Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Clocking the Mind: Mental Chronometry and Individual Differences

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Clocking the Mind: Mental Chronometry and Individual Differences

Article excerpt

Clocking the Mind: Mental Chronometry and Individual Differences Arthur R. Jensen Elsevier Books, 2006

Arthur Jensen, the preeminent authority on intelligence and intelligence testing, has produced yet another major publication - an in-depth survey of techniques that measure the speed with which different brains process information. More than .this, he reports the results of the latest studies that trace Reaction Time (RT) in relation both to mental development and cognitive aging. From there he proceeds to consider sensory intake speed, inspection time, the heritability of RT, and the relation of RT to intelligence g and other psychological variants.

Mental chronometry, measurement of the speed at which the brain processes information, is not new, having first been attempted as early as the mid-Nineteenth Century. Since then a wide variety of complex and practical methods of psychometric testing have been developed but, as Jensen points out, these lack any metric relation between test scores and identifiable, specific properties of the brain itself. Such methods of ranking IQ scores compare individuals according to their overall performance on a variety of complex mental tasks, but do not provide metrical information relating to any specific dimension of brain function - they do not provide measurable information that can be used to develop an true science of mental ability. …

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