INTELLIGENCE : ITS STRUCTURE, GROWTH AND ACTION

Raymond Cattell
unpublished
Intelligence is important in psychology for two reasons. First, it is one of the most scientifically developed corners of the subject, giving the student as complete a view as is possible anywhere of the way scientific method can be applied to psychological problems. Secondly, it is of immense practical importance, educationally, socially, and in regard to physiology and genetics. There are indeed few measurements in psychology that approach the measurement of intelligence in the frequency with
more » ... which they are made and the important practical uses to which they are put. Accordingly it is of prime importance for any psychologist to become thoroughly familiar with the field of intelligence and human abilities. Therefore let us concede our topic some importance. Certainly we cannot proceed further to say that it is also neglected ! Many scientists in the field feel that they might wish heartily that it wereor at least that it could be freed from the misinterpretations heaped upon it by the hosts of amateur authorities in school, home, and industry. As the expenditure of time and money on education has increased, so has the volume of paper in magazines, books, and newspapers devoted to more or less superficial, or politically tainted, or grossly wishful views of the nature of human ability. The central interest of the topic is further witnessed by the birth in this generation of an international society, Mensa, entrance into which is based simply on being intelligentbeyond a certain, prescribed, high test hurdle. Great societies have begun to spend enormous amounts to raise the ability levels of their persistently less competent members. Thus, it is becoming socially important to find out what scientific knowledge about abilities and their development may lie hidden under the clouds of dust raised by recent disputations about the nature and distribution of human capacities. 18 a.
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