call for one type or a combination of all three, and that each can be improved through training. D. IQ Controversies 3) Questions to consider a) What does the IQ Test Measure? Intelligence? e.
g. , the California Legislature has twice voted to prohibit group testing in schools on the grounds their effect is to limit the quality of education given to minority students. Many experts have gone on record as opposing IQ tests as invalid, easily altered by special coaching, and monopolizing the testing industry. Intelligence IQ score Intelligence + Other Factors IQ score) Are IQ tests Valid (fair)? -why is there a difference between groups on the IQ test? c) Is Intelligence Genetically determined Nurture Nature -learning -instinct -experience -innate determinant -flexible -inflexible, wired in -acquired -genetic Arguing that ‘reason, intelligence, logic, knowledge are not synonymous… ,’ Howard Gardner (1983) proposed a new view of intelligence that is rapidly being incorporated in school curricula. In his Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Gardner expanded the concept of intelligence to also include such areas as music, spacial relations, and interpersonal knowledge in addition to mathematical and linguistic ability.
... diligence and intelligence of the student that determines whether learning will be successful or not. Although every student benefits from good teachers, only a ... homework. However, a more important quality in a student is the innate ability to learn. We can absord more knowledge and ... well as the ability to see connections. These natural talents enable us to gain more from both teachers and the world ...
This article discusses the origins of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, his definition of intelligence, the incorporation of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences into the classroom, and its role in alternative assessment practices. EIGHT INTELLIGENCES Gardner defines intelligence as ‘the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting’ (Gardner & Hatch, 1989).
Using biological as well as cultural research, he formulated a list of seven intelligences. This new outlook on intelligence differs greatly from the traditional view which usually recognizes only two intelligences, verbal and computational. The eight intelligences Gardner defines are: Logical-Mathematical Intelligence — consists of the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
Linguistic Intelligence — involves having a mastery of language. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively manipulate language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically. It also allows one to use language as a means to remember information. Spatial Intelligence — gives one the ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems. This intelligence is not limited to visual domains — Gardner notes that spatial intelligence is also formed in blind children. Musical Intelligence — encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms.
(Auditory functions are required for a person to develop this intelligence in relation to pitch and tone, but it is not needed for the knowledge of rhythm. ) Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence — is the ability to use one’s mental abilities to coordinate one’s own bodily movements. This intelligence challenges the popular belief that mental and physical activity are unrelated. The Personal Intelligences — includes interpersonal feelings and intentions of others — and intra personal intelligence — the ability to understand one’s own feelings and motivations. These two intelligences are separate from each other.
Nevertheless, because of their close association in most cultures, they are often linked together. Naturalist intelligence designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).
... Turings criterion. In 1950, Alan Turing devised a test to determine intelligence of a digital computer in his historic essay, Computing ... Machinery and Intelligence. His name for the test was the "Imitation game," which was later ... it is experiencing. The Turing test still remains the most accurate means of measuring intelligence. It is clear that computers ...
Although the intelligences are anatomically separated from each other, Gardner claims that the eight intelligences very rarely operate independently. Rather, the intelligences are used concurrently and typically complement each other as individuals develop skills or solve problems. For example, a dancer can excel in his art only if he has strong musical intelligence to understand the rhythm and variations of the music, interpersonal intelligence to understand how he can inspire or emotionally move his audience through his movements, as well as bodily-kinesthetic intelligence to provide him with the agility and coordination to complete the movements successfully. BASIS FOR INTELLIGENCE Gardner argues that there is both a biological and cultural basis for the multiple intelligences.
Neurobiological research indicates that learning is an outcome of the modifications in the synaptic connections between cells. Primary elements of different types of learning are found in particular areas of the brain where corresponding transformations have occurred. Thus, various types of learning results in synaptic connections in different areas of the brain. For example, injury to the Broca’s area of the brain will result in the loss of one’s ability to verbally communicate using proper syntax. Nevertheless, this injury will not remove the patient’s understanding of correct grammar and word usage. In addition to biology, Gardner (1983) argues that culture also plays a large role in the development of the intelligences.
All societies value different types of intelligences. The cultural value placed upon the ability to perform certain tasks provides the motivation to become skilled in those areas. Thus, while particular intelligences might be highly evolved in many people of one culture, those same intelligences might not be as developed in the individuals of another. USING MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES IN THE CLASSROOM Accepting Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences has several implications for teachers in terms of classroom instruction. The theory states that all seven intelligences are needed to productively function in society.
... All children have unique learning styles. Students gain strong benefits when their teachers and Learning Coaches recognize their strengths and ... proposed that there are several different types of intelligences, or learning styles. 1.Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart) ... strong auditory-musical and naturalistic intelligences, supplemented by bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. The neighbor skilled in solving ...
Teachers, therefore, should think of all intelligences as equally important. This is in great contrast to traditional education systems which typically place a strong emphasis on the development and use of verbal and mathematical intelligences. Thus, the Theory of Multiple Intelligences implies that educators should recognize and teach to a broader range of talents and skills. Another implication is that teachers should structure the presentation of material in a style which engages most or all of the intelligences. For example, when teaching about the revolutionary war, a teacher can show students battle maps, play revolutionary war songs, organize a role play of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and have the students read a novel about life during that period. This kind of presentation not only excites students about learning, but it also allows a teacher to reinforce the same material in a variety of ways.
By activating a wide assortment of intelligences, teaching in this manner can facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject material. Everyone is born possessing the seven intelligences. Nevertheless, all students will come into the classroom with different sets of developed intelligences. This means that each child will have his own unique set of intellectual strengths and weaknesses. These sets determine how easy (or difficult) it is for a student to learn information when it is presented in a particular manner. This is commonly referred to as a learning style.
Many learning styles can be found within one classroom. Therefore, it is impossible, as well as impractical, for a teacher to accommodate every lesson to all of the learning styles found within the classroom. Nevertheless the teacher can show students how to use their more developed intelligences to assist in the understanding of a subject which normally employs their weaker intelligences (Lazear, 1992).
For example, the teacher can suggest that an especially musically intelligent child learn about the revolutionary war by making up a song about what happened. TOWARDS A MORE AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT As the education system has stressed the importance of developing mathematical and linguistic intelligences, it often bases student success only on the measured skills in those two intelligences. Supporters of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences believe that this emphasis is unfair.
Children whose musical intelligences are highly developed, for example, may be overlooked for gifted programs or may be placed in a special education class because they do not have the required math or language scores. Teachers must seek to assess their students’ learning in ways which will give an accurate overview of the their strengths and weaknesses. As children do not learn in the same way, they cannot be assessed in a uniform fashion. Therefore, it is important that a teacher create an ‘intelligence profiles’ for each student. Knowing how each student learns will allow the teacher to properly assess the child’s progress (Lazear, 1992).
This individualized evaluation practice will allow a teacher to make more informed decisions on what to teach and how to present information.
Traditional tests (e. g. , multiple choice, short answer, essay… ) require students to show their knowledge in a predetermined manner. Supporters of Gardner’s theory claim that a better approach to assessment is to allow students to explain the material in their own ways using the different intelligences. Preferred assessment methods include student portfolios, independent projects, student journals, and assigning creative tasks.
An excellent source for a more in-depth discussion on these different evaluation practices is Lazear (1992).
CONCLUSION Schools have often sought to help students develop a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences provides a theoretical foundation for recognizing the different abilities and talents of students. This theory acknowledges that while all students may not be verbally or mathematically gifted, children may have an expertise in other areas, such as music, spatial relations, or interpersonal knowledge.
Approaching and assessing learning in this manner allows a wider range of students to successfully participate in classroom learning. ADDITIONAL READING Blythe, T. , & Gardner H. (1990).
A school for all Intelligences. Educational Leadership.
47 (7), 33-37. Fogarty, R. , & Sto ehr, J. (1995).
Integrating curricula with multiple intelligences. Teams, themes, and threads.
K-college. Palatine, IL: IRI Skylight Publishing Inc. (ED 383 435) Gardner, H. (1983).
Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books Inc. Gardner, H. (1991) The unschooled mind: how children think and how schools should teach. New York: Basic Books Inc. Gardner, H.
, & Hatch, T. (1989).
Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. Educational Researcher, 18 (8), 4-9. Korn haber, M. , & Gardner, H.
Varieties of excellence: identifying and assessing children’s talents. A series on authentic assessment and accountability. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching.
(ED 363 396) Lazear, David. (1999).
Eight ways of teaching: The artistry of teaching with multiple intelligences. Palatine, IL: IRI Skylight Publishing Inc. (highly recommended) [Amazon] Lazear, David (1992).
Teaching for Multiple Intelligences.
Fastback 342 Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kapp an Educational Foundation. (ED 356 227) (highly recommended) [abstract] Martin, W. C. (1995, March).
Assessing multiple intelligences. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Conference on Educational Assessment, Ponce, PR.
(ED 385 368) The terms intelligence, ability, and aptitude are often used interchangeably to refer to behavior that is used to predict future learning or performance. However, subtle differences exist between the terms. The tests designed to measure these attributes differ in several significant ways. This article defines aptitude tests in contrast to intelligence tests and achievement tests.
It also looks at the value of aptitude tests and examines how the results of aptitude should be used. Finally, this article discusses whether students can improve their scores on these tests. WHAT IS AN APTITUDE TEST? Like intelligence tests, aptitude tests measure a student’s overall performance across a broad range of mental capabilities. But aptitude tests also often include items which measure more specialized abilities — such as verbal and numerical skills — that predict scholastic performance in educational programs. Compared to achievement tests, aptitude tests cover a broader area and look at a wider range of experiences. Achievement tests tend to measure recent learning and are closely tied to particular school subjects.
Aptitude tests tell us what a student brings to the task regardless of the specific curriculum that the student has already experienced. The difference between aptitude and achievement tests is sometimes a matter of degree. Some aptitude and achievement tests look a lot alike. In fact, the higher a student goes in levels of education, the more the content of aptitude tests resembles achievement tests.
This is because the knowledge that a student has already accumulated is a good predictor of success at advanced levels. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF APTITUDE TESTING? Research data show that individually administered aptitude tests have the following qualities: They are excellent predictors of future scholastic achievement. They provide ways of comparing a child’s performance with that of other children in the same situation. They provide a profile of strengths and weaknesses. They assess differences among individuals. They have uncovered hidden talents in some children, thus improving their educational opportunities.
They are valuable tools for working with handicapped children. In addition, group aptitude tests — usually given as part of a group achievement battery of tests — can be given quickly and inexpensively to large numbers of children. Children who obtain extreme scores can be easily identified to receive further specialized attention. Aptitude tests are valuable in making program and curricula decisions. They can also be used for grouping students as long as grouping is flexible. HOW CAN WE USE aptitude test RESULTS? In general, aptitude test results have three major uses: instructional Teachers can use aptitude test results to adapt their curricula to match the level of their students, or to design assignments for students who differ widely.
Aptitude test scores can also help teachers form realistic expectations of students. Knowing something about the aptitude level of students in a given class can help a teacher identify which students are not learning as much as could be predicted on the basis of aptitude scores. For instance, if a whole class were performing less well than would be predicted from aptitude test results, then curriculum, objectives, teaching methods, or student characteristics might be investigated. administrative Aptitude test scores can identify the general aptitude level of a high school, for example. This can be helpful in determining how much emphasis should be given to college preparatory programs. Aptitude tests can be used to help identify students to be accelerated or given extra attention, for grouping, and in predicting job training performance.
guidance Guidance counselors use aptitude tests to help parents develop realistic expectations for their child’s school performance and to help students understand their own strengths and weaknesses. CAN APTITUDE BE IMPROVED? Although studies seem to suggest that aptitude test scores cannot be improved, other research shows that that may not be the case. Tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Tests contain many questions that are content-specific, particularly in math areas. Performance on these specific types of items is trainable. Some experts feel that short-term cramming might not affect aptitude test scores. However, long-term instruction in broad cognitive skills might improve general test performance.
Cognitive theory and research suggest that learning ability can be improved by training students in learning strategies. Improving academic aptitude may be possible through a systematic curriculum that complements direct training in learning strategies with both the development of general thinking approaches and the application of those approaches over a variety of different tasks and content areas. What has been learned about training to improve aptitude can be summarized as follows: Attempts to train aptitude must go well beyond practice and feedback. What’s needed is intensive training in strategies involved in task performance along with higher level monitoring and control strategies involved in guiding performance and in transferring skills to new areas.
Educational efforts to improve aptitude need to be long-term. Abilities of students and methods of training interact. Attempts to train strategies must fit the tested aptitudes of students. Practice and feedback can be effective when students are already proficient in the ability to be trained. Intrusive training may be harmful to high aptitude students. Training ability works best when treatment utilizes some of the student’s other strengths.
Some aspects of intellectual aptitude may be more easily trained than others. Current Issues in Research on Intelligence. Frank R Yekovich, The Catholic University of America ‘… Most educators and many psychologists think intelligence tests measure – or ought to measure – something like the innate capacity or potential of the learner. This has always been a popular belief among both professionals and laymen.
It is a personal theory that is staunchly held and, like other personal theories, is not easily altered by dis confirming evidence.’ (Lohman, 1993, p. 14) The use of intelligence tests in the American education system is widespread despite the well documented shortcomings of these instruments. For instance, the fact that minority groups are overrepresented in special education and underrepresented in gifted and talented programs is but one example of how intelligence test scores, coupled with the results from other diagnostic instruments, are used daily to make decisions about eligibility for special programs. What is our current understanding of the concept of intelligence and what is the state-of-the-art with respect to its assessment? This article answers these two general questions in the following way. First, I discuss briefly several current conceptions of what intelligence is. Second, because most current conceptions of intelligence hold that it develops, I turn to a discussion of the role of learning and its effects on intellectual ability.
Finally, I briefly discuss what effect these current conceptions have had on our assessment of the ability we call intelligence. CURRENT CONCEPTIONS OF INTELLIGENCE Intelligence has been defined and studied under a number of different rubrics, among them individual differences, cognitive abilities, and aptitudes. Probably the most influential developments in our recent understanding of these concepts have come from educational and psychological researchers associated with cognitive psychology. Three of those individuals, Robert Sternberg, Howard Gardner, and John Horn serve as a representative sample of researchers who have made significant gains in our current conceptions of intelligence. In the following paragraphs I briefly summarize each one’s conceptualization of intellectual abilities. Robert Sternberg.
Sternberg’s (1985) theory of intelligence contains three sub theories, one about context, one about experience, and one about the cognitive components of information processing. The contextual sub theory attempts to specify what would be considered ‘intelligent’ in a given culture or context. According to Sternberg, culturally intelligent behavior involves either adapting to one’s present environment, selecting a more optimal environment, or reshaping one’s current environment. The experiential sub theory claims that the expression of any intelligent behavior will be a function of the amount of experience one has with the particular class of tasks being tested. According to Sternberg, intelligence is best demonstrated when the task is relatively novel or unfamiliar. The componential sub theory describes the cognitive structures and processes that together produce intelligent behavior.
Sternberg proposes three general types of processes: meta components (which control and monitor processing), performance components (processes that execute plans), and knowledge acquisition components (which encode and assemble new knowledge).
As a whole, the theory claims different aspects or kinds of intelligence (e. g. , academic, practical).
Howard Gardner. One of the most popular recent views of intelligence, at least among practitioners, has come from Gardner (e. g. , Gardner & Hatch, 1989).
He proposes a theory of multiple intelligences in which he claims there are seven relatively independent intelligences. Those intelligences are logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intra personal.
Additionally, Gardner recognizes that one’s experiences will influence the degree to which each of the intelligences can be expressed. Thus, rather than characterizing an individual’s intelligence by a single test score, Gardner argues for determining the profile of one’s intelligences, taking into account culturally valued activities that can be expressed in a familiar context. Accordingly, this view suggests the need for new forms of assessment. Gardner and his colleagues have been working on versions of new, more authentic assessment tools for the past 8 years. The results have been mixed.
For a critique, the interested reader should see Sternberg (1991).
John Horn. Along with his advisor, Raymond B. Cat tell, John Horn has developed a theory of intelligence that specifies two broad factors, fluid abilities and crystallized abilities, along with numerous specific factors that support the general ones. Fluid intelligence represents one’s ability to reason and solve problems in novel or unfamiliar situations. Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, indicates the extent to which an individual has attained the knowledge of a culture.
According to Horn (1989), the Gf – Gc theory can also be thought of as a theory of multiple intelligences because of the relative independence of fluid and crystallized abilities (characterized by distinctly separate patterns of co variation).
Horn also argues that the expressions of these abilities ‘… are outcroppings of distinct influences operating through development, brain function, genetic determination, and the adjustments, adaptations, and achievements of school and work.’ (Horn, 1989, p. 76) LEARNING AND INTELLECTUAL ABILITIES An important development in our understanding of intelligence, is the near universal agreement among researchers that at least some aspects of our intellectual abilities depend heavily on our experiential histories.
This acknowledgement should be clear in the three theories summarized above. Each one recognizes the inseparability of experience from intellectual ability. This position stands in stark contrast to the one that holds that intelligence tests measure – or ought to measure – one’s innate capacity. Admitting that experience influences one’s performance on an intelligence test severely undermines the innate capacity notion, unless one adopts the weaker position that intelligence is a measure of one’s innate capacity to learn. In either case, the logical position to assume is that any theory that attempts to explain individual differences in intellectual abilities must include a learning sub theory as part of it.
A recent volume edited by Ackerman, Sternberg, and Glaser (1989) presents several current approaches that integrate information processing theories of learning with theories of individual differences in abilities. Two widely acknowledged views have come from Ackerman (e. g. , 1993) and Lohman (1989; 1993).
The next two paragraphs briefly summarize these researchers’ views. Phillip Ackerman. Ackerman (1993) has adapted aspects of John R. Anderson’s theory of cognitive skill acquisition (e. g. , Anderson, 1983) and coupled it with a theory of intellectual abilities proposed by Marshaled, Lohman, and Snow (1983).
The integration has produced a hybrid theory which claims that as learning occurs, intellectual differences are reduced for tasks that have a consistent problem-solving structure. In contrast, intellectual differences become magnified for tasks that have variable (novel? ) problem-solving structures. In other words, with practice peoples’ intellectual abilities will be either similar or different, depending on the nature of the mental processes required to solve different types of problems. David Lohman.
Lohman (1989; 1993) has coupled information processing theories of learning (e. g. , Anderson, 1983) with the Gf – Gc theory (e. g.
, Horn, 1989) in order to characterize the relation between learning and intelligence. It has been known for some time that crystallized intelligence was the product of the acquisition of knowledge (i. e. , experience).
However, recently Lohman (1993) has argued persuasively that fluid intelligence (i. e.
, the ability to reason in novel situations) may also be amenable to learning. In fact, he espouses that schools would benefit from direct instruction and testing of fluid abilities. CURRENT ISSUES IN THE ASSESSMENT OF INTELLIGENCE (S) The state of affairs with respect to testing intelligence is interesting. Basically, current practice doesn’t match the recommendations being offered by educational and psychological researchers. One question to be answered is, ‘Given our understanding of the nature of intellectual abilities, why do current intelligence tests remain so popular and the standard form of interpretation so pervasive?’ In a provocative reply, Sternberg (1992) argues that market forces (i. e.
, the demands of test consumers) have retarded the development of new, more appropriate measures of intellectual abilities. He points out that signs of change are appearing, but until they gain more momentum, current instruments, no matter how inadequate, will continue to be the standard. A second question to be answered is, ‘How can current research inform the development of new instruments to assess intellectual abilities?’ There are two parts to this answer, each with its own potential contribution. First, while intelligence tests were originally devised to classify individuals according to their academic potential, our education system is now faced with an admittedly diverse set of students who possess a wide range of expressible abilities. One answer that is emerging from the cognitive analysis of intellectual abilities is that tests are likely better used for diagnostic purposes (i. e.
, as assessments of current functioning so as to inform instructional needs) rather than for classification. Thus, several researchers (e. g. , Gardner & Hach t, 1989) propose the development of new assessment tools designed for a new purpose. A second and related answer that is surfacing is that fine-grained cognitive analyses can be used beneficially to uncover individual differences in the information processing profiles of students (e. g.
, Carpenter, Just, & Shell, 1990).
A clear and important implication of this work is that such analyses will eventually lead to dramatic improvement in our ability to assess an individual’s current level of intellectual functioning and to prescribe instructional interventions that will maximize each individual’s potential. REFERENCES Anderson, J. R.
‘The architecture of cognition.’ Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Ackerman, P. L.
‘Learning and individual differences: An ability / information processing framework for skill acquisition.’ Final Report, Contract N 00014-89-J-1974, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Ackerman, P. L. , Sternberg, R. J.
, & Glaser, R. (Eds. ) (1989).
‘Learning and individual differences: Advances in theory and research.’ New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Co…
Carpenter, P. A. , Just, M. A. , & Shell, P. (1990).
What one intelligence test measures: A theoretical account of the processing in the Raven Progressive Matrices test. ‘Psychological Review,’ 97 (3), 404-431. Gardner, H. , & Hatch, T.
Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. ‘Educational Researcher,’ 18 (8), 4-10. Horn, J. L.
Cognitive diversity: A framework for learning. In P. L. Ackerman, R. J.
Sternberg, and R. Glaser (Eds. ), ‘Learning and individual differences: Advances in theory and research,’ (pigs. 61-116).
New York, NY: W. H.
Freeman and Co. Lohman, D. F. (1989).
Human intelligence: An introduction to advances in theory and research. ‘Review of Educational Research,’ 59 (4), 333-374. Questions To Ask When Evaluating Tests Lawrence M. Runner, ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation The ‘Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing’ established by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education, are intended to provide a comprehensive basis for evaluating tests. This article identifies the key standards applicable to most test evaluation situations.
Sample questions are presented to help in your evaluations. TEST COVERAGE AND USE There must be a clear statement of recommended uses and a description of the population for which the test is intended. The principal question to ask when evaluating a test is whether it is appropriate for your intended purposes as well as your students. The use intended by the test developer must be justified by the publisher on technical grounds. You then need to evaluate your intended use against the publisher’s intended use. Questions to ask: 1.
What are the intended uses of the test? What interpretations does the publisher feel are appropriate? Are inappropriate applications identified? 2. Who is the test designed for? What is the basis for considering whether the test applies to your students? APPROPRIATE SAMPLES FOR TEST VALIDATION AND NOR MING The samples used for test validation and nor ming must be of adequate size and must be sufficiently representative to substantiate validity statements, to establish appropriate norms, and to support conclusions regarding the use of the instrument for the intended purpose. The individuals in the nor ming and validation samples should represent the group for which the test is intended in terms of age, experience and background. Questions to ask: 1. How were the samples used in pilot testing, validation and nor ming chosen? How is this sample related to your student population? Were participation rates appropriate? 2. Was the sample size large enough to develop stable estimates with minimal fluctuation due to sampling errors? Where statements are made concerning subgroups, are there enough test-takers in each subgroup? 3.
Do the difficulty levels of the test and criterion measures (if any) provide an adequate basis for validating and nor ming the instrument? Are there sufficient variations in test scores? RELIABILITY The test is sufficiently reliable to permit stable estimates of the ability levels of individuals in the target group. Fundamental to the evaluation of any instrument is the degree to which test scores are free from measurement error and are consistent from one occasion to another when the test is used with the target group. Sources of measurement error, which include fatigue, nervousness, content sampling, answering mistakes, misinterpreting instructions and guessing, contribute to an individual’s score and lower a test’s reliability. Different types of reliability estimates should be used to estimate the contributions of different sources of measurement error. Inter-rater reliability coefficients provide estimates of errors due to inconsistencies in judgment between raters. Alternate-form reliability coefficients provide estimates of the extent to which individuals can be expected to rank the same on alternate forms of a test.
Of primary interest are estimates of internal consistency which account for error due to content sampling, usually the largest single component of measurement error. Questions to ask: 1. How have reliability estimates been computed? Have appropriate statistical methods been used? (e. g. , Split half-reliability coefficients should not be used with speeded tests as they will produce artificially high estimates. ) 2.
What are the reliabilities of the test for different groups of test-takers? How were they computed? 3. Is the reliability sufficiently high to warrant using the test as a basis for decisions concerning individual students? 4. To what extent are the groups used to provide reliability estimates similar to the groups the test will be used with? CRITERION VALIDITY The test adequately predicts academic performance. In terms of an achievement test, criterion validity refers to the extent to which a test can be used to draw inferences regarding achievement.
Empirical evidence in support of criterion validity must include a comparison of performance on the validated test against performance on outside criteria. A variety of criterion measures are available, such as grades, class rank, other tests and teacher ratings. There are also several ways to demonstrate the relationship between the test being validated and subsequent performance. In addition to correlation coefficients, scatter plots, regression equations and expectancy tables should be provided.
Questions to ask: 1. What criterion measure has been used to evaluate validity? What is the rationale for choosing this measure? 2. Is the distribution of scores on the criterion measure adequate? 3. What is the overall predictive accuracy of the test? How accurate are predictions for individuals whose scores are close to cut-points of interest? CONTENT VALIDITY Content validity refers to the extent to which the test questions represent the skills in the specified subject area.
Content validity is often evaluated by examining the plan and procedures used in test construction. Did the test development procedure follow a rational approach that ensures appropriate content? Did the process ensure that the collection of items would represent appropriate skills? Other questions to ask: 1. Is there a clear statement of the universe of skills represented by the test? What research was conducted to determine desired test content and / or evaluate content? 2. What was the composition of expert panels used in content validation? How were judgments elicited? 3. How similar is this content to the content you are interested in testing? CONSTRUCT VALIDITY The test measures the ‘right’ psychological constructs. Intelligence, self-esteem and creativity are examples of such psychological traits.
Evidence in support of construct validity can take many forms. One approach is to demonstrate that the items within a measure are inter-related and therefore measure a single construct. Inter-item correlation and factor analysis are often used to demonstrate relationships among the items. Another approach is to demonstrate that the test behaves as one would expect a measure of the construct to behave. For example, one might expect a measure of creativity to show a greater correlation with a measure of artistic ability than with a measure of scholastic achievement. Questions to ask: 1.
Is the conceptual framework for each tested construct clear and well founded? What is the basis for concluding that the construct is related to the purposes of the test? 2. Does the framework provide a basis for testable hypotheses concerning the construct? Are these hypotheses supported by empirical data? TEST ADMINISTRATION Detailed and clear instructions outline appropriate test administration procedures. Statements concerning test validity and the accuracy of the norms can only generalize to testing situations which replicate the conditions used to establish validity and obtain normative data. Test administrators need detailed and clear instructions to replicate these conditions. All test administration specifications, including instructions to test takers, time limits, use of reference materials and calculators, lighting, equipment, seating, monitoring, room requirements, testing sequence, and time of day, should be fully described. Questions to ask: 1.
Will test administrators understand precisely what is expected of them? 2. Do the test administration procedures replicate the conditions under which the test was validated and normed? Are these procedures standardized? TEST REPORTING The methods used to report test results, including scaled scores, sub tests results and combined test results, are described fully along with the rationale for each method. Test results should be presented in a manner that will help schools, teachers and students to make decisions that are consistent with appropriate uses of the test. Help should be available for interpreting and using the test results.
Questions to ask: 1. How are test results reported? Are the scales used in reporting results conducive to proper test use? 2. What materials and resources are available to aid in interpreting test results? TEST AND ITEM BIAS The test is not biased or offensive with regard to race, sex, native language, ethnic origin, geographic region or other factors. Test developers are expected to exhibit a sensitivity to the demographic characteristics of test-takers.
Steps can be taken during test development, validation, standardization and documentation to minimize the influence of cultural factors on individual test scores. These steps may include evaluating items for offensiveness and cultural dependency, using statistics to identify differential item difficulty, and examining the predictive validity for different groups. Tests are not expected to yield equivalent mean scores across population groups. Rather, tests should yield the same scores and predict the same likelihood of success for individual test-takers of the same ability, regardless of group membership.
Questions to ask: 1. Were the items analyzed statistically for possible bias? What method (s) was used? How were items selected for inclusion in the final version of the test? 2. Was the test analyzed for differential validity across groups? How was this analysis conducted? 3. Was the test analyzed to determine the English language proficiency required of test-takers? Should the test be used with non-native speakers of English? RECOMMENDED READING American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (Joint Committee) (1985), Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests, Washington, DC APA. Anastasia, A. (1988) Psychological Testing New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.
Messick, S. (1989) Validity. In R. L. Linn Educational Measurement, Third Edition. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.
Uniform Guidelines on employee selection procedures (1978) Federal Register, 43, 38290-38315 Intelligent intelligence testing Psychologists are broadening the concept of intelligence and how to test it. BY ETIENNE BENSON Monitor staff Print version: page 48 Standardized intelligence testing, now almost 100 years old, has been called one of psychology’s greatest successes. It is certainly one of the field’s most persistent and widely used inventions. Since Alfred Binet first used a standardized test to identify learning-impaired Parisian children in the early 1900 s, it has become one of the primary tools for identifying children with mental retardation and learning disabilities. It has helped the U. S.
military place its new recruits in positions that suit their skills and abilities. And, since the administration of the original Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) — adapted in 1926 from an intelligence test developed for the U. S. Army during World War I — it has spawned a variety of aptitude and achievement tests that shape the educational choices of millions of students each year. But intelligence testing has also been accused of unfairly stratifying test-takers by race, gender, class and culture; of minimizing the importance of creativity, character and practical know-how; and of propagating the idea that people are born with an unchangeable endowment of intellectual potential that determines their success in life. Since the 1970 s, intelligence researchers have been trying to preserve the usefulness of intelligence tests while addressing those concerns.
They have done so in a number of ways, including updating the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale so they better reflect the abilities of test-takers from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They have developed new, more sophisticated ways of creating, administering and interpreting those tests. And they have produced new theories and tests that broaden the concept of intelligence beyond its traditional boundaries. As a result, many of the biases identified by critics of intelligence testing have been reduced, and new tests are available that, unlike traditional intelligence tests, are based on modern theories of brain function, says Alan Kaufman, PhD, a clinical professor of psychology at the Yale School of Medicine.
For example, in the early 1980 s, Kaufman and his wife, Nadeen Kaufman, EdD, a lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine, published the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), then one of the only alternatives to the WISC and the Stanford-Binet. Together with the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, first published in the late 1970 s, and later tests, such as the Differential Ability Scales and the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), the K-ABC helped expand the field of intelligence testing beyond the traditional tests. Nonetheless, says Kaufman, there remains a major gap between the theories and tests that have been developed in the past 20 years and the way intelligence tests are actually used. Narrowing that gap remains a major challenge for intelligence researchers as the field approaches its 100 th anniversary. King of the hill Among intelligence tests for children, one test currently dominates the field: the WISC-III, the third revision of psychologist David Wechsler’s classic 1949 test for children, which was modeled after Army intelligence tests developed during World War I.
Since the 1970 s, says Kaufman, ‘the field has advanced in terms of incorporating new, more sophisticated methods of interpretation, and it has very much advanced in terms of statistics and methodological sophistication in development and construction of tests. But the field of practice has lagged woefully behind.’ Nonetheless, people are itching for change, says Jack Naglieri, PhD, a psychologist at George Mason University who has spent the past two decades developing the CAS in collaboration with University of Alberta psychologist J. P. Das, PhD. Practitioners want tests that can help them design interventions that will actually improve children’s learning; that can distinguish between children with different conditions, such as a learning disability or attention deficit disorder; and that will accurately measure the abilities of children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Naglieri’s own test, the CAS, is based on the theories of Soviet neuro psychologist A.
R. Luria, as is Kaufman’s K-ABC. Unlike traditional intelligence tests, says Naglieri, the CAS helps teachers choose interventions for children with learning problems, identifies children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder and fairly assesses children from diverse backgrounds. Now, he says, the challenge is to convince people to give up the traditional scales, such as the WISC, with which they are most comfortable.
According to Nadeen Kaufman, that might not be easy to do. She believes that the practice of intelligence testing is divided between those with a neuro psychological bent, who have little interest in the subtleties of new quantitative tests, and those with an educational bent, who are increasingly shifting their interest away from intelligence and toward achievement. Neither group, in her opinion, is eager to adopt new intelligence tests. For Naglieri, however, it is clear that there is still a great demand for intelligence tests that can help teachers better instruct children with learning problems.
The challenge is convincing people that tests such as the CAS — which do not correlate highly with traditional tests — still measure something worth knowing. In fact, Naglieri believes that they measure something even more worth knowing than what the traditional tests measure. ‘I think we ” re at a really good point in our profession, where change can occur,’ he says, ‘and I think that what it’s going to take is good data.’ Pushing the envelope The Kaufmans and Naglieri have worked within the testing community to effect change; their main concern is with the way tests are used, not with the basic philosophy of testing. But other reformers have launched more fundamental criticisms, ranging from ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (Bantam Books, 1995), by Daniel Goleman, PhD, which suggested that ‘EI’ can matter more than IQ (see article on page 52), to the multiple intelligences theory of Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner, PhD, and the theory of successful intelligence of APA President Robert J.
Sternberg, PhD, of Yale University. These very different theories have one thing in common: the assumption that traditional theories and tests fail to capture essential aspects of intelligence. But would-be reformers face significant challenges in convincing the testing community that theories that sound great on paper — and may even work well in the laboratory — will fly in the classroom, says Nadeen Kaufman. ‘A lot of these scientists have not been able to ope rationalize their contributions in a meaningful way for practice,’ she explains. In the early 1980 s, for example, Gardner attacked the idea that there was a single, immutable intelligence, instead suggesting that there were at least seven distinct intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intra personal.
(He has since added existential and naturalist intelligences. ) But that formulation has had little impact on testing, in part because the kinds of quantitative factor-analytic studies that might validate the theory in the eyes of the testing community have never been conducted. Sternberg, in contrast, has taken a more direct approach to changing the practice of testing. His Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test (STAT) is a battery of multiple-choice questions that tap into the three independent aspects of intelligence — analytic, practical and creative — proposed in his theory. Recently, Sternberg and his collaborators from around the United States completed the first phase of a College Board-sponsored Rainbow Project to put the theory into practice. The goal of the project was to enhance prediction of college success and increase equity among ethnic groups in college admissions.
About 800 college students took the STAT along with performance-based measures of creativity and practical intelligence. Sternberg and his collaborators found that measures predicted a significant portion of the variance in college grade point average (GPA), even after SAT scores and high school GPA had been accounted for. The test also produced smaller differences between ethnic groups than did the SAT. In the next phase of the project, the researchers will fine-tune the test and administer it to a much larger sample of students, with the ultimate goal of producing a test that could serve as a supplement to the SAT.
Questioning the test Beyond the task of developing better theories and tests of intelligence lies a more fundamental question: Should we even be using intelligence tests in the first place? In certain situations where intelligence tests are currently being used, the consensus answer appears to be ‘no.’ A recent report of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education (PCESE), for example, suggests that the use of intelligence tests to diagnose learning disabilities should be discontinued. For decades, learning disabilities have been diagnosed using the ‘IQ-achievement discrepancy model,’ according to which children whose achievement scores are a standard deviation or more below their IQ scores are identified as learning disabled. The problem with that model, says Patti Harrison, PhD, a professor of school psychology at the University of Alabama, is that the discrepancy doesn’t tell you anything about what kind of intervention might help the child learn. Furthermore, the child’s actual behavior in the classroom and at home is often a better indicator of a child’s ability than an abstract intelligence test, so children might get educational services that are more appropriate to their needs if IQ tests were discouraged, she says. Even staunch supporters of intelligence testing, such as Naglieri and the Kaufmans, believe that the IQ-achievement discrepancy model is flawed. But, unlike the PCESE, they don’t see that as a reason for getting rid of intelligence tests altogether.
For them, the problem with the discrepancy model is that it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Wechsler scores, which were never intended to be used to as a single, summed number. So the criticism of the discrepancy model is correct, says Alan Kaufman, but it misses the real issue: whether or not intelligence tests, when properly administered and interpreted, can be useful. ‘The movement that’s trying to get rid of IQ tests is failing to understand that these tests are valid in the hands of a competent practitioner who can go beyond the numbers — or at least use the numbers to understand what makes the person tick, to integrate those test scores with the kind of child you ” re looking at, and to blend those behaviors with the scores to make useful recommendations,’ he says. Intelligence tests help psychologists make recommendations about the kind of teaching that will benefit a child most, according to Ron Palomar es, PhD, assistant executive director in the APA Practice Directorate’s Office of Policy and Advocacy in the Schools.
Psychologists are taught to assess patterns of performance on intelligence tests and to obtain clinical observations of the child during the testing session. That, he says, removes the focus from a single IQ score and allows for an assessment of the child as a whole, which can then be used to develop individualized teaching strategies. Critics of intelligence testing often fail to consider that most of the alternatives are even more prone to problems of fairness and validity than the measures that are currently used, says APA President-elect Diane F. Halpern, PhD, of Claremont McKenna College.
‘We will always need some way of making intelligent decisions about people,’ says Halpern. ‘We ” re not all the same; we have different skills and abilities. What’s wrong is thinking of intelligence as a fixed, innate ability, instead of something that develops in a context.’ Breaking new ground Research on emotions, stereotypes and genes is producing new insights into intelligence. BY ETIENNE BENSON Monitor staff Print version: page 52 Intelligence research takes place in almost every branch of psychology, though it doesn’t always go by that name.
Recent advances have taken place in research on emotional intelligence, a popular idea that some researchers are struggling to keep grounded in science; stereotype threat, a phenomenon that may account for discrepancies in test scores among ethnic groups in the United States; and the genetics of intelligence, a research area with a controversial past that is poised to benefit from recent advances in neuroscience and genetics. Emotional intelligence A search for the phrase ’emotional intelligence’ (EI) on the Internet search engine Google turns up more than 100, 000 documents. That’s not much compared to ‘self-esteem’ (1, 130, 000) or ‘IQ’ (3, 360, 000), but it is striking for a psychological term that was introduced to the literature in 1990 and that was known only to a few specialists before 1995. The term’s popularity can be attributed largely to a single event: the publication of the book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (Bantam Books, 1995) by Daniel Goleman, PhD, which sparked explosive growth in EI research in the late 1990 s. Since the book’s publication, EI research has proceeded along two parallel streams. One of those streams has been based largely on Goleman’s book.
Its practitioners tend to take an inclusive view of EI, to use self-report or questionnaire-style measures, and to make strong claims about the importance of EI in schools and workplaces. The other stream has been based on the work of University of New Hampshire psychologist John Mayer, PhD, and Yale University psychologist Peter Sa lovey, PhD, whose research served as Goleman’s original inspiration. Researchers in that stream have attempted to define EI as a kind of intelligence and to use measures that resemble traditional intelligence tests. Recently, Gerald Matthews, PhD, Moshe Zeidner, PhD, and Richard D. Roberts, PhD, of the University of Sydney, attempted to sift through the voluminous research produced by both streams and to identify the field’s strengths and weaknesses. The results of their research are described in a new book, ‘Emotional Intelligence: Science and Myth’ (MIT Press, 2003).
Their conclusion: EI still has a long way to go. Self-report measures of EI, they argue, are often little more than reformulations of traditional personality scales; most theories of EI fail to take into account well-established theories about emotion and intelligence; and attempts to apply EI in schools and workplaces are often more hype than substance. Mayer agrees that the quality of research on EI is mixed. ‘If you ” re going to take the term ’emotional intelligence’s eri ously as an intelligence,’ he says, ‘it’s got to be about how one reasons about emotions and also about how emotions help reasoning, and most of the field does not do that.’ But Mayer is optimistic about the future of EI. He and his collaborators recently published a new test of EI that appears to meet all of the psychometric criteria for a traditional intelligence test, he says. And as the field matures — with the help of criticisms such as those presented by Matthews, Zeidner and Roberts — Mayer says he expects to find further evidence that EI is a useful scientific construct.
Stereotype threat Gaps between the average test performance of African-Americans and European Americans have proven to be remarkably persistent, remaining even when socioeconomic status, prior performance and other factors have been accounted for. That’s one of the reasons why the research of Stanford University psychologist Claude Steele, PhD, and others on the effect of stereotypes on test performance has had such a large impact. The research offers an explanation — the cognitive and emotional burden of ‘stereotype threat’ — for part of that gap, as well as for other kinds of performance differences between groups stereotyped on the basis of race, gender, age and other social distinctions. But while Steele’s work has spurred a number of other researchers to follow his lead, it has also encountered criticism.
University of Minnesota psychologist Paul Sackett, PhD, for one, worries that the extent to which stereotype threat explains the testing gap has been exaggerated. ‘It’s clear that Steele shows a very interesting phenomenon in his lab,’ says Sackett. ‘It’s provocative, it’s well done, it’s fascinating as all get-out. The question is, is it just a lab phenomenon or will it generalize to the real world?’ That question has yet to be answered definitively, although Steele says that numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of stereotype threat under real-world conditions. And several recent studies suggest that attempts to reduce the effects of stereotype threat in schools can improve student performance. Of course, says Steele, many of the manipulations used in the laboratory — such as telling participants that a test is unimportant — can’t be used in the real world.
‘In the real world, these tests are about abilities and, for the most part, they ” re taken by people who care about them,’ he says. ‘To get the threat out of the situation, you have to do something, like what we did, that you can’t do in real life.’ But, he says, that does not mean that interventions that reduce stereotype threat or teach people how to minimize its negative effects can’t work. Some of the most interesting new research on stereotype threat suggests that the cues that trigger it can be pervasive and subtle, says Steele. In a study published last year in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Vol. 28, No. 12), for instance, Stanford researcher Paul Davies, PhD, and his collaborators reported that television commercials that depict stereotypical female behavior impair women’s performance on math tests and reduce their interest in pursuing quantitative careers.
A collection of research papers on stereotype threat, with commentary by Steele and Sackett, will appear in a special issue of the journal Human Performance this fall. Genes and intelligence In 1998, Robert Plomin, PhD, and his collaborators published a study suggesting that a variation in the gene for IGF-2 R, a receptor for a human growth factor, was associated with extremely high SAT scores. The gene accounted for only a small amount of variance in scores — about 2 percent — but the finding suggested that scientists had taken a step toward explaining differences in intelligence in biological terms. As such, it made a huge splash in the media. Last year, however, when Plomin and h.