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- N. J. Mackintosh IQ And Human Intelligence ( 1998, Oxford University Press)
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- IQ and Human Intelligence
- IQ and Human Intelligence.
While intelligence is one of the most talked about subjects in psychology , there is no standard definition of what exactly constitutes intelligence. Some researchers have suggested that intelligence is a single, general ability. Others believe that intelligence encompasses a range of aptitudes, skills, and talents. Intelligence has been a controversial topic throughout psychology's history.
N. J. Mackintosh IQ And Human Intelligence ( 1998, Oxford University Press)
IQ and Human Intelligence. By Nicholas J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, More than any other trait, it is associated with controversy, both scientific and political, which was seen most recently after the publication of The Bell Curve Herrnstein and Murray How can something as nebulous as g be measured? How can it possibly be useful in genetic analyses? Books such as this by Nicholas Mackintosh will aid the scientific rehabilitation of g also see Brody ; Seligman ; Sternberg and Grigorenko ; Jensen Mackintosh is Chair of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University and is a distinguished animal-learning theorist.
That he comes to examine the field of intelligence as an outsider with no ax to grind will increase the book's impact for a wide audience, with his endorsement of the importance of g and the genetics that underlies it. Mackintosh's book is a good introduction to this field, in its description of the evidence for g 's validity, reliability, stability, and heritability. The book also includes a good summary of what we know and, mostly, do not know about environmental effects on g; it tackles the fraught issue of group differences and is especially helpful in its attempt to bring together g and cognitive psychology, two fields of mental functioning that have kept their distance.
Because the book provides a broad overview of these areas, it does not discuss all issues related to genetics see below , nor does it address neuroscience research on learning and memory, as seen in synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation, an area in which rapid progress is being made in genetic analysis Migaud et al.
Measures of cognitive abilities as diverse as spatial ability Mervis et al. However, it is not known what lies at the core of this general cognitive ability, whether it is a general process, such as executive function or a speedy brain, or whether it derives from overlapping component processes. Mackintosh favors the latter view. Regarding genetic research, Mackintosh agrees with other reviews in concluding that g is substantially heritable.
More quantitative genetic research is available for g than for any other dimension or disorder—not just for behavior but for any domain of the life sciences. In addition to indicating that people are able to make judgments about g in real life, this finding suggests that assortative mating may contribute to the substantial additive genetic variance for g, because positive assortative mating for a character can increase its additive genetic variance. One of the most surprising genetic findings about g during the past decade is not mentioned by Mackintosh, even though this finding has major implications for his attempt to understand the cognitive processes that underlie g.
Work on genetic influences on intelligence has, to date, focused on g; we know much less about the genetic and environmental origins of individual differences in such specific cognitive abilities as spatial ability, verbal ability, memory, and processing speed. Specific cognitive abilities show substantial genetic influence, although it is less than that for g Plomin and DeFries To what extent do different sets of genes affect these phenotypically different abilities?
In other words, although cognitive abilities are moderately heritable, the genetic correlations between them could be anywhere from. Multivariate analyses have shown that there is substantial genetic influence on each of these individual abilities, although it is less than that for g Plomin and DeFries More surprisingly, such analyses have consistently found that genetic correlations among specific cognitive abilities are very high—close to 1.
These genetic results have major implications for current theories of cognitive neuroscience. According to one theory, the brain works in a modular fashion—that is, cognitive processes are specific and independent. Implicit in this perspective is a bottom-up reductionist view of genetics, in which individual modules are the targets of gene action.
The findings from multivariate genetic analyses suggest a top-down view, in which genetic effects operate primarily on g, rather than suggest a bottom-up view, in which genetic effects are specific to modules. Given that the brain has evolved to learn from a variety of experiences and to solve a variety of problems, perhaps it makes sense that it would function holistically. However, finding genetic correlations near 1. Another alternative is that specific cognitive abilities, as they are currently assessed, might tap many of the same modular processes that are each affected by different sets of genes.
This alternative hypothesis could be tested by means of multivariate genetic research on measures of modular processes, such as neuroimaging measures of brain function Watkins et al. Another direction for genetic research, one that is too new to be mentioned in Mackintosh's book, is the attempt to identify specific genes responsible for the heritability of g.
DNA associations with g have begun to be reported Chorney et al. Neuroscience research with knockout animal models of learning and memory is likely to accelerate research on the molecular genetics of g, especially as neuroscientists come to appreciate the broad relevance of g.
Finding specific genes associated with g will facilitate more-precise answers to questions such as modularity. For example, to what extent are genes that are associated with modular processes, such as long-term potentiation, also associated with g? Finding genes for g will have implications for society as well as for science Plomin, in press. If, as I predict, g will soon take center stage in genetic research on the neuroscience of learning and memory, Mackintosh's excellent overview of research on g will be of great help to geneticists and others with an interest in the workings of learning, memory, and intelligence.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Am J Hum Genet. Reviewed by Robert Plomin. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. All rights reserved. Science — [ PubMed ]. Brody N Intelligence, 2d ed.
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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The behavioral and social sciences provide a foundation for the knowledge and continuous learning that the intelligence community needs to provide the highest level of analysis, with applications that can be implemented now with modest cost and minimal disruption. As the intelligence community IC seeks to reduce uncertainty and provide warning about potential threats to the national security of the United States, it faces increasing demands for analyses that are accurate, actionable, and properly qualified, so that decision makers know how much confidence the analyses warrant. Producing those analyses requires great institutional and intellectual agility as threats emerge from new quarters and require different kinds and combinations of expertise. In order to fulfill its mission, the IC leadership must successfully train, motivate, and retain that workforce, as well as continue to recruit and select new analysts with needed skills. The conditions the IC faces involve issues that have been long studied in the behavioral and social sciences, particularly the behavior of individuals and groups and the working conditions that foster effective analysis.
Like most aspects of human behavior and cognition, intelligence is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Intelligence is challenging to study, in part because it can be defined and measured in different ways. Most definitions of intelligence include the ability to learn from experiences and adapt to changing environments. Elements of intelligence include the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and understand complex ideas. Many studies rely on a measure of intelligence called the intelligence quotient IQ. Researchers have conducted many studies to look for genes that influence intelligence. Many of these studies have focused on similarities and differences in IQ within families, particularly looking at adopted children and twins.
The question 'What is intelligence?' may seem simple to answer, but the study and measurement of human intelligence is one of the most controversial subjects.
IQ and Human Intelligence
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IQ and Human Intelligence. By Nicholas J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, More than any other trait, it is associated with controversy, both scientific and political, which was seen most recently after the publication of The Bell Curve Herrnstein and Murray How can something as nebulous as g be measured?
There have been a number of approaches to the study of the development of intelligence. Psychometric theorists, for instance, have sought to understand how intelligence develops in terms of changes in intelligence factors and in various abilities in childhood. For example, the concept of mental age was popular during the first half of the 20th century.
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IQ and Human Intelligence.
IQ scores are correlated with the morphology and activity of certain neurons in the human temporal cortex. You probably remember being at school as a child and learning how to do arithmetic, to read and comprehend stories, and to solve puzzles. These tasks may appear simple to you now, but they are actually quite demanding because they require a high level of brain processing power.
Human intelligence is the intellectual capability of humans, which is marked by complex cognitive feats and high levels of motivation and self-awareness. Through intelligence , humans possess the cognitive abilities to learn , form concepts , understand , apply logic , and reason , including the capacities to recognize patterns , plan , innovate, solve problems , make decisions , retain information , and use language to communicate. As a construct and measured by intelligence tests , intelligence is considered to be one of the most useful concepts used in psychology , because it correlates with many relevant variables, for instance the probability of suffering an accident, salary, and more. According to a metastudy of educational effects on intelligence, education appears to be the "most consistent, robust, and durable method" known for raising intelligence. A number of studies have shown a correlation between IQ and myopia.
Well, as it turns out, it may be possible to increase your intelligence with the right kind of intellectual training. Research suggests that there are various ways to develop some of the most crucial skills related to human intelligence. This measurement was popularized in the s by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Common standardized IQ tests include:. Instead, IQ testing can be used as the first step in diagnosing other mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
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