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Toward a Broader Conception of Human Intelligence

Frederiksen, Norman O.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Cognitive Processes, Formulating Hypotheses (Test), Intelligence, Problem Solving, Psychometrics, Simulation, Situational Tests


It is argued that the typical psychometric model of human intelligence is limited because the data base fails to take account of the many manifestations of intelligent behavior that are displayed in the world outside the testing room. The data for factor-analytic studies of intelligence are generally restricted to scores on academic tests that employ only the multiple-choice format and are administered under standard conditions. A review of research studies involving tests that simulate real-world problem situations suggests that the cognitive processes involved in taking a test are influenced not only by test format, but also by the situation or setting in which the test is administered and by such personal characteristics as the examinee's level of expertise. The structure of intelligence of the future may not be a static model, but one that varies as subjects change and as circumstances are altered.

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