Representations about the structure of intelligence...

Representations of the structure of intelligence

Already at the beginning of the XX century. psychologists understood how difficult it is to imagine that the whole variety of intellectual fulfillment is due to one common factor (ability). So J. Peterson argued that the intellect, "probably is not an isolated and constant factor, but there is a sum, a lot of different abilities and, apparently, it means different things in different situations, because different abilities are used".

The desire to reveal the structure of the intellect was initially based on the notion that the intellect can be considered as a reflection of the brain map ("geographic model" of intelligence by the definition of R. Sternberg). This idea goes back to Franz Gall, a representative of phrenology, correlating different parts of the head with different abilities of man. For him to understand the intellect is to make a map of the protuberances of the individual's head.

Psychologists early XX century. recognized that to study the intellect you need to turn to the scheme of the internal parts of the brain, which ensure the development of individual intellectual abilities. These views are the basis of the factor-analytic models of intelligence.

Their first type is the hierarchical model of the structure of intelligence. Hierarchical structures were more often offered by the English school of researchers of intelligence, Americans prefer! factor models of a single-level type.

The first psychologist who tried to identify the structure of intelligence and proposed a hierarchical model was the English psychologist Charles Spearman (1863-1945). Based on a statistical analysis of the performance of intellectual tasks, he proposed a two-factor theory of the organization of properties. In its original form, this theory asserted that all intellectual activity contains a single common factor called general (^ -factor), and a set of specific strong> (x-factors), characteristic of only one activity.

Positive correlations between the tests were due to the presence of the factor n. The stronger they are saturated with the factor, the higher the correlation between them. The presence of specific factors, these correlations reduced. According to C. Spearman, the "# -factor" stands for "general mental energy", and various kinds of specific factors reflect the mechanisms by which this energy is used.

From the very beginning, Ch. Spearman realized that the two-factor theory needs clarification. If the compared activities are sufficiently similar, then to some extent their correlation can be the result not only of the presence of the g-factor. Therefore, in addition to general and specific factors, there is probably an intermediate type of factors, not as universal as & pound ;, but not as specific as the factors. Such factors, characteristic only of a part of the activities, were called group.

The significance of Spearman's concept in the development of the psychological theory of intelligence lies in the fact that it represents the first attempt to overcome the simplified interpretation of the intellect as a one-dimensional ability and to outline an approach to its study as an aggregate of individual abilities, but not hierarchies. The key to the disclosure of this system, he made intellectual fulfillment, or rather, factor analysis the success of solving a variety of test tasks. Therefore, recognizing the scientific significance of the concept of Spearman, we must also emphasize its limitations, which stem primarily from the features of factor analysis as a method of revealing the interrelationships of mental phenomena.

Since this drawback, due to the specific nature of the chosen method, is common to all studies of the structure of the intellect, let us dwell in detail on its consideration below, after the presentation of other factor analytic work.

In American psychology, the view was widespread that the structure of properties is a series of fairly broad group factors, each of which in different tests can have different weights. The stimulus for a large number of studies on group factors was the publication of T. Kelly's "Crossroads of the Human Mind". To the main factors T. Kelly reckoned actions with spatial relationships, numbers, verbal material, as well as memory and speed.

One of the leading representatives of the multifactorial theory, , whose name is traditionally associated with research in this direction, was L. Thurstone (1887-1955). He singled out the 12 factors that were designated as "primary mental faculties". The most important of them, the existence of which was confirmed not only by Thurstone, but also by other psychologists, should be recognized: verbal understanding, fluency of speech, numerical, spatial factors, associative memory, speed of perception, induction.

There have been attempts to systematize cognitive factors. One of the first to do so was Raymond Cattell (1905- 1998). Initially, his theory was a synthesis of theories of C. Spearman and L. Thurstone. Like Spearman, he acknowledged the presence of a general factor, like Thurstone, singled out group factors.

His analysis of intelligence began with the allocation of primary cognitive abilities, just as L. Thurstone did. He identified a number of primary abilities, subjecting to factor analysis the results of performing a variety of intellectual tests. Among them were some, described by L. Thurston. But unlike the latter, Cattell differently placed emphasis in his analysis. If for Thurstown the main was the description of primary abilities and individual differences among them among the individual subjects, for R. Cattell this was an intermediate goal. He relatively little described and explored the primary abilities in themselves. Cattell singled out tests heavily loaded with various primary abilities, and used them as a basis for isolating second-order factors. This allowed him to describe individual differences between subjects on more abstract and general grounds.

Primary abilities, isolated by Kettel, were 17; most of them are similar to those noted by Thurston (see above):

- verbal;

- countable;

- spatial;

- speed of perception;

- the speed of closure (visual recognition, perception gestalt);

- inductive thinking;

- deductive thinking;

- associative memorization;

- mechanical knowledge and skills;

- verbal fluency;

- the flexibility of thought;

- Flexibility of closure;

- originality;

- psychomotor coordination;

- manual agility;

- musical ear and tonal sensitivity; copying skills.

Applying factor analysis again, Cattell singled out factors of the second order (in the number of five), among which the main ones were recognized as fluid and crystallized (intellect).

Fluid Intelligence was measured by classification tests and analogies performed on a shaped material; it was recognized that he is free from the influence of culture.

Crystallized intelligence was measured by verbal tests that diagnose school knowledge, training, for example, such as the vocabulary test Synthesis of concepts & quot ;. It depends on the culture, on the experience of solving problems.

The considered model of the structure of intelligence was developed by R. Quettel in the 1930s-1940s. A similar system of factors was proposed later by F. True . In intelligence, which he identified with the Spearman g-factor, he singled out two group factors called verbal-educational and practical-mechanical abilities. In them, narrower factors (subfactors) were distinguished.

In verbal-educational ability Faithful singled out verbal, numeric and some other subfactors; in practical-mechanical - subfactors of technical awareness, spatial, skills of manual labor, etc. In the course of the subsequent analysis, narrower subfactors were singled out, and at the lowest level of the hierarchy, specific s -factors. Such a hierarchical structure resembles an inverted genealogical tree. Factors of a lower level in F. Vernon are not considered as part of those above on above them. They are understood as the proportion of variations in performance that can not be explained by more general factors.

Another well-known model of the structure of intelligence is the model of Guildford (1897-1987). He developed it on the basis of a hypothetical theory, which he later tested experimentally.

The leading position of the theory of J. Guildford is the rejection of the general factor in favor of the notion that there are 150 different intellectual abilities. The starting point of his model is the hypothesis of the existence of three dimensions, a combination of which defines different types of intellectual abilities.

The first dimension is the kind of mental operations included in the ability. Guildford identifies five such operations:

- cognition,

- memory,

- divergent thinking,

- Convergent thinking,

- evaluation.

The second dimension - content - characterizes the nature of the material or information on which to base the actions. J. Guildford distinguishes five types of content:

- Fine,

- auditory,

- symbolic,

- semantic,

- behavioral.

The third dimension, product, or result - characterizes the form in which the information is processed by the subjects. Guildford calls six types of product:

- elements,

- classes,

- Relationships,

- systems,

- conversion types,

- conclusions.

According to J. Guilford's model, each ability is determined by its unique position for each of the three dimensions. This model is called the "cube-like model of the structure of intelligence". Since it contains 150 cells (5x5x6 categories), then each cell has one factor, or ability, although some cells can contain more than one factor. Capabilities can vary in all three dimensions, or in one or two dimensions, and in other two or one dimensions, they can coincide. However, the degree of their connection does not depend on whether they are similar in one or two dimensions.

If the analysis of J. Guilford is correct, it is theoretically possible to design tests that measure individual abilities. Guilford and his colleagues identified 105 of the 150 identified factors and created 105 tests. According to the theory of J. Guilford, all the factors allocated to them are orthogonal, independent. J. Guilford did not distinguish factors of the second, third order, which distinguished his theory from the hierarchical theories of C. Spearman, F. Vernon, R. Cattell. The tests he designed were selected in such a way that their results do not correlate with each other.

However, the experimental data of Guilford himself did not confirm his theory. At least 76% of the cases between the tests were certain correlations. This is also evidenced by the data of other psychologists. In addition, critical remarks about the theory of J. Guilford concerned the inclusion in their number of intellectual abilities of such dimensions, which usually do not apply to them. First of all, these factors include behavioral content, where a sense of body position was required, as well as divergent thinking, which is not related to intellect, but to creativity.

Criticism of Guilford was also due to low reliability indicators of his tests (below 0.50) and inadequate indicators of validity, measured in comparison with academic performance. All this led to the conclusion that Guildford could not prove the lack of a general ability on which different types of intellectual performance depend. Therefore, there are doubts about the correctness of his model as adequately reflecting the structure of intellectual abilities.

It seems that the Guildford model is based on an erroneous premise: in it all the properties of thinking are regarded as independent factors, although they are not by their objective qualitative features. In particular, different types of content of thinking in a living thought process are never separated from each other. It is also impossible to separate them from thought processes, and the latter do not proceed in isolation from one another.

Factor-analytical models of the structure of intelligence very quickly ceased to suit many psychologists. They were subjected to reasonable criticism.

First, these models did not say anything about the thinking processes themselves, which underlie intellectual fulfillment; so two people could get the same intellectual assessment, using different thought processes, and vice versa.

Secondly, it was difficult to give preference to any factor-analytic theory over others, it is almost impossible to assess their merits in comparison. This is due to the fact that psychologists could use different factor-analytic techniques and, depending on the latter, support one or another theory. For example, it was possible to prove both the Spearman's and the Tertone's models, using different methods of analysis.

Thirdly, the very concept of "quot; quot; had a purely formal meaning; factors were obtained by using special mathematical methods, and they, in fact, were mathematical characteristics. Attempts were made to fill them with psychological content, but different psychologists interpreted them in different ways: some as characteristics of people who solved these tasks, determining their individual differences in the success of the solution, others as characteristics of the homogeneity of the data used.

It was not excluded that the factors do not always correctly reflect the relationship between mental characteristics, because factor analysis and the factors extracted through it reflected both. In addition, factor analysis can be considered the highest level of linear correlations, and the latter can not be considered a universal form of expressing the mathematical connection between mental features, the absence of linear correlations can not be interpreted as the absence of a connection at all. The same applies to low correlation coefficients.

And, finally, there was often no reproducibility of the same set of factors when using the same tests. If you use tests on the same subjects after a while or use other samples, it is unlikely to get the same factor structure. The latter depends on the method of factor analysis.

Evaluating in general the factor-analytic concepts of intelligence, it should be noted that the method of research used in them led to a decrease in psychological content in the understanding of intelligence. The mechanical dismemberment of the psychic phenomenon into independent components did not lead to a deepening in the disclosure of its essence, but, on the contrary, contributed to the emasculation of the very concept of the intellect itself. But despite the criticism of factor analysis, work in this direction continues to this day. The importance of these works, according to their supporters, is to determine the optimal system of factors that can unequivocally explain the totality of intellectual achievements. Thus, R. Jaeger, using 70 tests on different subgroups of subjects, identified six main factors that he described as follows:

- visual thinking;

- language thinking;

- mathematical thinking;

- the ability to process information;

- formal-logical thinking;

- the motivation for achieving.

Analyzing the process of thinking from the standpoint of Gestalt theory, R. Meili put forward the hypothesis that the structure of intelligence is made up of four main factors: complexity, plasticity, globalization and fluency. This hypothesis was subjected to experimental testing on subjects of different ages and was generally confirmed. Meili found that his theoretically identified factors are invariant and are constantly established in the structure, starting at the age of six. Based on the studies, Meili proposed a "component model" intellect, in which factors were interpreted as conditions (components) of individual differences in the performance of different intellectual acts. They can relate to both the individual and the environment. And in the latter case can not be interpreted as intellectual abilities. Consequently, the structure of the intellect, including these factors, is in fact not such, but rather is the structure of the interaction of the individual with the environment.

One more modern theory, based on the notion that the intellect is too complex, can not be ignored, so that it can be regarded as a kind of common for all essence. This is the theory of the American psychologist Howard Gardner ( Gardner), called the theory of multiple intelligences (1983). It consists in the following: a person has a small number of types of intellectual potential; different individuals because of heredity, early training develop in themselves certain types of intelligence in a greater degree than others. On the basis of different potentials, different individuals are formed in individuals, which at first are crude and primitive, and then "cultivated" by solving various problems. Gardner described the following intellects:

- Linguistic;

- Music;

- logical-mathematical;

- spatial;

- body-kinesthetic;

- intrapersonal;

- interpersonal.

For their separation, he used observation and analysis of the characteristics of patients with different brain lesions, as well as the study of especially gifted individuals (poets, musicians, artists, etc.). According to G. Gardner, in the center of each intelligence there is a specific device of information functioning. For example, in linguistic intelligence it is phonological and grammatical processing of information, in musical - tone and rhythmic processing, etc.

The theory of G. Gardner, unlike other theories of the structure of intelligence, does not rely on the study of experimental data obtained from conventional samples, but is entirely based on the analysis of unusual cases, deviations from the norm both in one and the other direction. His theoretical calculations deserve the closest attention, but so far they have not been proved either experimentally or by "natural factology."

So, having examined the basic approaches to the definition of intelligence and the identification of its structure, we note the diversity of theories, concepts, views explained by the complexity of the object of study itself, and the level and specific conditions of the development of psychology, and the influence of other sciences (natural science, philosophy , pedagogy), and the requirements of practice. It should be emphasized that all researchers of the intellect focused on the features of thinking and on the dependence on it of the success of learning and the solution of various types of problems. These representations reflected on the methodology of measuring the intellect, which, according to most psychologists, was to design special batteries of tests that diagnosed different mental features. So, intellectual tests began to be considered as a means of measuring some psychological reality, about the essence of which there were very vague ideas. For half a century, the field of intelligence research has been characterized by shifting the focus of attention toward measuring, diagnosing intelligence at the expense of studying its essence.

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