Person-to-person intelligence is relative




Albert Ziegler and Kurt A. Heller

Beginnings of intelligence research
Intelligence research is one of the most thriving branches of research in psychology. Nevertheless, it lacks a binding, generally accepted definition of its research subject. At the beginning of the century, William Stern defined intelligence as the ability to adapt to unknown situations or to solve new problems. Boring put forward a pragmatic, operational definition, stating intelligence as that which the intelligence test measures. Today, intelligence is mostly treated as a theoretical, only indirectly inferable construct. Expert surveys show the greatest agreement in higher mental processes such as problem solving, decision making, abstract thinking and representation. Modern intelligence research has also bridged the gap with neighboring sciences, such as neurophysiology, cognitive science and, last but not least, computer science, especially artificial intelligence research.
Historically, intelligence research was initially on physiognomic features interested in people, for example their facial expressions or handwriting. People whose Facial physiognomy resembling donkeys, called stupid. Such attempts have turned out to be a dead end, just like those founded by Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) Skull theory, in which a connection between head shape and mental characteristics is claimed. The idea of ​​measuring intelligence is commonly attributed to Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). He recorded physiological functions such as Visual acuity, Muscle strength or reaction timeby which he hoped to shed light on psychological processes. Even if his research program soon stagnated, he deserves the credit for central questions in intelligence research like that Inheritance, Sociability or Measurability of intelligence, having first addressed it. The first Intelligence test, to which the later Binetarium and numerous subsequent versions go back, was developed by the French Alfred Binet (1857-1911).

Classic intelligence models
The transition to modern intelligence research is made through the conception of psychometric research tradition marked, according to which psychological phenomena are just as measurable and thus mathematically describable as physical ones. This perspective, which dominated until the 1970s, led to a demystification of human thinking and paved the way for structural-functional approaches.
The simplest model of intelligence that is often still found in everyday life is based on a uniform, homogeneous construct. But already Spearman (1863-1945) called for a more differentiated view and pleaded for a distinction between a general factor of intelligence and additional special factors. Cattell took up his ideas and made them more precise. Cattell distinguished two factors of the second order, which he called fluid and crystalline intelligence. The fluid Intelligence represents the physiological efficiency of the brain, which can be found, for example, in the Processing speed expresses. Against it is crystalline To see intelligence as the precipitate of individual experiences that underlie verbal understanding or the routine implementation of effective problem-solving strategies. While the development of crystalline intelligence is strongly dependent on socialization, Cattell assumed fluid intelligence to be genetically fixed. The postulated age course is interesting: While fluid intelligence is subject to age-related degradation processes, crystalline intelligence can be increased well into old age.
Thurstone (1887-1955) took the position that intelligence is the interplay of seven independent Primary factors reflect including verbal skills, Memory and arithmetic as spatial imagination. Guilford, on the other hand, assumed a large number of other individual factors (150 in total), which he arrived at on the basis of preliminary theoretical considerations. In his cube model, the three spatial dimensions of the cube correspond to (1) intellectual operations (e.g. knowledge, memory, evaluation), (2) their content (e.g. figural, symbolic) and (3) the products of intelligent behavior (e.g. system, transformation). While Guilford primarily assigned a heuristic function to his model, and by distinguishing it from more convergent (intelligence) and divergent thought production (Creativity) became known, so-called recur Intelligence structure tests or differential ability tests often on Thurstones Primary factor model.

Current intelligence models
Today multidimensional and process-oriented models of intelligence dominate. Gardner postulates seven or more recently ten independent ones Intelligence dimensions. In contrast to the classical intelligence models, which are mainly based on statistics, he set up various theory-guided criteria that an intellectual ability must meet in order to qualify as an independent intelligence dimension. First of all, it must be possible to localize this ability in a certain brain region. This can be seen, for example, from the fact that damage to certain areas of the brain leads to the loss of the ability in question, while other cognitive functions remain intact. Furthermore, special talents for these abilities should be demonstrable, while at the same time other abilities can be inconspicuous or even below average, as is the case, for example, with "idiot savants". The ability in question should have ontogenetic and evolutionary independence, i.e. it should go through a comparable developmental sequence in different cultures. The independence of an intelligence must also be shown in the fact that there are mental operations and suitable experimental possibilities of proof that are typical only for it. Finally, an autonomous intelligence should promote the development of an independent notation system (numbers, musical notes) or typical cultural transformations (sport, theater).
The one postulated by Gardner linguistic intelligence is expressed in the sensitivity to word meanings or linguistic memory performance. Logical-mathematical intelligence includes mathematical and logical thinking skills, such as those required to carry out mathematical proofs. Spatial Intelligence is based on the skills of spatial perception and imagination and spatial thinking. Musical intelligence includes not only musical skills in the narrower sense, such as composing songs or playing a musical instrument, but also a wide range of artistic skills, which also includes emotional aspects. Under the physical-kinesthetic intelligence Gardner understands physical dexterity and movement skills that dancers and artistic cyclists, for example, have to a large extent. The intrapersonal intelligence means the sensitivity to one's own world of sensations, which contributes to the understanding of one's own behavior. Interpersonal intelligence describes the ability to differentiate between perception of other people in order to recognize their moods, motivations and intentions. Gardner recently formulated other candidates for intelligence, e.g. "spiritual" and "existential" forms of intelligence.
Other multiple intelligence and talent models take greater account of the dependency of intelligence performance on socio-cultural requirement situations and assessment contexts. In addition to intelligence factors in the narrower sense (linguistic, mathematical, technical-constructive, etc.), Heller emphasizes the importance of creativity (flexibility, originality etc.) and social skills (Intention formation, Planning social actions etc.), which can influence the implementation of individual talent potential.
Robert Sternberg takes a process-oriented approach to intelligence. His Triarchic intelligence theory comprises three sub-theories. The Component sub-theory deals with the efficient processing of information. Three sub-processes can be identified: 1) Metacomponents support the planning, control and evaluation of problem solutions. They include, among other things, the ability to recognize a problem in the first place, monitor problem solving and activate attention resources. 2) Performance components are subordinate processes to the metacomponents, so to speak their executive organs, which, for example, do the problem coding. 3) Knowledge Acquisition Components control learning and the acquisition of knowledge, including the distinction between relevant and irrelevant information and the integration of old and new information. The Experiential sub-theory describes the interaction of the three components just explained with the Experience. Most important here are the concepts of news and the automation. For example, only the interaction of highly automated (reading) processes and the intelligence components makes this possible Text comprehension. The more automated the reading process, the greater the mental capacity that can be used to adapt to the new information contained in the text. Conversely, the faster these adaptations to the new succeed, the more capacities are available for automation. A higher skill in one of the two skill areas thus has positive effects on the other. In the Context sub-theory The intelligence components are used based on experience to solve three life tasks: Adaptation to socio-cultural environments as well as the modification of old and the selection of new socio-cultural environments. This is an aspect of practical or social intelligence, which takes into account the fact that outstanding intelligence in one culture can be worthless in another.