Measuring Intelligence and Rationality (CP3)

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Here are some ways to measure intelligence and rationality, and some brisk explanation of how they work.

Measuring intelligence: Theory behind IQ test’s

The theory is that one can measure general human intelligence g, though critics state that IQ only measures certain specific cognitive abilities. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) measures both fluid (gf independent of experience) and crystallized intelligence (gc dependent on experience). Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices is thought to be “culture fair”. It primarily tests logic, but also measures multitasking, learning, memory, and innovative thinking abilities (Jensen, 2003). This culture fair IQ-test only measure fluid intelligence.

Measuring intelligence: Theory behind the Stroop Effect

Degree of attentional control, and hence ability to suppress ones intuition, is measured by this test. People are thought to differ in selective attention capacity and skills, as well as their processing speed. The underlying phenomenon, is that we automatize procedures we frequently perform; like e.g. walking, reading and riding a bicycle. However, people of higher mental ability are expected to exhibit greater control of such more base cognitive functions.

PTSD and the Stroop Effect

If something very unusual happens, like a cat suddenly running in front of your bike, your automatized procedure breaks down, and your attention takes over. Everyone has experienced these kinds of phenomena’s, though degree of ensuing trauma can differ greatly. Let us say that the biker veered into oncoming traffic and was hit by a car. In a later test, that person would probably take longer time to react to a stroop word like “cat” or “collision”, since studies on PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) patients have found that their stroop time is longer on words associated with their underlying trauma (Moradi, 1999). The idea of the central executive is validated by this stroop effect.

Measuring intelligence: Theory behind Operation Span

Our brains stores various kinds of information, from chemical equations to the memory of one’s first kiss. Recently activated information in our conscious awareness, is called working memory (Sternberg, p. 193, 2009). Working memory (WM) is influenced by attention control, but distractors can challenge such control. WM is limited when it comes to single tasks, and especially when it comes to multitasking. The idea is that people with higher intelligence have more working memory capacity.

Measuring rationality: Theory behind Typical Reasoning

Adequate information is required to make “the right decision”, but the problem one often faces is that there often is not enough time to analyze the situation properly. Thus we rely on short-cuts (heuristics), various rules of thumb, because both time and working memory are limited resources; this is connected to Stanovich`s dysrationalia. Heuristics increase the quantity of our processing abilities, but decrease its quality.

It boils down to a question of probability, what are the chances of so-and-so actually being the case? There are many aspects and implications of this, but the specific heuristic problem I want to highlight is called the conjunction fallacy. That is, we have a tendency to assume, subjectively, that the chances of a certain scenario being true is higher if we assume two premises as true rather than only one of them. This reasoning is objectively false, and lays the foundation for stereotypes.

Measuring rationality: Theory behind Wason Selection Task

Logical-reasoning is dependent on an understanding of formal logic; separating valid from invalid argument forms. Modus ponens is an argument form deriving validity (if p then q, p, therefore q), while modus tollens is an argument form deriving falsification of antecedent (if p then q, not-q, therefore not-p). To test whether a rule is being held, you should use modus tollens and try to falsify the rule. Ability to understand how a theory is falsified is essential for scientific reasoning.

Measuring rationality: Theory behind Robert Bieglers tasks

Task 1 is based on Wasons THOG-task, and is an isomorphic hypothetical-deductive reasoning task. This task can only be completed if analogical transfer is applied; that is using pre-existing knowledge to solve similar but new problems.

Task 2 is a syllogism testing student’s ability to test for validity. A conclusion is valid if, and only if, it follows logically from its premises: i.e. if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Disjunctive reasoning tasks like these can only be solved by considering the outcomes of all three response possibilities, and what would have to be true for it to follow logically.




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