Application of intellectual tests in foreign psychology at the present stage
So, most psychologists now admit that intellectual tests measure the level of formation of some intellectual skills, which depends both on the degree of training of individuals and on their natural capabilities. You can not separate one from the other in test results.
The dependence of test evaluations on the environment means their inconsistency, variability. Understanding this leads to a change in the main purpose of testing. If earlier measurements on intellectual tests were most often used to distribute test subjects by categories and for long-term forecasts, now among Western psychologists there is a rejection of the tendency to stick labels. The rigid, unchanging classification of individuals based on the results of intellectual tests had serious negative consequences, since a low one (1) left a mark of inferiority on the child, changed the attitudes of others around him, and thereby helped to preserve disadvantaged development conditions.
Currently, intellectual tests are used mainly to predict school achievements and the distribution of students for different types of schools. So that a child in the United States comes to school for gifted, he needs to get 1C for the Stanford-Binet test at least 135.
But even in this narrow area, predictions based on the 1C estimates are not always accurate. German psychologists, after analyzing the American studies of the simultaneity of the intellectual tests for school failure, came to the conclusion that based on the measurement of 1C), only school achievements can be predicted to a limited extent, since the average correlations between test results and school success are usually located about 0.50 '. This indicator corresponds to a determination coefficient of 0.25, and means that only 25% of variables in school achievements are due to differences in the performance of intelligence tests.
So, the assessment and forecast of school achievements based on intellectual tests are hampered by the influence of various additional factors, among which the influence of the family is most obvious and the influence of the student's personality is most important. All this affects the academic performance at school more than 1C).
Many psychologists point to a decrease in the predictive value of 1C). Moreover, as A. Anastasi observes, even D. I do not have an adequate assessment of the individual's mental development at the time of testing the test score. For this purpose it is necessary to supplement the results of testing with information from other sources: observations, biographical data, analysis of teaching methods, etc. To correctly interpret test results, you should know:
- about the degree of fitness of the subject in the performance of tests;
- about the motivation for the test;
- about the emotional state during testing;
- about the influence on the test evaluations of the personality of the experimenter;
- about the previous testing of the activity of the subject, etc.
The influence of the environment on the results of intellectual testing is so great that for a more or less successful prediction with their help psychologists try to introduce special environment indices. It has long been known that the average level and range of so-called learning abilities, identified by special tests, vary widely in different colleges. But the opinion of psychologists, colleges differ in the psychological climate, the relative weight of the theoretical and practical orientation, the degree of participation of students in extracurricular, unscheduled cases, interest in social activities and international problems and many other indicators. Therefore, American psychologists try to introduce indexes that take into account the characteristics of educational institutions.
The same trends are also observed when taking into account the conditions of the family environment, in particular the socioeconomic level of students. For this, different scales of socioeconomic conditions are used, ranging from the simplest and coarse ones, including only one indicator (for example, data on the occupation of the father or the level of education of parents), to more subtle and differentiated ones that contain not only the characteristics of the parents, but also information such as dimensions dwellings, the availability of modern amenities, the availability of books, magazines, newspapers, forms of extracurricular education (for example, music lessons). So, according to B. Blum, the correlation between the estimates for the tests of intelligence at the age of 7 and 16 years can be increased from 0.58 to 0.92, if the level of education of parents is taken into account.
So, taking into account the information received from additional sources, and taking into account the numerous influences on the test results, you can use intellectual tests to characterize the real state of some skills. In addition, according to the results of intellectual tests, it is possible to observe shifts, changes in the mental development of a person.
There are many studies of conditions that contribute to the increase or decrease. It is important to note that this indicator can vary both due to accidental shifts in the environment, and as a result of planned interventions from the outside. Psychologists have found that noticeable ups and downs in 1 & pound;) in children can be caused by the following reasons:
- changes in the structure of the family,
- increase or decrease in family income,
- moving to a new place of residence,
- visiting the kindergarten, etc.
The increase in IQ may be the result of so-called compensatory training programs, the main goal of which was to bring together the levels of intellectual development of children living in different life conditions through special education. The first compensatory programs began to be created in the USA since the 1960s. For children from families with a low socioeconomic level. A great deal of experience has already been accumulated in a number of compensatory programs that try to stimulate the intellectual development of young children and thereby limit the impact of an unfavorable environment on schooling.
The first results of using such programs are reported in the collection "Early Learning", published in 1968. So, based on the results of using the Peabody project, children who participated in developing preschool education found significantly higher rates in intelligence tests compared to control group (including children with the same environmental parameters but not participating in the training). Their advantage was preserved by these children at the beginning of schooling.
Some of the data on this problem leads to L. Strikend . He reports on the attempt of compensatory training applied to children aged 3-4 months whose mothers had IQ scores below 70. The sessions conducted by special educators allowed in 4 years to get IQ scores in some children around 135 at the rate of 84-116. On average, their indicators were 33 points higher than those of the control group. This study is also interesting because it indirectly touches upon the question of the relative influence of the genetic component and the environment on the IQ. Confirmed the crucial importance of education and training in individual differences of people based on the results of intellectual tests.
Returning to the goals of testing, we note that progressive psychologists place high hopes on tests as a tool that provides a quantitative index, an indicator of the degree of cultural interference, an unfavorable socioeconomic situation. And this is the first step in the correction of programs and teaching methods that will allow children from an unfavorable environment to approach school achievement to children from wealthy families.
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