Essay about Intelligence Definition and Measurement

Last Updated: 28 Jan 2021
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Critique of the definitions of Intelligence

There are certainly many definitions of intelligence as there are experts who study it. A Psychologist, R.J. Sternberg (2000), editor of handbook of intelligence offered variety definitions from various writers. Few of these definitions done by the editors of the Journal of Educational Psychology, which I consider fits for this paper are as follows:

“Intelligence is sensory capacity, capacity for perceptual recognition, quickness, range on flexibility or association, facility and imagination, p of attention, quickness, or alertness in response” (p. 8).

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Intelligence is also defined as “the ability to learn or having learned to adjust one self to the environment” (p. 8). There are still more definitions but to conserve some space I just chose two. Indeed, all the definitions offered by the editors of the Journal of the Educational Psychology were obviously product of years of studies as most of the definitions were directed towards mental ability. The definitions above identify the intelligent person not only in terms of the intellectual ability of the mind but in its ability to quickly adjust to new environment.

The Measures of Intelligence

The Standford – Binet theory of intelligence fits for these two definitions because the measures of intelligence test are more related. The Standford-Binet intelligence tests cover four major areas such as verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning, and short-term memory. Scores include raw scores and scaled scores for each of the 15 subtests, scaled scores and percentile ranks for a composite of the four area scores, a composite of any combination of the four area scores and a profile of all 15 subtests based on scaled scores. A pretest is administered to identify the level at which to begin testing. Scores corresponding to IQ’s are called “Standford Age Scores”.

Meanwhile, the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) has a number of positive features according to Joseph F. Jastak. He explained that the WRAT is fast and simple to manage and score, the examiner can create choices in the content of the test and in management of the form (Singular or Combined). The prototype of errors that a person has done can be analyzed qualitatively, particularly if the collective form of the test is used, since the WRAT scores are free from the polluting effect or understanding the standard score can be used for comparison with other tests, e.g. the Weschler Scales – in order to determine learning ability or disability, the evidence for construct soundness and dependability is highly regarded and as the literacy sub-tests are untimed, the subject can complete these segment with no time pressures.

The WRAT can offer an indicator for the measurement of fundamental reading, spelling and arithmetical skills in individuals with few or no academic qualifications. It can also be used in combination with other tests to present a more wide-ranging picture of the individual academic skills to determine learning ability or disability.

Comparing and Contrasting of Selected Intelligence

Both Kaufman assessment battery for children or K-ABC and the Stanford-Benit theories offered the same areas of concern, cognitive development. They both paid attention to intelligence testing beginning from the child’s early age. However, Kaufman’s ABC development assessment focused on particular groups such as the handicapped group, those with learning disabilities, and cultural minorities. On the other hand, The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale presents their test items by age level rather than by particular groupings of special people. Kaupman ABC can also be viewed as rather insufficient in the since that it still needs to be reinforced by other more established, and well studied neuropsychological test such as Stanford-Binet, Wechler scales, and McCarty scales.

How the goals are are similar and different

The Stanford-Binet theory in contrast with the insufficiency of the Kaufman’s ABC intelligence test is well established and offers a wide range of studies involving all age levels. They have established theories on both language and cognitive development. Kaufman study paid attention on their studies of intelligence on emotionally seriously disturbed children. Their focus is on cognitive development based relationships rather than language skills, while the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale offers measures of the person’s general intelligence. In this case, they were on different focus of providing intelligence measurement.

How are the Tests Used?

In Kaufman’s intelligence scale test is made of sixteen parts. The child then is to complete some task that usually involves placing items in sequence. The child is then evaluated on his or her mathematical, spatial, the ability to mentally process the tasks or problems, and reading skills. The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale Jacquelin Goldman, Claudia L’Engle Stein, and Shirley Guerry (1983) noted that intelligence measurement tests were given at age range from two years old through adulthood. They cited that at each of the age levels there are six items and one alternate item. But from age two through five, test levels are at half-year level intervals, then at age six through fourteen, test levels are at yearly intervals. Goldman, L’Engle and Guerry pointed out that test content conducted for age two, includes form board, delayed response, identifying parts of the body, building blocks, word combinations, and identifying objects by name (p. 148).

Purpose of Giving Differing Test

In Kaufman ABC, the purpose of test is for the assessment of the cognitive development, while Stanford-Binet provides the test to measure person’s general intelligence. This is obtained by presenting to the individual a variety of tasks of known increasing difficulty.

Examining the Ethical Considerations Associated with Achievements and Intelligence Test in Education

Aside from children, maybe adult are maybe more liberal in this aspect as long as test that were conducted does not violate any of rights, or as long as it does abuse them. I believe that there is nothing ethically inappropriate with test measures of both Kaufman and the Stanford-Binet. However, test conducted for children should be more cautious especially with use materials. Lead toxicity and choking hazards should be extremely under strict monitoring. Data revealed that prolong exposure to toxic materials may lead to serious renal, hematologic, and neurologic complications (. 117)


Goldman, J., Stein, C. E., & Guerry, S. (1983). Psychological Methods of Child Assessment. New York. Brunner/Mazel Inc..

Sternberg, R.J. (2000). Handbook of Intlligence. U.S.A. Cambrige University Press.

Guide to Clinical preventive Services. (1989) U.S. Preventive Task force. U.S.A. Reane Publishing

Internet source:

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

Jastak, Joseph. (1978). Wide Range Achievement Test, Jastak Associates, Incorporated.

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