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Cognitive Psychology.

Research on Cognitive Psychology and Intelligence Quotient.

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Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that entails studying mental processes such as an individual’s creativity, perception and thinking. Robert Sternberg defines Intelligence as a form of cognitive ability that enables one to learn from experience, the ability to reason well, the ability to remember significant information and cope with the day to day needs of life. Sternberg, R. J., & Mio, J. S. (2009). Intelligence Quotient is a score obtained from a set of standardized tests meant to assess the levels of human intelligence

Research shows that IQ may be related either to the speed of conduction of neural impulses or to the efficiency of the neural circuitry. Locate scholarly research on IQ related to any or all of these factors and briefly summarize the information.

The ‘efficiency of the neural circuitry’ school of thought has been expressed in the Neural Efficiency Theory. This theory illustrates a sort of negative correlation between brain activity under cognitive load and especially on intelligence Quotient. The theory is inspired by the activities of the white matter and myelin in the brain. The white matter in the brain is composed of neuronal fibers that are generally coated with myelin-a form of electrical insulation. Matlin, M. W. (2013). In the recent times, myelin has attracted greater importance in regard to addressing psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Myelin is said to influence the normal cognitive functions, activities such as learning and the Intelligence Quotient levels. Myelin has been used in neural impulse studies because of the fact that it affects information processing the velocity and synchrony of impulse conduction between distant cortical regions.

Testing Intelligence Quotient is made possible by the situation presented in the brain whereby there is an existence of limited processing activity in some brain areas and rather adequate processing activities on some more task-relevant areas of brain and body in general. This approach has given way to the invention of electroencephalogram technique used in studying performance of different memory tasks, in measuring velocity of nerve conduction. This is significant as it is used to measure individual’s speed of processing information.

Explain processing time theories. Do you think they accurately reflect the aspects of intelligence? Why or why not?

Processing time theories has expounded on the study of cognitive development. The proponents of the theory argue that human beings naturally process the information available to them rather than just responding to stimuli. Reisberg, D. (2013). The ‘Processing time’ idea is exhibited in light of four activities namely; the process of giving attention to events in the surrounding environment, encoding relevant information and creating a relation to the initial knowledge in the brain, storing the new knowledge in the brain and generating the ability to retrieve the stored information when convenient to do so.

This theory employs the nature of working of the computer i.e. comparing the C.P.U of the computer-responsible for processing data to the human brain system. The brain involves attention systems for outsourcing and bringing information in, a working memory unit that synthesizes information and another long term memory unit that holds information for future use.

I think processing time theories accurately reflect the aspects of intelligence because of the feasibility of the arguments discussed above.

Explain the benefits and drawbacks of conducting IQ tests in general and its use in schools.

IQ tests are proficient in measuring a very wide variety of natural human behaviors more than any other measuring mechanisms. They create a uniform way of comparing one’s performance with that of other individuals of similar age. These tests have been credited for showing wide variety of differences in terms of people’s preference to existing cultural and biological sphere of influence. Sternberg, R. J., & Mio, J. S. (2009).

These tests have also been credited for their ability to predict academic achievements due to the fact that these tests reveal individual’s mental strength and weakness. Results of the tests foster the revelation of hidden talents and abilities in students. This leads to opening of more avenues and opportunities for the successful test subject. Reisberg, D. (2013).

In situations whereby the generated IQ tests’ scores are availed to sophisticated clinicians, the clinicians can give professional advice regarding child and adult development, besides giving a concrete understanding of a person’s psychological state and ability.

IQ tests don’t test other significant behaviors of a person especially kids and thus parents may make a mistake of placing their children in special education systems entirely basing their judgments on results of the IQ test. This may lead to straining and increased stress on the child because they could have been placed on environments higher than their individual levels and capabilities. Sternberg, R. J., & Mio, J. S. (2009).

The IQ tests are very unstable and thus unreliable, most especially in the long run. For instance, the results of a child obtained when the child is 4 years old would be different as compared to the results when the child is tested 8 years later. There is a highly likelihood of a decrease in the levels of IQ, therefore, this situation erodes the significance of IQ tests, because of an underlying potential of parents making inappropriate choices later on.

IQ tests have been termed as ‘shallow’ due to the fact that they basically reveal the condition of the person on the day of the test, under certain prevailing and rather specific conditions on that material day. The tests only measures a part of individual’s intelligence. Again, the results of the test might be compromised by the subject’s level of anxiety and distractibility. The IQ tests don’t reveal the ability of the subject to psychologically react to different conditions on another different timing/day. Take the context of a school setting; the IQ tests won’t reveal other important aspects of a child/student such as their moral consciousness like their ability to share toys, stationaries or even how well they can interact with their colleagues. Matlin, M. W. (2013).


Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2013). Biological psychology: An introduction to behavioral, cognitive, and clinical neuroscience.

Matlin, M. W. (2013). Cognitive psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Reisberg, D. (2013). The Oxford handbook of cognitive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sternberg, R. J., & Mio, J. S. (2009). Cognitive psychology. Australia: Cengage Learning/Wadsworth.


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