We think with our minds, not our brains. CT # 2, 3

We think with our brains. William Calvin (1996)

How Brains Think

The brain is an organ specialized to help individual organisms carry out major acts of living

(Bloom & Lazerson, 1988, p. 12)


The mind is the product of the brain's activity.

Thinking is the product of the mind's activity.

What is intelligence?

Juan Huarte (Spanish physician), 1575: The ability to learn, exercise judgment, and be imaginative.

Piaget (cognitive, developmental psychologist): Intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do.

William Calvin (neuroscientist): Intelligence is all about improvising, creating a wide repertoire of behaviors, "good moves" for various situations.

Horace Barlow (neurobiologist): Intelligence is about making a guess that discovers some new order--guessing well.

Views & measures of intelligence as a unitary construct

First known test of mental ability: Civil service test in China, developed around 2000 B.C.

European tradition:

Alfred Binet

First workable test of intelligence 1905

Purpose: identify children likely to have difficulty in school.

Francis Galton,

Hereditary Genius (1892)

Believed in eugenics, emphasized the hereditary basis of intelligence.

R.J. Herrnstein & C. Murray

(The Bell Curve, 1994)

are intellectual descendants of Galton

Lewis Terman (Stanford prof)

Stanford-Binet test, 1916

Invention of IQ: "intelligence quotient." Calculated by dividing mental age (determined by the test) by chronological age.

Charles Spearman

"g" = general intelligence

A general factor that promotes high performance on many different components of intelligence tests.

Arthur Jensen: Two strongest influences on g are speed (how many questions you can answer in a fixed amount of time) and the number of items you can mentally juggle at the same time.

As Calvin says (p. 10) "Together, they make high IQ sound like the job description for a high-volume short-order cook, juggling the preparation of six different meals at the same time"

David Wechsler

Created a nonverbal version of intelligence test, 1939

Useful for children & adults who don't speak English or have some kind of language impairment.

Binet believed intelligence was a DYNAMIC COGNITIVE PROCESS.

However, the unidimensional view is often linked to a presumption that intelligence is an inherited and static trait.

Are both true?

Views of intelligence as multidimensional

Howard Gardner:

"The very lack of a developed intelligence of one sort can serve as a motivation for the development of that intelligence"

J.L. Horn & R. B. Cattell

Fluid and crystallized

Fluid--acquisition of new information, seeing new relations, inductive reasoning

Crystallized--accumulation of knowledge, vocabulary, general knowledge, achievement

Robert J. Sternberg's Triarchic theory:


Analytic--solve familiar problems using strategies that manipulate elements and relations among element

Creative--Solve novel problems that require thinking in a new way

Practical--Solve problems that apply what we know to everyday contexts

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences (which continue to proliferate)








Naturalist (Understanding patterns in the natural world)

Gardner has also speculated on a 9th intelligence: Spiritual