People's Conceptions of Intelligence.
Research rept. 1 Jul-30 Sep 80,
YALE UNIV NEW HAVEN CT DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Three experiments are reported investigating experts and laypersons conceptions of intelligence. In the first experiment, persons studying in a college library, entering a supermarket, and waiting for trains in a railroad station were asked to list behaviors characteristic of either intelligence, academic intelligence, everyday intelligence, or unintelligence, and to rate themselves on each of the three kinds of intelligence. In the second experiment, experts and laypersons excluding students were asked to rate various properties of the behaviors listed in Experiment 1 the laypersons also rated themselves on the three kinds of intelligence and took an IQ test. In the third experiment, laypersons received written descriptions of behaviors characterizing fictitious people, and were asked to rate these peoples intelligence. We found that people have well-formed prototypes corresponding to the various kinds of intelligence, that these prototypes are quite similar for experts and laypersons, that the prototypes are closely related to certain psychological theories of intelligence, and that the prototypes are used in the evaluation of ones own and others intelligence. Moreover, proximity of ones behavioral self-characterizations to an ideal prototype is quite strongly related to intelligence as measured by an IQ test. Author