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The previous themes reach into modern debates about freedom and necessity, which are still central in education and psychology today. Contributing to the rise of formal disciplines of developmental and child psychology, educational psychology, clinical psychology and cognitive psychology, as well as psychiatry, empirical approaches based on sense perception began in the mid-eighteenth century; but they are equally the outcome of broader religious and cultural influences. The book therefore concludes with an overview of the direct traces on the modern disciplines of the religious ideas discussed in earlier chapters: in Britain through David Hartley, Joseph Priestley and Francis Galton, and the nature-versus-nurture formula; and in France Hippolyte Taine, Alfred Binet (creator of the ‘mental age’ score, subsequently IQ measurement) and Jean Piaget himself.
In this chapter, we argue that to understand intelligence one must understand motivation. In the past, intelligence was often cast as an entity unto itself, relatively unaffected by motivation. In our chapter, we spell out how motivational factors determine (1) whether individuals initiate goals relating to the acquisition and display of intellectual skills, (2) how persistently they pursue those goals, and (3) how effectively they pursue those goals, that is, how effectively they learn and perform in the intellectual arena. As will be seen, motivational factors can have systematic and meaningful effects on intellectual ability, performance, and accomplishment over time. Our discussion emphasizes that heritability is not incompatible with the malleability of intelligence and that motivation is the vehicle through which intellectual skills are successfully acquired, expressed, and built upon.
This chapter discusses measuring of intelligence by Francis Galton, J. McK. Cattell, and Alfred Binet. Charles Spearman abhorred the program that would separate the mind into a loose confederation of independent faculties of learning, memory and attention. Although most intelligence researchers today probably accept that the general factor is to stay, they remain sharply divided on its explanation. These disagreements go well beyond a rejection of Spearman's specific suggestions that g is either mental energy or the eduction of relations and correlates. Spearman saw that he needed to provide a psychological or (better still) a neurobiological explanation of g. The two favorite paradigms for this program of research were inspection time (IT) and choice reaction time (RT). Aided by the new technologies of brain imaging, research on intelligence, working memory, and other so-called executive functions has begun to point to some of the brain structures common to them all.
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