Despite their obvious limitations, some of these definitions seem to have gained general acceptance mainly because of their parsimony and intuitive appeal. International Review of Research in Mental Retardation, l3, 301-326.
Intelligence is therefore a problematic concept in that it is of a fuzzy nature incorporating many important features for which no definite criteria can be determined.
Scientifically capturing the essence of these complex, intangible and largely descriptive concepts is one of the core challenges in psychological research and has resulted in a polarisation of approaches ranging from quantitative to qualitative observation and interpretation as well as speculation.
As early as 1965, Guttman foresaw and attempted to resolve the controversy surrounding the value of the concept of intelligence by suggesting that one should refer to the degree of intelligence of an act rather than to the concept as such. Journal of Experimental and Child Psychology, 27, 195-232.
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In particular, the physical sciences rest on a bedrock of technical concepts, whilst psychology rests on a web of common-or-garden psychological concepts.
In 2012, Richard Nisbett and colleagues updated the APA Task Force 1996 position statements based upon incorporating new thinking and findings from a further 15 years of research into intelligence. involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience.
Their article entitled: “Intelligence: New findings and theoretical developments”, used a working definition of intelligence provided by Linda Goffredson (1997): [Intelligence] . It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Attentional requirements of automatic and controlled processing.
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