Thorndike’s theory of intelligence

Thorndike’s theory of intelligence

Thorndike’s theory of intelligence One of the sharpest critics of Spearman’s two-factor theory was E. L. Thorndike (1926), who believed that the inter correlations studied by Spearmen were too small to check the question of a standard factor. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence He objected very strongly to the thought of the existence of a characteristic like general intelligence.

Instead of one quite factor, he maintained that there are an outsized number of separate characteristics that structure intelligence. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence He argued that rather than generality of intelligence, communality within the acts of individuals to perform intelligently needed to be looked into.

Thorndike’s theory of intelligence According to Thorndike, the common element doesn't reside within the individual but within the nature of the tasks themselves. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence People differ in their ability to perform any specific act in terms of the extent of difficulty they will manage. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence They also differ within the range or number of tasks they will or cannot perform. For Thorndike, intelligence was more sort of a series of skills or talents and a number of other or many tasks might involve an equivalent quite ability. consistent with him, the correlations between various tests are the results of the very fact that the tests have features in common with one another albeit they're called as measures of various aspects.

Thorndike’s theory of intelligence Thorndike’s contention that there's no general intelligence but very specific acts has, however, doesn't stand up in sight of the very fact that some tasks have numerous elements in common that it's desirable to classify them into groups like arithmetical reasoning, beholding , word sense , analogy, etc.Thorndike’s theory of intelligence

Thurstone’s theory : Primary mental abilities/Group factor theory: States that Intelligent Activities are not an expression of innumerable highly specific factors, as Thorndike claimed. Nor is it the expression primarily of a general factor that pervades all mental activities. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence It is the essence of intelligence, as Spearman held. Instead, the analysis of interpretation of Spearman and others led them to the conclusion that ‘certain’ mental operations have in common a ‘primary’ factor that gives them psychological and functional unity and that differentiates them from other mental operations. These mental operations then constitute a group. Thorndike’s theory of intelligence A second group of mental operation has its own unifying primary factor, and so on. In other words, there are a number of groups of mental abilities, each of which has its own primary factor, giving the group a functional unity and cohesiveness. Each of these primary factors is said to be relatively independent of the others.

Thurstone has given the following six primary factors : 

(i) The Number Factor (N)—Ability to do Numerical Calculations rapidly and accurately. 

(ii) The Verbal Factor (V)—Found in tests involving Verbal Comprehension. 

(iii) The Space Factor (S)—Involved in any task in which the subject manipulates the imaginary object in space. 

(iv) Memory (M)—Involving ability to memorize quickly. 

(v) he Word Fluency Factor (W)—Involved whenever the subject is asked to think of isolated words at a rapid rate. 

(vi) The Reasoning Factor (R)—Found in tasks that require a subject to discover a rule or principle involved in a series or groups of letters. 

Based on these factors Thurstone constructed a new test of intelligence known as ‘‘Test of Primary Mental Abilities (PMA).’’ 


 Vernon’ description of different levels of intelligence may fill the gaps between two extreme theories, the two-factor theory of Spearman, which did not allow for the existence of group factors, and the multiple-factor theory of Turstone, which did not allow a ‘‘g’’ factor. Intelligence can be described as comprising abilities at varying levels of generality : 

1. The highest level : ‘‘g’’ (general intelligence) factor with the largest source of variance between individuals. (Spearman) 

2. The next level : major group factors such as verbal-numerical-educational (v.ed) and practical-mechanical-spatial-physical (k.m.) ability. 

3. The next level : minor group factors are divided from major group factors. 

4. The bottom level : ‘‘s’’(specific) factor. (Spearmen) 

Thorndike’s theory of intelligence Beginning in 1969, Vernon became increasingly involved in studying the contributions of environmental and genetic factors to intellectual development. Vernon continued to analyze the effects of genes and the environment on both individual and group difference in intelligence. He concludes that individual difference in intelligence are approximately 60 percent attributable to genetic factors, and that there is some evidence implicating genes in racial group differences in average levels of mental ability.

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