Conscious and behaviour theories of the nature of intelligence – Explained!
2. Thurstone’s behavior continuum theory (1924):
This theory regards intelligence as a function of the point of behaviour where a person turns back to trial and error. With the help of intelligence an individual is able to focalize awareness at early, unfinished stages of formation of any activity.
3. Thorndike’s multi-factor theory (1905):
According to this theory intelligence is the arithmetical sum of a series of varied and unrelated abilities. According to Thorndike, we have intelligences, rather than intelligence. According to this point of view, intelligence consists in the ability to do intellectual task.
Thorndike’s fundamental theory of intelligence is quantitative. He writes: “The person whose intellect is greater or higher or better than that of another person differs from him in the last analysis in having, not a new sort of physiological process, but simply a larger number of connections of the ordinary sorts.”
Thorndike’s theory of intelligence appears to be inadequate. A person would be very unfortunate and ridiculous if his capacities were independent of each other. He would have no ground to stand where his capacities are foreign to the situations.
But ordinarily, we see that a man successfully manipulates things in conditions of knowledge, interests, and habituations, no matter whether he can distinguish himself in a particular sphere or not
4. Spearman’s two factory theory:
The above point brings us to this theory which is put in terms of “a closely co-ordinate attribute.” According to Spearman all our mental abilities can be analysed into two components or abilities and performances are influenced by this factor upto some extent We can easily see some positive relationships between various abilities because of the ‘G’ factor exercising influence everywhere.
Followers of Thorndike would surely find a breathing ground when Spearman explains his second factors, designated as ‘S’. “There are to be more or less specific to particular abilities, activities, or situations.
Loosely organized traits or abilities are made up largely of specific factors; they have very little of the general or common factor.” Abilities having a closely organized relationship may be said to possess much of ‘G’.
Spearman recognizes other general volitional factors also, which he calls as ‘W’. He associates the ‘W’ factor with personality. He also speaks of certain group factors which are not so general as ‘G’ of ‘W’.
These group factors can be seen in most of our mental activities involving musical ability, or mechanical ability. According to Spearman, in all this intelligence is ‘G’ and it is single and unitary. Students of human nature are not in complete accord with Spearman’s interpretations.
“The debate over ‘G’ has gone on actively for about forty years. Spearman has recently reached the conclusion that this general factor consists very largely in the ability to see and use relationships.”
Spearman’s two factor theory has been widely accepted in recent years. Statistically, he has endeavored to prove that there is a factor behind all our activities. Apprehension of experience, educing relations and educing co-relates come within the domain of intelligence.
All educators must seriously consider Spearman’s principles of “education of relations, and of co-relates.” We desire to enable our children to think in such a way as to be able to tackle situations in life successfully.
According to Spearman, thinking is a purposive mental activity. Hence if any practice is given to children in thinking, their mind must be presented with a problem; only then they will carry on thinking in a logical manner for some-time.
Thus we come to the principle of interest which alone can arouse all co native activities. The children should be presented with suitable problems according to their age and aptitude in order to induce spontaneous thinking activity.
Spearman holds that’ ‘G’ factor will remain always the same whatever be the task that a person does. The ‘S’ factor differs in the same person from task to task. Having special aptitude for history a man can do it better than he can do music or vice-versa. General and special abilities differ from man to man.
A person gets high scores in a test than another either because he has more of ‘G’ or because he has more of ‘S’. A pupils having superior quality of ‘G’ will generally do everywhere ‘well, but if he has low ‘G’ his performance is likely to be below the mark but the teacher should note the point that the scores may be different due to a particular test requiring high amount of ‘S’ and little of ‘G’.
The ‘S’ factor may differ from person to person and performance to performance. If two persons get the same scores in solving arithmetical sums, it does not mean that they will do equally well in a musical test.
One person’s success in the arithmetical problems may be because of his specific factor, whereas in the case of the other, the specific factor may work the opposite way.
Thus we require different amount of ‘G’ and ‘S’ for different performances. Spearman has made experiments on the amount of ‘G’ and ‘S’ factors requires for different subjects. He says that mathematics and classics require more of ‘G’, whereas music and drawing are dominated more by ‘S’ factor requiring only a small amount of ‘G’.
He has found out that the ratio of ‘G’ to ‘S’ in the talents for classics is 4 to 1, whereas in that of music the ratio is 1 to 4. In the former case, the general factor is more important than in latter case which requires more of ‘S’ factor.
Hence the teacher should not predict a pupil’s scores in music on the strength of the latter are scores in mathematics, nor should he do the reverse.
But by knowing the pupil’s scores in mathematics the teacher can fairly predict that the pupil will do well in life because most of the problems in life require the assistance of general abilities than of specific abilities.
On the other hand, in the case of music, nothing can be predicted as regards the possible success of the pupil in his after career. Thus it is safer to select candidates for civil service depending upon their scores in classics than on their scores in musical ability.