Of mental testing−−a pragmatic theory

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The article is an exposition of Spearman's contribution to the theory of intelligence. Spearman's three principles of cognition–(1) the evocation of associations by any lived experience (2) the eduction of relations and (3) the eduction of correlates–are illustrated and explained. The processes derived from these three principles are subsumed under the caption “intelligence.” The eduction of relations seems to be the most important entity in intelligence. The possibility of educing relations depends upon (a) the individual's ability to see relations of any kind, his familiarity with each of the fundamentals (i.e., the given data), his familiarity with the required relation, his willingness to use his ability and his general condition, fatigue, emotionality, etc. The application of Spearman's principles to tests of intelligence is the task of the second division of the paper. Scores on a test depend upon (a) the general factor, (b) a specific factor, and (c) errors. The test of the presence of g is the tetrad-difference technique. This formula is shown to be derived from the partial correlation formula by the fact that if g is the only factor common to all tests it will reduce the left side of the equation to zero. Group factors are shown to appear among specific factors by an overlap among these factors which is the same in all cases. The technique for elimination of group factors is developed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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