Raven, J. (2011, May 14). Spearman on Intelligence. WebPsychEmpiricist. Retrieved May 14, 2011 from http://wpe.info/papers_table.html.

Charles Spearman's thinking about "intelligence" is much more complex than is generally believed. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the apparent tension between a statement that the best single indicator of the g he had identified (and which, as he shows, "controls" 90% of the variance in school performance) is a very brief assessment of auditory discrimination and another statement to the effect that "every normal man, woman, and child is a genius at something" and that it is the responsibility of the school system to identify and nurture these idiosyncratic talents. Spearman realised that it would be necessary to radically reform the ways psychologists think about individual differences and the associated psychometric practices - (and the educational and employment practices associated with them) - to cope with this tension. But he failed to identify the paradigm shift that is required. In reality, it will be necessary to replace our dominant variable&Mac246;based framework with a descriptive framework analogous to that used in chemistry and biology. It would not make sense to seek a structure for such a framework using the factor analytic procedures Spearman worked so hard to develop.

Download the pdf