Mental Processes in Intelligence Tests and Dynamic Decision Making Tasks
Swedish Defence College
There are two reasons why it is important to study the relation between performance in dynamic tasks and test intelligence. First, such studies will contribute to theoretical advances concerning the structure and function of human cognitive abilities, and second, they may also lead to an innovation in the technology of intelligence testing.
Sternberg and Kaufman ( 1996) claim that intelligence testing has been painfully slow to develop and that it shows the slowest rate of evolution of any major technology. Among the reasons for this situation, they mention the belief that intelligence tests are satisfactory as they are, the costs of developing new tests, the validation of new tests against old ones, and the failure to consider implicit theories of intelligence. Obviously, these reasons are related. Intelligence tests do well in predicting academic success, and it is quite convenient to validate new tests against old ones and various measures of academic performance. However, they are weak predictors of success in nonacademic environments and will remain so for as long as the only developments are computerized versions of old tests or changes in scoring procedures, for instance by using item response theory. What we need are advances in basic psychological theory.
The new field of research on complex problem solving and dynamic decision making using computer-simulated microworlds promises a new view of human cognitive abilities that may provide the basis for new theories. Microworlds are low-fidelity simulations of certain aspects of reality and are characterized by various degrees of dynamic change, complexity,