Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing

Cite this

Intelligence is a debatable term that is defined differently depending on the context of the application. The definition and measurement of intelligence is a core topic in the field of psychology. Many researchers have unveiled that intelligence is a vastly studied subject in psychological disciplines. This essay provides insight into various controversies, pros, and cons of the approaches to defining and measuring intelligence.

Cut 15% OFF your first order
We’ll deliver a custom Psychological Disorders paper tailored to your requirements with a good discount
Use discount
322 specialists online

Different Types of Approaches to both Defining and Measuring Intelligence

The most common approaches to defining and measuring intelligence include the psychometric and triarchic theories (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2006). The psychometric tests only focus on aspects such as phonological, spatial, and rational intelligence. On the other hand, the triarchic theory focuses on biological aspects such as creativity, investigation, and empiricism. Unlike the psychometric approach, the triarchic theory takes into account the contextual and social aspects that characterize humanity. These approaches embrace the multiple intelligence concepts where one individual can excel in different areas of knowledge.

Controversies in Defining and Measuring Intelligence

In spite of the noteworthy efforts to define and measure this aspect of the brain, many academicians, researchers, and psychologists have failed to reach an agreement on the philosophies and constructs of intelligence (Boyd et al., 2006). For this reason, it is common for researchers to explore the history of intelligence without giving weight to its measurable facets. This situation has been evidenced in the psychometric approach to the measurement of brainpower. For instance, while the approach upholds that intelligence is composed of analytic, practical, and creative human interventions, some researchers claim that cultural bias is inevitable because of the way it is measured. This statement implies that it is difficult to compare intelligence conceptions that have been developed by different cultures (Boyd et al., 2006). Another controversy occurs where psychometric testing implies varying results in different cultural groups. In this case, people are only believed to excel in various aspects in which they are accustomed (Boyd et al., 2006). There is also a feeling that the measurement of personality is an undertaking that deals with inestimable aspects. Complications normally arise when determining the validity and reliability of intelligence measurements.

Possibility of Creating a Truly-Culture Fair Test

According to Kaplan and Saccuzzo (2012), the possibility of creating a truly-culture fair test is undeniably low. For instance, individuals usually perform inconsistently when exposed to similar intelligence tests. However, the measurement of varying abilities shows a positive correlation amongst the aptitudes of the subjects. In this case, individuals who perform well in one aspect can do so in others too. Nonetheless, skeptic theorists posit that there is a need to create equilibrium between the three aspects of intelligence (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2012). Following this point of view, it is nearly impossible to create a fair test based on cultural aspects.

Pros and Cons of using Multiple Intelligence Theories

The multiple intelligence theories have various aspects that explain human capacity and potential. However, they exhibit several pros and cons. At the outset, the multiple intelligence theories hold that all subjects are successful. Furthermore, the intellectual ability of the subjects is regarded highly. In schools, this approach provides opportunities for dependable learning culture based on the varying needs of the students. In addition, the use of the theory brings about more interactions amongst the members of a community (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2012). It encourages the proliferation of knowledge with a view of increasing the level of understanding amongst people. However, a key disadvantage of using the multiple intelligence theory is that it does not guarantee both validity and reliability. This situation makes it confusing and eccentric.

Reference List

Boyd, D., Bee, H., & Johnson, P. (2006). Lifespan Development. New York, NY: Pearson.

On-Time Delivery!
Get your customised and 100% plagiarism-free paper done in as little as 3 hours
Let’s start
322 specialists online

Kaplan, R., & Saccuzzo, D. (2012). Psychological testing: Principles, applications, and issues. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2022, June 27). Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, June 27). Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing.

Work Cited

"Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing." PsychologyWriting, 27 June 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing'. 27 June.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing." June 27, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing." June 27, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Intelligence: Defining, Measuring, and Testing." June 27, 2022.