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Differential psychology

Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Attention in Early Development: Themes and Variations.

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Find in Worldcat. Print Save Cite Email Share. Search within book. Email Address. What is being suggested is more radical — that emotions are part and parcel of the reasoning process. The point about the close interaction between emotional reactivity and fluid intelligence is that stress may have a significant effect on fluid intelligence.

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Miyake , A. A Latent-Variable Analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology — General, 4. But the real point is little more sensible. The whole idea of right brain vs left brain did come out of scientific research, but as is so often the case, the myth that developed is light years away from the considerably duller scientific truths that spawned it.

It is true that, for most of us, language is processed predominantly in the left hemisphere. But what is becoming increasingly more evident is that even the most specialized tasks activate areas across the brain. People hope by rooting the concept in something that is physically real, that they will thereby make the concept real. However, what we can ask is, is the concept valid?

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Are some people logical, analytical, sequential thinkers? Are others holistic, intuitive, creative thinkers? Attributes invariably belong on a continuum, and we are all capable of responding in ways that differ as a function of the task we are confronted with, and the context in which it appears especially, for example, the way something is phrased. Rather than saying a person is an analytical thinker, we should say, does a person tend to approach most problems in an analytical manner? But there are other personal attributes of importance in learning and problem-solving.

Which attributes are most important? Is this in fact a meaningful question? The fact is, different personal attributes interact with different task and situational variables in different ways. The point is, of course, that different styles lend themselves to different tasks by which I mean, different ways of doing different tasks. For example, a study of year olds investigated the question of interaction between working memory capacity and cognitive style, measured on two dimensions, Wholist-Analytic, and Verbaliser - Imager.

They found working memory capacity made a marked difference for Analytics but had little effect for Wholists, and similarly, Verbalisers were affected but not Imagers [1]. Thus, if your working memory capacity is low, in demanding tasks you might find yourself better to approach it holistically — looking at the big picture, rather than focusing on the details. Once you recognize your strengths and weaknesses, you can consciously apply strategies that work for you, and approach tasks in ways that are better for you.

You can also work on your weaknesses. An interesting recent study that I believe has wider applicability than the elderly population who participated in it, found elderly people who draw on both sides of the brain seem to do better at some mental tasks than those who use just one side [2]. You can also read an essay by William H. One theory of intelligence sees intelligence in terms of adaptiveness. Thus: "What constitutes intelligence depends upon what the situation demands" Tuddenham Intelligence in these terms cannot be understood outside of its cultural context.

Naturally to us it may seem self-evident that intelligence has to do with analytical and reasoning abilities, but we are perceiving with the sight our culture taught us. If we lived, for example, in a vast desert, where success relied on your ability to find plants, water, prey and to remember these locations, an "intelligent" person would be one who was skilled at finding their way around and remembering what they'd seen and where they'd seen it.

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In a society where people are stuck within a limited social group, where people are forced to get on with each other because they can't escape each other, and where survival requires you to depend on these people, social skills will be highly valued. An "intelligent" person might well be a person who is skilled in social relations.

If I had spent my childhood playing with construction toys such as Lego, would I be better at spatial relations? Or are you born instead with particular talents that, if you are lucky, are valued by your society and thus seen as signs of intelligence?

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An anthropologist, Joe Glick, was studying a tribe in Africa 1. The Kpelle tribe. Glick asked adults to sort items into categories. Rather than producing taxonomic categories e. Such functional grouping is something only very young children in our culture would do usually. Glick tried, and failed, to teach them to categorize items. Eventually he decided they simply didn't have the mental ability to categorize in this way.

Then, as a last resort, he asked them how a stupid person would do this task. At this point, without any hesitation, they sorted the items into taxonomic categories! Our IQ tests use categorization, and assumptions of how items relate to each other, to test "intelligence".

What is individual differences - Type Of Individual Differences - Psychology Terms --

And how many of us, when filling in IQ tests, thought of different ways to answer questions, but answered the way we knew would be considered "right"? Do they measure anything else? Gardner suggested that there are at least seven separate, relatively independent intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinaesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and musical. Each intelligence has core components, such as sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms and meaning of words linguistic , and has a developmental pattern relatively independent of the others.

Gardner suggested the relative strengths of these seven intelligences are biologically determined, but the development of each intelligence depends on environmental influences, most particularly on the interaction of the child with adults.

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This model of intelligence has positively influenced education most particularly by perceiving intelligence as much broader than the mathematical-language focus of modern education, and thus encouraging schools to spend more time on other areas of development. All these are very positive aspects of the influence of this theory. On the downside, the idea of intelligence as being biologically determined is a potentially dangerous one. Gardner claims that a preschool child could be given simple tests that would demonstrate whether or not they had specific talents in any of those seven intelligences.

The child could then be given training tailored to that talent. Do you know how many outstanding people - musicians, artists, mathematicians, writers, scientists, dancers, etc - showed signs of remarkable talent as very young children? Do you know how many so-called child prodigies went on to become outstanding in their field when adult? In both cases, not many. The idea of "talent" is grounded in our society, but in truth, we have come no further in demonstrating its existence than the circular argument: he's good at that, therefore he has a talent for it; how do we know he has a talent?

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Early ability does not demonstrate an innate talent unless the child has had no special opportunity to learn and practice the ability and notwithstanding parental claims and retrospective reports, independent observation of this is lacking. More on the question of innate talent. The more we believe in innate talent, or innate intelligence, the less effort we will put into educating those who don't exhibit ability - although there are many environmental reasons for such failures.

The whole province of intelligence testing is, I believe, a dangerous one. Indeed, I was appalled to hear of its prevalence in American education. While intelligence was seen as some inborn talent unaffected by training or experience by the early makers and supporters of psychometric tests, recent research strongly suggests that schooling affects IQ score. If you take two children who at age 13 have identical IQs and grades and then retest them five years later, after one child has finished high school while the other has dropped out of school in ninth grade, you find that the child who dropped out of school has lost around 1.

Starting school late or leaving early results in a decrease in IQ relative to a matched peer who received more schooling. In families where children attend school intermittently, there is a high negative correlation between age and IQ, implying that as the children got older, their IQ dropped commensurately. The most obvious, and simplest, explanation is that much of what is tested in IQ tests is either directly or indirectly taught in school.

This is not to say schooling has any effect on intelligence itself whatever that is. Sternberg, R. Successful intelligence: How practical and creative intelligence determine your success in life. I have two sons. One of them was a colicky baby. Night after night my partner would carry him around the room while I tried to get a little sleep.