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Personality & Individual Differences (University of Essex course code PS416)

I teach three topics on the Year 2 Personality & Individual Differences module. These give survey on how
to measure human intelligence, how it is organised in terms of domains of ability and how criticisms of
this concept and its measurement do not carry as much weight as the critics would like us to believe.


Topic A Thumb
Topic A

Tools and Methods for Intelligence Testing

Why we have intelligence tests. Psychometric test theory: reliability, Standard Error of Measurement and validity. Types of test item used to measure intelligence, and formats of important intelligence tests.

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Topic B Thumb
Topic B

The Structure of Intelligence

Categories of definition of intelligence. Major theories of the structure on intelligence: single factor, hierarchical, multiple ability and contextual. The relationship between intelligence tests and theories of intelligence.

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Topic C Thumb
Topic C

Uses of Intelligence, Critiques of Intelligence

Criticisms of the intelligence construct. Utility of intelligence tests predicting occupational and educational outcomes. Responses to criticisms of intelligence test validity: predictive validities are not high enough, tests are measuring something else (motivation, temprament, socio-economic status) or else are merely creating labelling phenomena.

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coloured backgrounds, click here