Models of Intellect
Posted: 04 January 2008 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I don’t want to argue if Psychology and Sociology are scientific or not, but rather I think a good discussion would be on a couple models of intellect:

1.  Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence model http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm

2.  Guilford’s structure of intellect model http://www.cocreativity.com/handouts/guilford.pdf  and http://tip.psychology.org/guilford.html

Here’s a fun little test I took concerning Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence, although I don’t believe it has much reliability- thus fun test:  http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/index.htm

I scored:

Linguistics (word smart)  20

Intrapersonal (myself smart)  20

Musical (music smart)  18

Naturalistic (nature smart)  17

Interpersonal (people smart)  17

Visual/spatial (picture smart) 14

Kinaesthetic (body smart)  14

Logical (numbers smart)  12

Basically the idea behind all of this is that we all have different areas of intelligence.  Not all of us can be scientist, but some of us can be writers, psychologists, musicians or what have you and be just as talented with what we do as Einstein- in that area.  No, I’m not talking savantism- as in autism, but that is an extreme of the norm.  The majority of us have more than one area that we are intellectually inclined- which is what I am trying to demonstrate by sharing my score on the little test.  The only difference is, I had an idea as to what my results would look like because I took a more realistic test when I worked on a psych degree.  My ability for words/linguistics showed up on my ACT scores too and was my highest score.

Bottom line is that some of us are more gifted in certain areas and others in other areas and I know there are other models of intellect too, which I’m willing to discuss too, if anyone would like.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 04 January 2008 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mriana: I read the first Multiple Intelligences book in the late nineties in Texas. I was persuaded, but I may have been too uninformed to make a good judgement. I liked his ideas, and identified with one kind of intelligence versus the others (linguistical, which he said Freud was intelligent in as well, which surprised me—I would have guessed intrapersonal). Has his theory built much consensus in psychology circles? I know that Goleman’s ideas of EQ have come under attack in the years since his best-seller..  D.J.

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Posted: 04 January 2008 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Well, it was taught in the late 90s when I received my degree in psychology and it is used in public educational systems today.  Other than that, I have not heard much by way of an attack against it.  All theories of human behaviour have their flaws and like any science it is constantly being amended and updated in light of new evidence- probably more so because we know less about the human brain then we do about the universe.  Even the more recent “God part of the Brain” hypothesis, based on neuro-psychology has it’s attackers (for various reasons)- myself included.

The problem with Goleman’s model was that he included genetic factors.  Here’s his website or someone using his name:  http://www.danielgoleman.info/blog/

[ Edited: 04 January 2008 08:28 PM by Mriana ]
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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 04 January 2008 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It’s an exciting field. I’m reading some of the books by Robert Sternberg on this and other subjects in the neurosciences. What used to be a soft science is being transformed into something much more rigorous, and valuable. I don’t have any particular contribution to make on the subject. I’m just glad people are excited about it.

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Posted: 04 January 2008 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I read Gardner as an undergraduate and was also convinced by the basic idea, though I’m not always sure the exact categories are the right ones. No doubt different people have different cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and that while these can be modified by effort and experience, they have some innate starting point. Sort of like stats rolls for you D&Dtypes;-).

As a primarily verbal fellow often judged in school as being one of the “smart” ones because of my verbal skills, I had a hard time explaining why I was in honors everything except math, in which I struggled 2 years behind grade level. And when I played football in high school, I was impressed by the cognitive skills (rapid assessment of multiple variables in flux) possessed by some of the players (especially the linebackers) who were typically judged as “dull” or worse intellectually. So I’m at least a major skeptic about simplistic notions of a unitary feature of mind called intelligence, especially one that can be readily measured by standardized tests.

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Posted: 04 January 2008 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Certainly the basic outline seems very reasonable to me. There are different ways that one can be intelligent. Mozart wasn’t Newton. There are great salesmen who are terrible spellers. There are great founders of businesses who can’t paint. Now, it’s true that it’s normal in certain audiences to extol the abilities of the great scientist. But there are other audiences who prefer great writers, or great painters, or great musicians, or great businessmen, or great cabinetmakers, or great lawyers, or great investors, or great doctors, ...

Each have their role to play.

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Posted: 04 January 2008 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Brennan:

Do you think of these kinds of intelligences as sort of modules in the brain? (Not necessarily distinct organs or single regions.) How do they relate to a sort of general intelligence or human awareness? Or maybe cleverness. There seems a difference, in say a person with some mental disabilities, to have low functioning and yet be in an obvious way just as human as me.

I’m not sure if general intelligence is the same as the several kinds of intelligence.

Kirk

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Posted: 04 January 2008 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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mckenzievmd - 04 January 2008 09:46 PM

while these can be modified by effort and experience, they have some innate starting point.

I don’t think they can be modified so easily.  Like you, I’ve stuggled for years with math and as long as there is no math to the science I do alright.  Everything that was tried to help me with math failed- even in college when I did want to get College Algebra.  The help I received helped me pass it in order to graduate, but just barely.  Meanwhile, excluding stats, I made A’s in Psychology.  It was one extreme to the other, but I also have this other problem where I reverse the order of numbers too- I can look at a number like 4752 and read it or write it back to you in the wrong order and it’s not intentional.  My brain picks it up weirdly.  There’s a name for it, but I forget what it is, so I call it Math dyslexia, because the problem is only with numbers, not words.  Even so, it is a double whammy and makes it extremely difficult if not almost impossible to overcome.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 January 2008 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Well, I was very high in linguistic, logical, and spatial, but terrible in music, and (maybe this explains my irritating some people here) only mediocre on interpersonal.  Ah well, I’ve always said I was a crotchety old fud. 

How come they don’t rank wise-assness as a kind of intelligence?  LOL

However, I certainly agree that people have different strengths and weakneses, and I seem to recall a psychologist at USC about thirty years ago doing a factor analysis and identifying something like fourteen separate different kinds of intelligence. 

Occam

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Posted: 05 January 2008 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Linguistics (word smart) 17
Intrapersonal (myself smart) 20
Musical (music smart) 15
Naturalistic (nature smart) 15
Interpersonal (people smart) 16
Visual/spatial (picture smart) 19
Kinaesthetic (body smart) 17
Logical (numbers smart) 18

It is indeed a fun test unlike one of those 50 questions Tickle IQ tests which gives me a headache.

What is intelligence? From the wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence

Intelligence is a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom. However, some psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence.

Intelligence comes from the Latin verb “intellegere”, which means “to understand”. By this rationale, intelligence (as understanding) is arguably different from being “smart” (able to adapt to one’s environment), or being “clever” (able to creatively adapt).

What about nonhuman intelligence?

http://www.molvray.com/sf/exobio/recog.htm

Contacting an alien intelligence will be one of the peak experiences of the human species, right up there with inventing language.

But what are our chances of actually recognizing an alien intelligence for what it is? What if it does not say “Take me to your leader” from an obviously technologically superior spaceship?

Or machine intelligence? The Blue Brain Project:

http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/

The Blue Brain project is the first comprehensive attempt to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain, in order to understand brain function and dysfunction through detailed simulations.

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