Intelligence as Process and Knowledge: An Integration for Adult Development and Application
Phillip L. Ackerman University of Minnesota
Nearly a century ago, Binet and Simon ushered in the "modern" approach to the conceptualization and measurement of intelligence. The techniques created by Binet and Simon and their followers for assessment of children are ubiquitous today in the assessment of children and adults alike. However, Binet and Simon made a little remembered distinction between the psychological method and the pedagogical method of intellectual assessment. The modern general intelligence tests ( Stanford-Binet and Wechsler scales) and primary mental abilities tests ( Thurstone, 1938) approach adult assessment from the perspective of the psychological method, which is generally seen as predominantly a measure of intelligence-as-process (such as reasoning, memory, and so on). The pedagogical method, that is, the assessment of what the individual knows, may not be particularly useful in predicting school performance for children for whom a common curriculum is in use. However, in broad agreement with and extending Cattell's investment theory, I propose that, for adults, what an individual knows (e.g., knowledge structures), becomes an ever- increasingly important determinant of intellectual life through occupational and postoccupational developmental periods.
This chapter provides an overview of a theoretical approach to the integration of intellect-as-process and intellect-as-knowledge that includes broad adult developmental considerations of personality and interests ( Ackerman, 1994, 1996a, 1996b). Recent research on typical intellectual engagement ( Ackerman & Goff, 1994; Goff & Ackerman, 1992) is reviewed, along with studies that relate adult cognition,