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Infant Intelligence Tests: Their Use and Misuse

Lewis, Michael
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Science Foundation (NSF), Data Analysis, Infants, Intelligence Tests, Models


Data from a variety of infant intelligence scores make clear that it is not possible to consider (1) that infant intelligence is a measurable, stable and unitary construct; (2) that there is a generally factor easily discernible in infancy; (3) that there is stability of scores both within and across scales, or (4) that there is predictability across age. These facts are discussed for their implications for models of intelligence, the use of intelligence tests in infancy, and finally intervention programs. It is concluded that the implicity model of general intelligence rests upon its function for society rather than its scientific merit. An alternative model of infant development is offered which is related to the acquisition of specific skills, the learning of which is dependent upon the match between the subject and the nature of the learning experience. (Author) (19pp.)

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