“On the conflict between logic and belief in syllogistic reasoning” Research


In this report we will investigate partial replication of Evans study (1983) of “belief – bias effect”.  This project attempts to identify whether people show a tendency to be influenced by the believability of the conclusion when attempting to solve a problem of syllogistic reasoning. Data was put together to the 2×2 ANOWA design within participant. The report concludes that there can be interaction between believability & logicality.


Do people really rely on belief even if something seems to be illogical? In this study, Evans (1983) uses syllogism to investigate the belief bias effect. Syllogism is a scheme of logical deductions, which is sometimes recognised as superficial statement. The name superficial statement was given because from statement separate it that the deduction from syllogism is consistent and is based on assumption. Often but not always in the syllogism scheme occur in two assumptions – mega premise and mind premise and conclusions – if the two assumptions are true then the conclusion is true. In this study the experimenter provides the participants with two pieces of information; the mega and mind premises and conclusion and asked participants if this conclusion followed logically from these two things.

  • Mega premise: A general statement.
  • Mind premise: A specific statement.
  • Conclusion: based on the two premises.

Evans (1983) in his original study “On the conflict between logic and belief in syllogistic reasoning”, used syllogism to investigate the belief bias by manipulating the conclusion. Example:

(1) Valid argument, believable conclusion (NO CONFLICT)


No police dogs are vicious

Some highly trained dogs are vicious

Therefore, some highly trained dogs are not police dogs

(2) Valid argument, unbelievable conclusion (CONFLICT)


No nutritional things are inexpensive

Some vitamin tablets are inexpensive

Therefore, some vitamin tablets are not nutritional

(3) Invalid argument, believable conclusion (CONFLICT)


No addictive things are inexpensive

Some cigarettes are inexpensive

Therefore, some addictive things are not cigarettes

(4) Invalid argument, unbelievable conclusion (NO CONFLICT)


No millionaires are hard workers

Some rich people are hard workers

Therefore, some millionaires are not rich people. (Evans 2003).

As Evans (1983) predicted, that by manipulating the conclusion there will be interaction between believability of concussions and logicality of conclusions. Also there will be a main effect of “belief bias” (participant had a tendency to accept more believable than unbelievable conclusions) and tendency to accept more valid than invalid arguments. The interaction between both effects will be substantial and statistically significant.

The belief bias or confirmation bias is a tendency to search for new information or explanation of the new information in a way that prove one’s assumption and stop information and understanding which disagree with earlier beliefs.

Furthermore in this study we are going to partially replicate Evans (1983) study and we going to give participant consent form (see appendix A). We show them the instruction sheet (see appendix B) and we will give them the data sheet (see appendix C) with thus four different forms of syllogism. We predict that participant will relay on the belief system and there will be interaction between believabity and logicality. The main four variables in this study are believable & logical, unbelievable & logical, believable & illogical and unbelievable & illogical.


Participant answer 8 syllogism (conclusion)

  • Believable & Logical
  • Believable & Illogical
  • Unbelievable & Logical
  • Unbelievable & Illogical

The study design is 2×2 ANOWA within participant.


One hundred and ninety eight participants took part in this study. Each experimenter recruited two participants – (opportunity sample) male and female from the circle of friends or family.

  • Number of female 100
  • Number of male 98
  • Average age 16- 60


Participant sing the consent form see (appendix A) we show them the instruction sheet see (appendix B) the response sheet see (appendix C).


A copy of the consent form (see appendix A) was given to participant and experimenter enquired if they did not have any question and if they were happy with it. If so they were asked to sign the form and start the experiment.

Participants were given an Instruction sheet (see appendix B) and were asked to respond to a series of eight logic problems called syllogisms. After that they were given a short explanation of the definition of syllogism and were asked to state whether a conclusion logically follows from those two pieces of information. At the end of the instruction participants were asked to provide an honest conclusion which should be based solely on the two pieces of information they were given and were asked if they were happy with the instruction. If yes they could start to circle their response. Participants were informed that they should rely solely on the information provided by experimenter.

Furthermore participants were given the data sheet (see appendix C) with four different forms of syllogism, and participants were asked to give an honest answer for each of the following syllogisms which will indicate whether the conclusion follows logically from the premises or not.

Example :

No police dogs are vicious

Some highly trained dogs are vicious

Some highly trained dogs are not police dogs

The conclusion follows logically from the premises YES / NO


The responses were added together to the different questions in order to come up with two main variables. The responses to the questions 1 & 2 was put together to produce 1 variable – believable & logical and the 3 & 4 was place together to produce the 2 variable – unbelievable & logical and the response to the question 5 & 6 was set together to produce the 3 variable and finally the response of the questions 7 & 8 was set together to produce the 4 variable – unbelievable & illogical.

That gives as four variables: Believable & Logical; Unbelievable & Logical; Believable & Illogical; Unbelievable & Illogical.

Descriptive statistic.

Believable & Logical 1.55 Believable & Illogical 1.40
Unbelievable & Logical .98 Unbelievable & Illogical .31

Mean age is 33.70

The result shows that there was significant interaction between believabity and logicality of conclusions and the result support the hypothesis that the participant will rely on the believe system and there will be interaction between believabity and logicality. Also the result match with Evans (1986) result from the original paper and original research of study.
The result of the partial replication of Evans (1986) study shows that people have a tendency to accept any and all conclusions that match up with their systems of belief, without competition or any deep contemplation of what they are actually agreeing with.
At the same time people also tend to reject a statement that does not match with their belief systems, even though these statements may be perfectly logical and perhaps can be possible.
Exceptionally this is true. People ignore the premises/ principle and focus exclusively on the conclusions being drawn.
Also people, who are not knowledgeable, well-informed and well-read in logic as tend to reason by their experience and not by logic.


  1. Evans, J. ST. B. T. The psychology of deductive reasoning. London: Routledge &: Kegan Paul, 1982.
  2. Evans, J. et al. (2001) Necessity, possibility and belief: a study of syllogistic reasoning. Q. J. Exp. Psychol. 54, 935–958
  3. Evans, J. ST. B. T. Linguistic factors in reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1977, 19, 297-306.
  4. Evans, J.St.B.T. (1999) The influence of linguistic form on reasoning: the case of matching bias. Q. J. Exp. Psychol. 52, 185–216

How have Psychologist attempt to explain addictive behaviour?

Addiction has become an enormous issue in our society. Governments together with Non-governmental organisations (N.G.O’s) and health services try to address the problem by conducting research as well as providing treatment and rehabilitation services. With overcrowding youth centres and prisons, they are driven to find solution for the situation and acknowledge that something needs to change. Many researches have been conducted to reveal the truth about human nature and the behaviour of the community with respect to addiction. Many sections of our society including psychologists are working rigorously towards   solving the drug crisis.

Through ongoing research conducted across many centres, psychologists try to found justification for human behaviour and try to describe and explain human nature in the best way possible.

Addiction is widely explained in psychology literature and each explanation is linked to the main definition where addiction is an individual, difficult and sometimes unmanageable journey for each person affected with addiction. It is a constant battle where one who tries to change their reality, continuously fails to do so.

Over the years, psychologists have cautiously defined addiction.  According to Krivanck (1988), addiction is perceived as a process rather than behaviour and is best described on a variety of severity. Nevertheless loss of control is subjective and increased by ethical issues, since it suggests a certain level of responsibility and blame. Addicts behave in particular way, communicating differently and adapting to situations depending on the surroundings and environment in which they find themselves.

This essay will present the creation of numerous theories and models. Various categories can be use to summarise those models. The most important comprise the social-environment models, genetic-physiological models, personality-intrapsychic models, coping- social learning models, conditioning–reinforcement behavioural models, compulsive-excessive behavioural models, and at last the integrative biopsychosocial models. All these models concentrate on the process of development of the addiction and each model proposes individual explanation of addiction. They also suggest prevention, intervention and treatment ( Leonard & Blane 1999). Supporting evidence will be presented in order to evaluate the explanation of addictive behaviour.

At first we will focus on the cognitive approach theories.  The most noticeable were by Psychologists John Booth Davies (1992) and Griffiths (1992, 1994) who tried to find explanation to addictive behaviour. Rational Choice Model by Becker and Murphy (1998) proposes that people choose to engage in an activity as a result of weighing up the costs and benefits.   The theory makes use of the concept of “utility”, which in economics is a measure of the relative satisfaction resulting from consumption of a particular good or service.  From this viewpoint, addiction is understood as a process where addicts try to maximise the utility from the ‘consumption of goods’ (for example alcohol, gambling and drugs). Addicted individuals have made a rational choice in connection with the future consequences of their drug taking. According to this theory, addicts are rational consumers who look ahead and behave in a way that most likely will maximise the benefits of their choices.

John Booth Davies (1997) proposes a similar view of the Rational Choice Model. In his definition of the rational choice model, addiction is a “collective creation of the social world which serves a unique and specific purpose for particular individual at precise times”. Addicted individuals use their addiction as a justification to implement a specific and unique function for the individual and provide satisfaction. Addiction is used as a tool to explain the weakness and behaviour which, without the explanation, will be seen in society as morally wrong. Language in group of addictive individuals is distinctive, difficult to understand and depends on situation. An addict can label them self in situations when the labels will benefit their social position, for example when the addict is stopped by the police they may try to reduce the charge by trying to gain sympathy of the authority. They may try to make the police feel sorry for their personal situation and may try to use their addiction to their advantage. Davies believes that addiction is also profitable to the society where therapists and psychologists make living from it.

“The myth of addiction” (Davies 1997) recognises addiction as a one way system of social construction which provides satisfaction. However it is important to point out that the model does not mention the negative features and aspects of the addict world.

Addicted individual tend to lock themselves in solitary surroundings and isolated and secluded addicts are not able to reach out to other people. It also does not offer an explanation of addictive behaviour which changes and depends on the drug being used by the addict. For example heroin addicts tend to be stopped by authority more than a cannabis user.

In order to understand human nature and addictive behaviour where addict tries to solve the individual problem by taking drugs, it will be necessary to discuss ‘The Self –medication Model of addiction by Gelkopf et al (2002)’. The self-medication model claims that in the initiation stage, addicts may deliberately use the addictive behaviour to cope with stress and psychological struggle.

The particular addiction is not chosen at random but has been selected as it is perceived to help a particular problem.  This Model tries to explain addiction and the individual differences in vulnerability to it. It suggests that the addict tries to fix individual problem via self–medication. The Model proposes an interesting explanation for the variation of different drugs which are not accidental according to the Gelkopf (2002). Addicts use stronger drugs in order to solve major psychological problems. According to Cohen and Lichtenstein (1990), “stress relief“smoking is not at all stress relief. They found significant differences in the level of stress between smoker and the ex-smoker or even non smoker.

In the past sixteen years, several psychologists from the field of addiction have suggested Biopsychosocial (biological-psychological-social) Models of Addiction. The development of the model appears to be extensive and holds problematical relations, concerning various psychological, social and biological factors, which seem to play a part in the development of addiction problems. The Bio-Psycho-Social approach states that there are sociological basis, psychological causes as well as biological reasons for addiction. In addition to accounting for addiction to drugs or alcohol, it highlights the emotional problems of the addict and also draws attention to the relationships with surrounding.  The biopsychosocial model contains and accommodates variety and value of individual differences between people. The biopsychosocial model can be understood as a model of “the best practices”, because it proposes the most appropriate set of intervention programmes and services to meet the needs of the client.

Donovan and Marlatt, (1998) state that” addiction is an interactive product of social learning in situations involving physiological events as they are interpreted, labelled, and giving of meaning by the individual”. The multicomponent model of addiction requires the understanding of the process of development of the addiction. Marlatt and Gordon (1985) use the relapse process as reason to support the requirement of the biopsychosocial model.  This model evidently supports and proves the complexity of addiction and recovery. Nevertheless, the tripartite of the model factors is needed to understand the density and the continuous changes of the addiction process and the relapse of the addict.

On other hand the biological model of addiction states that people are most vulnerable in the initiation phase because some of them may have a biological predisposition which makes them susceptible to addiction. When an addict manages to refrain from drugs, the biological tendency will hold them back and relapse will occur more frequently.

Caine (2007) found that mice which lack the D1 receptor for dopamine, will not take cocaine when given a chance to do so, whereas normal mice will keep coming back for more because like humans, they find it extremely addictive. This research shows that the drug rouses the reward path in the brain. Rewarding experiences trigger the release of dopamine and makes the brain feel like they want to do it.

Constant contact with drugs results in decrease of the activity of positive reward path in the brain. This reaction produces a tension for the addict which typify by symptoms of withdrawal. The unpleasant position turns into the leading dynamic power of the drug appetite. To increase the pleasure is no longer the main goal of the addict. Instead, now the addict takes drugs in order to avoid pain from withdrawal symptoms. Addict individual no longer takes the drugs to gain a pleasurable experience, but instead takes them to avoid an unpleasant state. In consequence to this, the drug levels increase and that sets off the reward system in the brain. Sooner or later the passion for the drugs is so high that the addict does not have any other aspiration in their life. Notwithstanding the reality that the drugs do not give any gratification, addicted brain will resave signals of pending prize which triggers addicted individual to take the drugs. The frontal cortex effect will drop down and will not be able to judge the action and the consequences of it. All those actions will intensify the possibility of relapse even after the addict has stopped taking drugs.

As we can see in this essay, there can be broad disadvantages of describing addiction only by cognitive approach because there is empirical confirmation for particular chemical addictions which have a biological description of the relapse and maintenance. For example for someone who smokes, craving can be physical and painful and that can be reason to relapse.

Although cognitive factors might be effective in explaining why an individual is pulled in to addiction, it is not successful in describing why an addict persists and carries on the addiction even when the benefit is lower and the risk higher.  Cognitive account fails to notice the function of environmental, social and biological factors which evidently put pressure on the development of the addictive behaviour.

Widespread researches have been conducted and many psychologists have attempted to understand the human nature in order to help people make sense of the behaviour, feeling and thought related to addiction. Theory of Addiction improves people’s lives by providing knowledge about the social process and relationship. Finally, those systems make it easier for people to understand how the process of addiction impacts people and their individual health.

References :

  1. Becker, G. and K. Murphy (1988) A theory of rational addiction. Journal of Political Economy, 96.
  2. Caine SB, Koob GF (1993) Modulation of cocaine self-administration in the rat through D-3 dopamine receptors. Science 260.
  3. Caine SB, Lintz R, Koob GF (1993) Intravenous drug self-administion techniques in animals. In: Behavioral neuroscience: a practical approach (Sahgal A, ed), Oxford: Oxford UP.
  4. Caine SB, Thomsen M, Gabriel KI, Berkowitz JS, Gold LH, Koob GF, Tonegawa S, Zhang J, Xu M (2007) Lack of self-administration of cocaine in dopamine D1 receptor knock-out mice. J Neurosci 27.
  5. Cohen S, Lichtenstein E. (1990). Perceived stress, quitting smoking, and smoking relapse. Health Psychol.
  6. Davies J.B.(1987). Questions and answers in addiction research. British Journal of Addiction, 82
  7. Davies, J. B. (1997) The Myth of Addiction (2nd edn). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.
  8. Donovan , Dennis M, Marlatt, Alan G. (2005) .Relapse apse prevention : maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors, New York : Guilford Press.
  9. Donovan Dennis M., Marlatt , Alan G. (1988). Assessment of Addictive Behaviors.
  10. Gelkopf, M., Levitt, S. & Bleich, A. (2002). An integration of three approaches to addiction and methadone maintenance treatment. Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 39.
  11. Gelkopf, M., Levitt, S., Bleich, A., 2002. An integration of three approaches to addiction and methadone maintenance treatment: the selfmedication hypothesis, the disease model and social criticism. Isr. J. Psychiatry Relat. Sci. 39,
  12. Krivanek, J. (1988) Addictions. Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
  13. Marlatt, G.A. & Gordon, J.R. (Eds.) (1985). Relapse Prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behavior,. New York: Guilford Press.
  14. Sher, K. J.,& Levenson, R. W. (1982). Risk for alcoholism and individual differences in the stress–response-dampening effect of alcohol. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91.

Psychology of Mental Health-Examination questions (26/Agust/2009)

  1. “Pointing the finger of blame and localisation causation at the victim of mental ill-health has been a conspicuous facet of the way in which such people have been regarded and treated down through the ages”. Discuss.
  2. “The term schizophrenia is no longer useful” Discuss
  3. Are psychological factors alone sufficient to explain phobia and panic disorder?
  4. Why does post-traumatic stress disorder befall some people and not others who have experienced the same traumatic event?
  5. Can obsessions and compulsions be explained by instrumental and classical conditioning?
  6. Is personality disorder a disordered diagnosis?
  7. If major depression really is the common cold of psychopathology, what factors are so common place that they could account for this “runny nose” of the mental ill-health?
  8. “The shift towards a preference for a thin female frame is the sole cause of eating disorder”. Discuss.
  9. “Bipolar disorder is a biological disorder”. Discuss.

10.  What are the psychological roots of sexual dysfunctions?

11.  “Substance dependence can be explained through genetic and neurological factors” Discuss.

The Conceptual and historical Issue of Social Psychology (CHIP) .Social Psychology- Examination questions (24/Agust/2009)

  1. How useful is it for social psychology to use discourse analysis in the study of attitudes?
  2. Psychological understanding of “the self“have been subjected to a growing critique from critical theorists. Why is this?

Compare and contrast the cognitive and social constructionist views of emotion?

In order to examine the question and compare and contrast the cognitive and social constructionist views of emotion it will first of all be necessary to review the definition given by the cognitive and social constructionist views and psychologists who support these views and look at their understanding of this theory.

In the cognitive theory of emotion the most important part is the reason which is inseparable. The emotion cannot work correctly without reason and the reason cannot work appropriately without emotion. Emotions have an effect on the situation. They coordinate and give contour to the situation. For example presume that young woman queuing up to the cash point and sees a man coming towards her with a knife in his hand. The woman’s reasoning will take the haste of the man with the knife and its direction in relationship to the woman queuing up at the cash point.

The reasoning part of the mind will send a signal the emotion of warning the woman, which will produce fear and panic and will trigger to escape from his way. If the reasoning part her mind will crash and be unsuccessful, the woman’s mind will not signal that she was in risk. If the emotional function of the woman will not responded to the warning given by reasoning function of the mind, she would be apathetic to the man coming towards her with a knife in his hand and she may been hurt or killed as a result of not responding to the danger. The emotional function of the mind must always work together with the reasoning function. Both of the functions help the person increase knowledge of a situation and influence an appropriate response. Humans can control or influence their emotion to see a situation as an object and be able to deal with it. Emotion is a key aspect of social change.

Cognitive theory of emotion can be better understood by analysing their strengths and weaknesses. The first strength of cognitive theories is that they mostly take into account many of the elements that become visible functions in emotion than the social theory of emotion. The emotion is always about something that are planned and intended. Some cognitive elements play a key role like a person’s belief, judgment or estimation in connection with the situation. You do not feel happy you are happy about something. The intended states are not just feeling they are feeling and behaviour. Emotions also have some cognitive dimension and they are not just state. There are many of cognitive theories and the theories of mind are often studied together with the theories of emotion. This is in line with one of the key ideology that emotion and reason are inseperable.

We have studied above that the cognitive theories of emotion state that emotion comes from within a person and is generally biological in nature. On the other hand the social constructive view and theories of emotion argue that emotion is not biological in nature but rather socio-cultural. According to the social constructive view emotion is influenced by society and culture. According to social labelling theory in order to identify emotion a human directs itself/ himself by some indicator from the environment in which he has grown up. According to this theory emotion is influenced by information indexed from surroundings.

If we analyse Schachter and Singer (1962) experiment to identify emotion when a person does not have full information and is in a state which we cannot fully explain, humans look for indicators from the environment. As was in the experiment of Schachter and Singer (1962) with adrenalin informed subject and not informed subject. In this experiment the indicator from surroundings was behaviour of the person (happy or wrathful/angry) that motivated that subject to find the name for his state. This theory of social labelling is often in use by many of the psychologists as a theory of social movement.

Another social theory is “theory of social deduction”. According to this theory emotion is a social learning state. According to this theory emotion is socially well-versed because one is growing up in some culture. Emotion is influenced by some culture or society. It is an imposed theory which helps explain the cause of human behaviour.

We can explain the cause of specific behaviour by analysis of specific environment where the subject was brought up. For example people learn to display angry or irritated behaviour when someone kicks or pushes them. This theory admits the right for mistakes, because sometimes it can be difficult to identify an emotion. To some it is a priority theory which allows us to explain human behaviour. This theory allows the possibility for humans to make mistakes when expressing an emotion. This theory states that we have to impose some of scheme and possibility to explain our own behaviour. But at times we experience problems to identify our own emotion as it can be really difficult.

This theory can by sometimes wrong. The theory allows the possibility to make mistakes and give the opportunity to people to present the false facts of the emotional state. The theory allows mistakes by incorrectly reading our own behaviour. In effect in some cases one can deny some of the real emotion or express them differently to what is really being experienced.

Another theory is theory of social constructivism which is similar to the social theory of deduction. According to social constructivism theory emotion are intellectual interpretations which serve to show the behaviour as something which is significant and comprehensible. Social constructivism treats the emotion as social and intellectual representation. The theory presents the intellectual construct which characterise the behaviour than some emotion. Constructivism treats emotion as semantic interpretation to show the behaviour as something significant and understandable.

According to Teodor Kemper (1987) emotion does not exist inside a person without the influence from outside. He believed that emotions are deep – rooted to evolution. According to him evolution has social character plus it is clear that emotion does not exist inside. According to him primordial emotion such as anger, depression, fear and happiness, have physiological character. These emotions are universal for all human kind.


T. D. Kemper, (1987) “Research Agendas in the Sociology of Emotions” American Psychological Association Convention.

What can the nature & nurture debate tell us about the development of intelligence?

The nature & nurture debate gives us many valuable indications on the development of intelligence.  First of all the nature v nurture debate tells us that there is no one single view on the development of intelligence.In the debate it is evident that different scientists believe that there are different factors responsible for the development of intelligence.

Some scientists believe that the development of intelligence depends on our environment most importantly the relationship with parents. This is the view held by scientists such as Oliver James and other followers of traditional psychology who argue that family influences are critical to the development of intelligence from a very young age.

Other scientists believe that genetic factors are responsible and that environment such as parenting has little or no effect on how a child’s intelligence evolves over time. This is the view held by Steven Pinker and other followers of evolutionary psychology who believe that nothing matters more than our genes.

The nature v nurture debate tells us about supporting argument for each of these two viewpoints. As we can see, just like every other domain in psychology, there are different opinions about causes and factors that have an effect on development of intelligence. Although the debate argues that it is either genetics or environmental factors like parenting that is responsible for the development of intelligence, some scientists believe that it can be a combination of both including other factors that can affect development of intelligence in a person.

In order to understand the topic further it is important to understand the definition of intelligence. Intelligence it is the process of simply being in touch with reality. It’s accepting things, regardless of what you wanted. It’s becoming still and letting your true nature shine. It’s observing your emotions and taking responsibility for them.

Through traditional psychologists we find that children’s aggressive behaviour is picked up from violent parents. Traditional psychologists believe that the family is the root of all troubles. According to them genes have a very limited role in intelligence or on other psychological aspects such as the birth of criminal or violent behaviour.

The traditional psychologists tell us that learning from parents is key not only to intelligence but many other personality characteristics. In the debate this view is supported by the fact that several major European studies show that children born to violent parents but raised in peaceable households are no more likely to have violent, criminal records than those born to non-violent parents. However, those raised in homes run by violent adoptive parents tend to be criminally aggressive.

A similar view to traditional psychologists is also held by the United Nations, which claim that ‘violence is part of an historical process and is not natural or born of biological determinism’. The view of the traditional psychologists is further supported by studies by European scientists who have found virtually no genetic components to violent behaviour are open.

On the other hand evolutionary psychologists do not believe in environment factors to affect intelligence or personality characteristics as pointed above. Evolutionary psychologists believe that studies of human evolution show that parents have little impact on their children’s development of intelligence and overall behaviour. Only their genes, and a person’s interaction with peers and friends, matter in the shaping of violent personalities. Road rage and murder are in our DNA. According to Pinker, violence ‘is part of our design and in our genes.

The nature v nature debate also gives us a deep insight into the development of intelligence from the point of view of evolutionary scientists and provides us with supporting evidence to prove that genes are the most important factor. In support of the evolutionary theory, Pinker says violent roots are deep and innate. In the nature v nurture debate both scientists use a wide range of interesting evidence, from real world events to controlled studies, to support their argument. Pinker for example quotes Winston Churchill’s maxim who said that ‘long before history, murderous strife was universal and unending.

Evolutionary scientists often dismiss of those who claim violent tendencies are learnt from others. According to them the aggression found in children of violent parents is mainly due to inheritance of violent genes rather than learnt from parents during their growth. Evolutionary scientists also dismiss the claims of agencies such as the United Nations that ‘violence is part of an historical process and is not natural or born of biological determinism’. According to Evolutionary scientists like Pinker, violence ‘is part of our design and not learnt from historical process.

The nature v nurture debate also highlights the contradictions in the findings and results of different researches and studies that have been carried out worldwide by credible organisations. For example, Thomas Bouchard, whose twin studies, carried out at the University of Minnesota, are used as a key source by Pinker. By studying identical twins reared in separate adoptive families, Bouchard claims to have found critical inherited components to virtually all aspects of human personality. By contrast, studies by European scientists have found virtually no genetic component to violent behaviour.

The debate also shows us that sometimes the results of the same study are used by believers of traditional as well as believers of evolutionary scientists to prove their own view point. For example the traditional scientists refute the claims made by the twin studies by the University of Minnesota by stating that whenever other scientists ask to check their results, they refuse. In support of the evolutionary theory and to contradict the finding of the evolutionary study James also states that if twin and adoption studies show little or no heritability for violence then the reason why violence runs in families must be environmental. He further states that this evidence shows that violence breeds violence, not genes.

The nature v nature debate also tell us about the extreme level of differences that exist between different scientists when it comes to proving factors responsible for the development of intelligence and other personality traits. Evolutionary scientist John goes on to state that the evolutionary theory is not only misleading but also dangerous for society to believe in. Parents who think they have little effect on how their children turn out are substantially more likely to abuse or neglect them.

Towards the end however one common factor between the two theories is pointed out briefly when Harris denies that she and Pinker were arguing that parents had no role in influencing their children. ‘Of course they do. Those who come from comfortable, happy homes always do well.’ However according to Harris children are still far more likely to acquire habits and personality traits from their peers and not from parents. Parents are important, but not all-powerful in influencing children.

All in all the nature v nurture debate tells us about the two different viewpoints of the traditional and evolutionary scientists with respect to development of intelligence and other personality traits. Although the debate tells shows evidence and findings in support of either of the theories, it fails to show which is correct over the other. The debate leaves still leaves many questions un-answered and does not clearly support one theory over the other. In reality it is possible that some of both can actually be true in development of intelligence and other personality traits.
However in the debate both scientists fail to agree that research and findings could point to both.


Available: http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,12084,795048,00.html
Available: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/23/
Available: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,796561,00.html
Jean Piaget, (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist).
O. James’. The Guardian’s revive.
Robin McKie. Vanessa Thorpe. “The nature v nurture debate”,
S. Pinker. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature,
S. Pinker’s. Available: http://www.mit.edu/~pinker/
S. Pinker’s. Guardian’s review,
Steven Pinker. (2002). A debate on “The Blank Slate”, “The Modern Denial of Human Nature” Allen Lane, 434pp.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.Available:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/inteligence.

How have psychologists attempted to explain the concept of intelligence?

For majority of psychologist term of intelligence describes individual characteristic, which separate human from different individual. Exist many attempts to explain the intelligence as neutral and typical ability of human mind and cognitive performance. Like that description is not concentrate on the individual difference but on the individual trait which is agility to think reasoning and anther cognitive process. Many of psychologists allege that there is general factor called intelligence.

The idea of the word intelligence we can accredit to Latin philosopher Ceceron who use the word intelligence to describing the phenomenon of intellectual ability.

Fairly is widespread view that intelligence is psychophysical feature which is characteristically for the individual in the effectiveness to the task performing to engage intellectual process and reasoning and deduction.

According to researchers J. Piaget (1963) intelligence is an ability to resolve a problem hi saying more about intellectual behaviour, than about intelligence. J. Piaget want to emphasise that essence of intelligence as a mind process to understand, reasoning, deduction, to compare, detection which is changing in relation of the problem. (J. Piaget 1963.).

E. Hunt argue that “intelligence is a ability to processing the information”
The ambition of each Psychologists is to give they own definition of intelligence. Maybe the number and variety of the definition is showing to as how difficult is to put in word her essence.

Herein this essay we will not analyze all the definition of intelligence but we will concentrate on the intelligence theory which is most talk about and the mostly occur and which have the mostly impact on the development theory and research. Deliberation on the intelligence concept we will start from presenting the work of Charles Spearman (1904), Roberta Sternberga (1980), Raymond B. Cattell (1952).

In order to examine the questions whether or not psychologists attempted explain the concept of intelligence it will be necessary to offer theory of intelligence given by these psychologists themselves, and look at their understanding of the concept of intelligence.

One of the first psychologists which attempted to explain the concept of intelligence is Charles Spearman. This English psychologist is a pioneer in the factor analysis.

C. Spearman (1904) has given start to the new methodology which discovering and gives classification to the abilities measure by test.

In order to present the explanation of the concept of intelligence will be necessary to provide evidence of the intelligence theory given by Charles Spearman
Charles Spearman initiates the modern awareness of the human intelligence. In 1904 hi carry out experiment for residents of his neighbourhood of 24 children from village school in Berkshire. These tests were done on a one- to – one basis. In the time following Spearman continuo the sample with 36 oldest children from the same school. In 1904 and 1921 Spearman hi examine the result of the mind task. Hi collected the date from individual and analysed the relation between them using the variety of intelligence tests and to subject them to factor analysed.

Hi found positive correlation between intelligence tests were the main factor predicated the quality of children work in different task and hi name it factor “g”. Spearman used this idea of the many different positive form to propose a “Two factor theory of intelligence”.

The “Two factor theory of intelligence” which signifies that to make the mind task is necessary to use the general intellectual abilities (factor g) also the specific abilities (factor s).

According to the Spearman (1927) the “two factor theory”, and all human abilities accumulate around two independent factors: general factor (communal) – “g”, and specific factor “s”.

Factor “g” can be name as general intelligence. This factor appears in the same extent in all human abilities- according to Spearman (1927) this factor is identified as inherent mental energy. All intellectual functions are saturate by factor “g”. In distinguishing from all other factors, factor “g” cannot be link up with other single abilities. According to Wechsler (1958, p. 124) factor “g” in the essence is not just abilities is characteristic of mind.

Spearman observe that for each separate type of intelligence is needed each separate type of specific test of intelligence. The purpose of specific factor “s” is specific abilities which are suitable to specific function which are characteristic to some intellectual function.

The specific ability reflex our cultural condition and range of our experience.
Therefore hi named the mathematic intelligence is a specific ability, manual intelligence is a specific ability, cooking intelligence is specific abilities, and vocabulary intelligence is a specific ability.

Next psychologists which attempt explain the concept of intelligence as factor analysis is Raymond B. Cattell (1952). Hi proposes the explanation of the “liquid and crystallized theory of intelligence”.

The theory of “fluid and crystallized general abilities,” will be found to be not one factor but two principal classes or dimensions. One is crystallized ability “gc” which are influence of process of early learning, life experience, and cognitive performance were become crystallized as a result of experience. The second are fluid ability “gf” is a outcome of influence of biological factor on the intellectual development. The factor “gf” is under condition of the brain and strong genetic factor. This factor influence all mind ability.

The fluid intelligence (gf) depending on genetic structure of brain function. The changes in the fluid intelligence are related to groiing up process, also the generation of the brain cell so the changes have developing character. The fluid intelligence can be clearly identified in the literal tests, which showing the connection between elements.

Crystallized intelligence (gc) develop o the fluid intelligence in the process of learning and gating life experience. The crystallized intelligence are determine by culture. To measure the crystallized intelligence psychologists used the traditional tests of intelligence. On proof of the tests psychologists can measure verbal ability, numerous ability, also rational ability which are base on rules of logic. Crystallized intelligence different then fluid intelligence develop t the oldest age sets in after about 70. Crystallized abilities continue to improve as individuals age (Horn & Cattell, 1967). People in the oldest age also have high effect of the characteristic intellectual function.

We cannot dill with the problematic of the intelligence without propos knowledge and understudying of the scientific concept. The understanding of intelligence give allots of problem to psychologists. From one side the problem is coming from the historical capture of the intellectual essence in relation of the epoch fascination (behaviourism and cognitive).

From another side the contemporary psychologists do not agree unanimously what is intelligence. Seem appear that the many years of the research convince them that they dealing with secret and complicated process, which cannot presented in simple way and is difficult to investigate and explored t the standard methodological instrument or tool. Become visible that us interior is the biggest world secret, which escape from objective analyse.

D. K. Simonton. An interview with Dr. Simonton. In J. A. Plucker, editor, Human intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources. http://www.indiana.edu/∼intell, 2003.

Horn, J. L., & Cattell, R. B. (1966a). Refinement and test of the theory of fluid and crystallized general intelligences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 57, 253-270.

Horn, J. L., & Cattell, R. B. (1967). Age differences in fluid and crystallized intelligence. Acta Psychologica, 26, 107-129.

Horn, J.L. (1965). Fluid and crystallized intelligence: A factor analytic study of the structure among primary mental abilities. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Illinois.

J. Piaget. The psychology of intelligence. Routledge, New York, 1963.

Piaget, J. (1936, 1963) The origins of intelligence in children. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Piaget, J. (1954, 1981). Intelligence and affectivity: Their relationship during child development. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Review, Inc.

Piaget, J. (1963, 2001). The psychology of intelligence. New York: Routledge.

Spearman, C. (1904). “General intelligence,” objectively determined and measured. American Journal of Psychology, 15, 201-293.
Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (2000b) Handbook of intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sternberg, R. J., & Detterman, D. K. (1986). What is intelligence? Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Sternberg, R.J. (1988). The triarchic mind: A new theory of human intelligence. New York: Viking.

Sternberg, R.J. (1991). Theory-based testing of intellectual abilities: rationale for the triarchic abilities test. In H.A.

Rowe (Ed.), Intelligence: reconceptualization and measurement. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sternberg, R.J. (1993). Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test (Level H). Unpublished test.

Sternberg, R.J. (1994a). Experimental approaches to human intelligence. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 10, 153–161.

Sternberg, R.J. (1994b). Changing conceptions of intelligence and their impact upon the concept of giftedness: The triarchic theory of intelligence. In J.L. Genshaft, M. Bireley, & C.L. Hollinger (Eds.), Serving gifted and talented students (pp. 33–47). Austin, TX: Pro-ed.

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