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01.05 Intelligence and Language

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  1. Language
  2. Intelligence
    1. Different types and theories
  3. Assessing Intelligence
    1. Intelligence Tests: Aptitude and Achievement
    2. Stanford-Binet
    3. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
  4. Age and Intelligence
    1. Crystallized Intelligence
    2. Fluid Intelligence
  5. Intelligence Facts

Nursing Points


  1. Language
    1. Thinking and language intertwine with each other
    2. Words influence our thinking
    3. Thinking affects our language
  2. Intelligence
    1. Culture and time
    2. General Intelligence
    3. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Assessing Intelligence
    1. Intelligence Testing
      1. Aptitude
      2. Achievement
    2. Stanford-Binet
    3. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
      1. Similarities
      2. Vocabulary
      3. Block Design
      4. Letter-Number Sequencing
  4. Age and Intelligence
    1. Crystallized Intelligence
    2. Fluid Intelligence
  5. Intelligence Facts
    1. Typically stable over a lifetime
    2. By age 4, intelligence tests begin to predict adolescent and adult scores


  1. Stanford-Binet
  2. WAIS (Adults), WISC (Children)

Video Transcript

Today we’re going to be talking about intelligence and language.

Language happens when our brains and voice apparatus creates air-pressure waves that travel and hit another person’s eardrums. Language gives us the ability to transfer knowledge from one brain to another, to share information between us. Language is seen as the greatest and most valuable cognitive ability. It is vital to us being human. Our brain breaks language down into subfunctions and processing the information. 

Language and thinking are closely intertwined. Which one first is often a chicken-and-egg question. One linguist suggests that language, in and of itself, shapes an individual’s basic ideas. A study has supported that languages that do not use past tense verbs cannot think about the past. Although language does not determine thinking, it can significantly influence our thinking. For example, an isolated tribe in Brazil have words for the number one and two but simply classify amounts greater than two as “many”. When they were shown items seven nuts in a row, tribe members struggled to lay out the same number in a row. 

As much as our words influence our thinking, our thinking also impacts our language- that is how we new words or combinations of words. For example, the term ‘slam dunk’ was coined after this act was more frequently seen.

Intelligence is the mental potential to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt. Intelligence cannot be measured like basic things like height and weight. Intelligence incorporates qualities that enable success in a particular culture and time period.

Spearman believed that humans have one general intelligence and focused on academic success. Spearman’s work came from factor analysis that identified clusters of similar items. Some other theorists believe in multiple intelligences to assess all of a person’s abilities when looking at intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage yourself successfully in social situations consisting of four abilities: perceiving emotion, understanding emotions, managing emotions, and using emotions.  

Intelligence testing involves assessing a person’s mental abilities and compares them to their peers. Aptitude tests are used to predict your ability to learn a new skill. An example of an aptitude test would be a career test given to high schoolers to see what type of job they would be good at. Achievement tests are used to see what you have already learned. The ACT is an example of an achievement test.

The two main ways to test intelligence are by using the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).

The Standford-Binet measures five areas- knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory, and fluid reasoning. 

The most widely used intelligence test is the WAIS for testing adult intelligence. There is a version available for children, the WISC, and for preschoolers. The WAIS consists of five primary index scores, with two subtests being administered for each primary index school, resulting in 10 subtests. The test results in a full-scale IQ. The five primary indexes include Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, Fluid Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed.

There are two types of intellectual performance that we can measure. The first is crystallized intelligence. This is the knowledge we previously learned from education and experiences. This increases with age. The second is fluid intelligence. This is the ability to reason, use logic, and think flexibly to solve problems. This decreases with age.

Some key points to remember are:

      1. Language and thinking intertwine and influence each other 

      1. The differences between aptitude and achievement testing. Remember aptitude is measuring the potential while achievement measure what has been learned.

      1. The difference between crystalized and fluid intelligence. Remember crystalized intelligence is what we learn from our experiences while fluid is logic and reason to solve problems.