Primary Mental Abilities
Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Schaie, K. W. 2010. Primary Mental Abilities. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
One of the earliest accomplishments of the science of psychology was the objective measurement of mental abilities. In 1904, the British psychologist Charles Spearman argued that intelligence could be characterized as comprising a general factor (g), common to all meaningful activity, and of specific factors (s) that are unique to the different tasks used to measure intelligence. Binet and Simon (1905) in France and Terman (1916) in the United States introduced test instruments that applied the concept of general intelligence. However, American psychologists engaged in educational and occupational selection activities found the concept of general intelligence not very useful for predicting success in specific jobs or other life roles. In addition, the work of Thorndike and Woodworth (1901) on transfer of training had suggested that the notion of generalizability of a single ability dimension was not justified.
- abstract intelligence;
- clerical aptitude testing;
- factor analysis;
- Schaie Thurstone Adult Mental Abilities Test (STAMAT);
- structure of intellect model;
- testing methods