The Nature of ‘Approximate Representation’ in Intelligence within Undergraduate Students

Historical Development of Intelligence Testing

When tasked with the mandate to assess students’ academic difficulties, Alfred Binet found in the 1990s that intelligence testing was a vital facet (Anderson & Miller, 1998). However, Binet’s uncertainty on utility of cognitive competence as a model to perform IQ test on a singular numerical evaluation was marred with uncertainty (Anderson & Miller, 1998). Is it possible that the availability of a scanty theoretical framework at that time limited further exploration? This is a high possibility.

Although a formidable solution leading to the emergence of ID testing platforms like Army Alpha and Beta test, in addition to, Wechsler Intelligence tests, early application was limited in a sense (Kamphaus et al., 2005; Burke, 1985). Thus, in the subsequent section, there is exemplification on Raven’s Progressive Matrices and why it will be used in this research work.

Ravens Matrices and IQ testing adequacy

Ravens’ progressive matrices remain to be the best single IQ measure in the market so far measuring mental ability with a focus on abstract reasoning, analysis capacity, learning ability, and problem solving ability (Raven, 1936; Watt, 1998). But how reliable is Raven’s Progress Matrices (RPM)? In the works of Burke (1985), it is noted that Raven’s Matrices has been successfully used to measure intelligence. For example, from 1973 through to 1978, untimed RPM was used especially in Counseling Centers (Burke, 1985). Burke conducted correlation between different IQ testing models, which yielded RPM as the best among them all. Similar findings emerged in the works of Cronshaw et al. (2006). However, Cronshaw laments of biased application of RPM on intelligence testing against Black Africans, and uses the same model to prove their point. In the next section, there is exemplification on the existence of ‘g’ as used in literature with special inclination towards its use in RPM.

Existence of ‘g’

The term “general factor” has its short form as g factor, a construct in the field of psychometric investigations focusing on cognitive abilities (Kamphaus et al., 2005). However, does g really exist, or is it an abstract construct with no apparent value whatsoever? The g factor was posited by Charles Spearman, an English psychologist in early 20th Century (Kamphaus et al., 2005; Deary, 2000). Spearman posited that it was possible to conceptualize all mental performance using a single general ability factor called ‘g’. Thus, did Raven see the same thing or otherwise? The subsequent section strives to respond to this question.

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