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Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Facilitating Growth in Intelligence

Messick, Samuel J.; Sigel, Irving E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Cognitive Development, Developmental Psychology, Intelligence, Nature Nurture Controversy, Psychology


Particular theories of intelligence--whether monolithic, hierarchical, morphological, componential, or functional--have different implications for facilitating growth in intellective skill. Such theories are embedded in different concepts and attitudes about the sources and development of intelligence and, more broadly, about the nature of the human being and of human perfectibility. They vary profoundly in their emphasis on different determinants of performance, ranging from a heavy hereditarian perspective to an exigent environmental one. Of particular moment is the degree to which modifications in the course of growth are deemed to be possible. Thus, theories of intelligence shape the nature of intervention strategies, while their value overtones influence the intensity of intervention efforts and the commitment to change. (23pp.)

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