6 Stages of Creative Problem Solving

images (2)Below is a step-by-step process of solving a problem that employs an individual’s creativity. Like most of the other models around, the process begins with assessment or collection of data to begin with until the best possible course of action is selected out of the many generated alternatives that is hoped to solve the problem. Let’s take a look on this!

In Creative Problem Solving: The Basic Course (1985), authors Isaksen and Treffinger describe critical and creative thinking as a six-stage problem-solving process:


eliminate_the_paper_mess1. Mess Finding: identify and acknowledge what’s the mess that needs cleaning up, the situation that demands attention.

This has something to do with knowing where to start if ever there is really a need to. In other words, a person is moved to do something because a break in equilibrium occurs that needs to be properly addressed.


images (3)2. Data Finding: “taking stock”–unearthing and collecting information, knowledge, facts, feelings, opinions, and thoughts.  What do you know about the situation?  What do you still need to know?

In order to proceed with the process, examine first those things you are already aware of that may play significant impact in the present problem being handled. Then, advance further by gathering essential information and data relevant to the problem at hand.


3. Problem Finding: “problem statement” that expresses the “heart” of the situation.  State the problem in such a manner as to sbpuzzled-300x276invite novel perspectives on it.

This is said to be the heart of the situation as this is the center to which future actions are based. As we all know, those interventions must be in keeping with what the problem poses to the individual that warrants actions.


find-ideas4. Idea Finding: brainstorm as many ideas or alternatives as possible. Don’t evaluate. Generate an idea pool of a variety of solutions to your problem.

At this point, it is important to generate much ideas and alternatives as possible relevant to the problem identified  so that judgment at the next step will be applied to each in an effort to generate the best course of action to do. Asking for others’ help will be a good idea.


5. Solution Finding: evaluate ideas systematically; identify and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of possible 14159421-finding-solution-magnifying-glass-with-solutions-word-on-a-white-backgroundsolutions. Generate a variety of criteria and select the most important for your problem. Is it cost? expediency? pleasure? time involvement? etc.

In this step, every generated alternative must be evaluated against the set criteria or standards so that the most likely “best” among all identified options will be considered. Be sure to be objective and fair in judging the said choices. It is important to become open with all the options being considered.


enov-about-us6. Acceptance Finding: formulate a plan of action. Determine your need, obstacles or difficulties, and specific short- and long-term steps.

After all the choices have been evaluated carefully and tactfully, then next and last for this model is to accept that course of action and have it carried  out to solve the identified problem.


Again, like all other models designed to help solve a problem, the individual utilizing such model must be tactful in being optimistic yet realistic in considering alternatives for a certain problem. For this particular model, the key is to employ creativity in the context of identifying the best solution for the problem.



Bellis, Mary. Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking Skills. Retrieved July 7, 2013 from http://inventors.about.com/library/lessons/bl_isaksen_treffinger.htm



Thinking22As most of us struggle in memorizing lists of concepts and recalling stored information from our “knowledge bank,” I have here posted that top memory improvement tips according to Kendra Cherry which is hoped to bring us comfort in the field of memory. I find this one really helpful and I guess for most you as well. Examination is just one of the things we frequently encounter as students of which good memory is essential before we can proceed to a much higher level of thinking.

These strategies have been established within cognitive psychology literature to improve memory, enhance recall and increase retention of information.

1. Focus your attention on the materials you are studying. Attention is one of the major components of memory. In order Focus-On-Your-Dreamsfor information to move from short-term memory into long-term memory, you need to actively attend to this information. Try to study in a place free of distractions such as television, music and other diversions.

Though others are convenient in doing “multitasking” along with studying or reviewing of lessons, much has been said about the difference of performance when we are studying solely focused on the learning materials compared to one in a multitasking condition.

300_1263282. Avoid cramming by establishing regular study sessions. According to Bjork (2001), studying materials over a number of session’s gives you the time you need to adequately process the information. Research has shown that students who study regularly remember the material far better than those who do all of their studying in one marathon session.

As we all know, it is not advisable to do bounty of course works in a single night. Chances are, we just end up with shallow understanding of the materials we studied, or even worse, not to remember anything the following day. Such an unpleasant situation to experience!

3. Structure and organize the information you are studying. Researchers have found that information is organized in imagesmemory in related clusters. You can take advantage of this by structuring and organizing the materials you are studying. Try grouping similar concepts and terms together, or make an outline of your notes and textbook readings to help group related concepts.

I do this technique personally as I find study materials or contents easier to absorb when they are presented in an outline form. The concepts are easily grouped into clusters which for me helps in facilitating easy recall.

remember-numbers-mnemonics4. Utilize mnemonic devices to remember information. Mnemonic devices are a technique often used by students to aid in recall. A mnemonic is simply a way to remember information. For example, you might associate a term you need to remember with a common item that you are very familiar with. The best mnemonics are those that utilize positive imagery, humor or novelty. You might come up with a rhyme, song or joke to help remember a specific segment of information.

I’ve learned many of these mnemonics when I was reviewing for the board exam. Most of the review centers I guess utilize this form of facilitating easy recall of such concepts especially that in nursing, several of the signs and symptoms of a particular disease can be arranged into a meaningful keyword. In fact, I do create some as I go with my own lecture sessions.

5. Elaborate and rehearse the information you are studying. In order to recall information, you need to encode what you 16899900-cartoon-of-girl-student-studying--reading-bookare studying into long-term memory. One of the most effective encoding techniques is known as elaborative rehearsal. An example of this technique would be to read the definition of a key term, study the definition of that term and then read a more detailed description of what that term means. After repeating this process a few times, you’ll probably notice that recalling the information is much easier.

No wonder many claim that “repetition leads to mastery.” Just read and understand the concepts couple of times, pause for a moment and see if it works in recalling things easier.

3511481396_fa6814a2aa6. Relate new information to things you already know. When you are studying unfamiliar material, take the time to think about how this information relates to things that you already know. By establishing relationships between new ideas and previously existing memories, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of recalling the recently learned information.

It simply encourages us to connect the new information or ideas that we have just encountered to those that already exist in our minds. After all, prior knowledge will help us in easily associating the new materials with a  more meaningful sense.

7. Visualize concepts to improve memory and recall. Many people benefit greatly from visualizing the information they thinkingstudy. Pay attention to the photographs, charts and other graphics in your textbooks. If you do not have visual cues to help, try creating your own. Draw charts or figures in the margins of your notes or use highlighters or pens in different colors to group related ideas in your written study materials.

It’s a bit weird but there are really persons who can be viewed as having “photographic memory.” According to them, they can even recall in which particular part of the page of the book the information is contained. When they have difficulty locating for the answer, they try to go back by imagining the preceding sections of the notes. Somehow I can relate! 😀

teacher_cartoon_blackboard8. Teach new concepts to another person. Research suggests that reading materials out loud significantly improves memory of the material. Educators and psychologists have also discovered that having students actually teach new concepts to others enhances understanding and recall. You can use this approach in your own studies by teaching new concepts and information to a friend or study partner.

As I’ve shared in my previous entry, I do this most of the time. After reviewing my lessons, I used to conduct my mini-lectures in front of the mirror or wall just to make sure I  have absorbed the essential concepts needed.

Attention-Grabbing-Headlines9. Pay extra attention to difficult information. Have you ever noticed how it’s sometimes easier to remember information at the beginning or end of a chapter? Researchers have found that the order of information can play a role in recall, which is known as the serial position effect. While recalling middle information can be difficult, you can overcome this problem by spending extra time rehearsing this information. Another strategy is to try restructuring what you have learned so it will be easier to remember. When you come across an especially difficult concept, devote some extra time to memorizing the information.

If you find yourself typical of this scenario (serial position effect), then try to exert more attention and focus on the middle part of the text or material. Also try to divide the middle section into subgroups to make it more appealing and easy to absorb.

murdoch_study-skills_v210. Vary your study routine. Another great way to increase your recall is to occasionally change your study routine. If you are accustomed to studying in one specific location, try moving to a different spot during your next study session. If you study in the evening, try spending a few minutes each morning reviewing the information you studied the previous night. By adding an element of novelty to your study sessions, you can increase the effectiveness of your efforts and significantly improve your long-term recall.

Basically, I can say that some of the presented tips here are already known for many people yet are not being continuously practiced for a more pronounced effect. These have been proven by many people and I think there’s no images (1)harm in trying. My own suggestion is to work on the tips that are comfortable for us. I mean after trying sessions of every suggested technique, we can always resort to those which we feel can really help us. Remember that it’s easier to recall something if we study with comfort and fun. Don’t stress yourself! However, sometimes, we really need to go out of our comfort zone to maximize our skills in learning. Just learn to balance, and that’s the final key I think.

Happy learning! God bless! 😀 😀 😀


Kendra Cherry. Top 10 Memory Improvement Tips. Retrieved July 7, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/tp/memory_tips.htm

Social Constructivism: Its Major Concepts

KidsSocial Development Theory” as originated by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896- 1934) argues that social interaction precedes development; consciousness and cognition are the end-products of socialization and social behavior. Much of the influence of this theory can be observed in the present education system, be it in elementary, secondary and even in tertiary levels.

Social constructivism emphasizes that knowledge is first constructed in a social environment and is then appropriated by individuals.  According to social constructivists, knowledge grows directly out of the interaction.  Social interactions and involvement with others are very important aspects in the process of knowledge building and construction. In particular, exposure to the thoughts of others provides opportunities to evaluate and refine their own. This is true as different individuals possess diversified aspects of understanding. We then come upjam_homewith this diversity as we have unique interpretation of our own experiences. But the mere fact that every experience is an opportunity to learn and gain values, we can all share these to one another. Others learn best from other’s perspective in fact.

In the process, the participants develop not only personal knowledge but shared understandings as well.  If Piaget focused on individual cognition, Vygotsky focused on the “child embedded in a sociocultural context”, which values collaboration, social interaction, and sociocultural activity.  In addition, culture defines what the society values and considers important.  Thus, culture—including the language, beliefs, and skills of that culture—strongly shapes the nature of the knowledge and understandings created by the learners (Santrock, 2011, pp. 333-334; McLeod, 2007). The processes enumerated by Vygotsky are very important in gaining full understanding of a certain phenomenon. They say that two heads are better than one as we celebrate the diversity of every individual. If one can think a bright idea, how much more if this can be further supplemented with another’s idea.

In line with this theory, the following are considered major themes:

  • Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. In contrast to Jean Piaget’s understanding of child development (in which development necessarily precedes learning), Vygotsky felt social learning sspnetprecedes development. He states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological)” (Vygotsky, 1978). This is very important in the context of classroom setting as students begin to initiate interaction with other learners. Not only that he can share his points to others but also acquire understanding from others’ viewpoints.
  • The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). The MKO refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability brainstorminglevel than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. The MKO is normally thought of as being a teacher, coach, or older adult, but the MKO could also be peers, a younger person, or even computers. This almost always exists in every context of learning settings. Even the most intelligent person I suppose has some experience of seeking help from others (MKO). Each of us has a so-called “forte” and weakness in the field of studies and so asking the help of those who are viewed well-equipped in the area we are not that good may be a good resource. After all, I believe that not everything is written in the book, and no any single teacher can provide us all the necessary things for better learning experience.
  • The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the problem independently. According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone. I think of this concept as the time wherein a learner is ZPDmuch motivated and determined to learn a particular thing. After seeking help from others, there is an innate tendency for learners to achieve that understanding until it can be utilized effectively in an independent manner. It is during this stage that learners are very much eager to search for deeper aspects of understanding. Other persons may provide guided assistance, but it is the individual himself who will turn it into a maximum learning opportunity.


Many schools have traditionally held a transmissionist or instructionist model in which a teacher or lecturer ‘transmits’ information to students. In contrast, Vygotsky’s theory promotes learning contexts in which students play an active role in learning. Roles of the teacher and student are therefore shifted, as a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to help facilitate images (1)meaning construction in students. Learning therefore becomes a reciprocal experience for the students and teacher. As the present system of education realize the importance of empowering students in their own learning, many classroom activities are now designed and implemented to facilitate this goal grounded to social constructivism. I am positive that continuous use of this approach will better equip the students to the challenge of the fats changing world.

The FACES of Behavioral Psychology

As we have discussed and understood the different concepts and theoretical perspectives relevant to the school of Behaviorism, let us have a quick familiarization of the major figures behind its success. Other personalities were also part of this school of thought, but the following are considered the most influential and significant in the field of education and behavioral sciences.


Edward Thorndike (1874 – 1949)

He is famous in psychology for his work on learning theory that lead to the development of operant conditioning within behaviorism. Whereas classical conditioning depends on developing associations between events, operant conditioning involves learning from the consequences of our behavior. It must be clear however that Skinner wasn’t the first to study the principles of operant conditioning; in fact, he built his theoretical bases with the works of Thorndike.


Edward L. Throndike’s pioneer investigations in the fields of human and animal learning are among the most influential in the history of Psychology. In 1912, he was recognized for his accomplishments and elected president of the American Psychological Association. In 1934, the American Association for the Advancement of Science elected Thorndike as the only social scientist to head this professional organization. Thorndike retired in 1939, but worked actively until his death ten years later


Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)

Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849, at Ryazan, Russia. Because he was born into a large family, poverty was always an issue. His father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was the village priest and young Ivan tended to the church property. Pavlov inherited many of his father’s characteristics including a strong will to succeed.

Eventually, Pavlov’s research on the physiology of digestion would earn him the Nobel Prize. As a skilled surgeon, he was able to implant small stomach pouches in dogs to measure the secretion of gastric juices produced when the dogs began to eat. With the help of his assistants, he was able to condition the dogs to salivate at the click of a metronome. As his work progressed, Pavlov established the basis for conditioned reflexes and the field of classical conditioning.


John B Watson

John Watson (1878-1958)

In 1878 John Broadus Watson was born to Emma and Pickens Watson, a poor family in Greenville, South Carolina. He is an American psychologist who believed that psychology should be the science of observable behavior.

In The Ways of Behaviorism, Watson states that behaviorism is the scientific study of human behavior. It is simply the study of what people do. Behaviorism is intended to take psychology up to the same level as other sciences. The first task is to observe behavior and make predictions, then to take determine causal relationships. Behavior can be reduced to relationships between stimuli and responses, the S — R Model. A stimulus can be shown to cause a response or a response can be traced back to a stimulus. All behavior can be reduced to this basic component. According to Watson, “life’s most complicated acts are but combinations of these simple stimulus- response patterns of behavior.”


B.F. Skinner

B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)

B.F. Skinner described his Pennsylvania childhood as “warm and stable.” As a boy, he enjoyed building and inventing things; a skill he would later use in his own psychological experiments. He received a B.A. in English literature in 1926 from Hamilton College, and spent some time as a struggling writer before discovering the writings of Watson and Pavlov. Inspired by these works, Skinner decided to abandon his career as a novelist and entered the psychology graduate program at Harvard University.

Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect – Reinforcement. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened).


Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura (1925- Present) 

Albert Bandura was born on December 4, 1925 in the province of Alberta, Canada. His parents were Polish wheat farmers. He went to a small high school with only 20 students and 2 teachers. In 1949 Bandura received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia. Bandura then went on to the University of Iowa where he obtained his doctorate in 1952. Upon graduation Bandura did a clinical internship at the Wichita Kansas Guidance Center. The following year, in 1953, Bandura accepted a teaching position at Stanford where he continues to teach today. While at the University of Iowa Bandura’s interests in learning and behaviorism began to grow.

Bandura has done a great deal of work on social learning throughout his career and is famous for his “Social Learning Theory” which he has recently renamed, “Social Cognitive Theory”. Bandura is seen by many as a cognitive psychologist because of his focus on motivational factors and self-regulatory mechanisms that contribute to a person’s behavior, rather than just environmental factors. This focus on cognition is what differentiates social cognitive theory from Skinner’s purely behavioristic viewpoint.

Albert Bandura focuses on the acquisition of behaviors. He believes that people acquire behaviors through the observation of others, then imitate what they have observed. Several studies involving television commercials and videos containing violent scenes have supported this theory of modeling.



Clark Hull (1884-1952)

Clark Hull grew up handicapped and contracted polio at the age of 24, yet he became one of the great contributors to psychology. His family was not well off so his education had to be stopped at times. Clark earned extra money through teaching. Originally Clark aspired to be a great engineer, but that was before he fell in love with the field of Psychology. By the age of 29 he graduated from Michigan University. When Clark was 34 when he received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin in 1918. Soon after graduation he became a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, where he served for 10 years. Although one of his first experiments was an analytical study of the effects of tobacco on behavioral efficiency, his lifelong emphasis was on the development of objective methods for psychological studies designed to determine the inderlying principles of behavior.

Hull devoted the next 10 years to the study of hypnosis and suggestibility, and in 1933 he published Hypnosis and Suggestibility, while employed as a research professor at Yale University. This is where he developed his major contribution, an elaborate theory of behavior based on Pavlov’s laws of conditioning. Pavlov provoked Hull to become greatly interested in the problem of conditioned reflexes and learning. In 1943 Hull published,Principles of Behavior, which presented a number of constructs in a detailed Theory of Behavior. He soon he became the most cited psychologist.

Let us thank them for their indispensable contributions in the fields of education and psychology. May we all apply the positive aspects of their expert works and studies in the noble profession that we are about to enter.  God bless! 😀



Erika Reinemeyer (May 1999). Edward Lee Thorndike Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/thorndike.htm

Mindy Lautenheiser (May 1999). Ivan Pavlov. Retrieved July 02, 2013 from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/pavlov.htm

Emily Watson (May 1999). John B. Watson. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/watson.htm

McLeod, S. A. (2007). B.F. Skinner | Operant Conditioning – Simply Psychology. Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

Kendra, Cherry. B. F. Skinner Biography Retrieved July 2, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_skinner.htm

Amanda Moore (May 1999). Albert Bandura Retrieved July 02, 2013 from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/bandura.htm#Biography

Jana Schrock (May 1999). Clark Hull. Retrieved July 02, 2013 from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/hull.htm

Behaviorism and Its Brief History

Behaviorism_WordleBehaviorism or behavrioal psychology is the school of thought in psychology that sought to measure only observable behaviors of individuals in an effort to find out its relationship with behavioral and learning processes. It was founded by John B. Watson who then believed that behaviors can be measured, trained, and changed.


Now let’s take a quick glance on some of the important milestones of the solid foundation of Behaviorism.

  • 1863

Ivan Sechenov‘s “Reflexes of the Brain” was published

-Sechenov introduced the concept of inhibitory responses in the central nervous system

-According to his published written works, our mind has the innate capacity to react “automatically” in response to several stimuli that for the most part serve as protective mechanisms of our body


  • 1900

Ivan Pavlov began studying the salivary response and other reflexes

-More importantly, Pavlov was able to devise and enrich the so-called Classical Conditioning which provided the public indispensable information about the role of unconditioned and conditioned stimuli in eliciting different behaioral responses amongtypes-of-behav the learners


  • 1913

John Watson‘s “Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It” was published

-The said article outlined many of the main points of behaviourism that made behaviorists’ stand in their proposed theoretical concepts more solid and understandable


  • 1920

littlealbertexp001-Watson and assistant Rosalie Rayner conducted the famous “Little Albert” experimentwhereby conditioning of stimulus is also demonstrated like what Pavlov has done in his classical conditioning experiment.

-Basically, Watson and Rayner used a little boy at around 9 months of age where a white rat was presented in association with a loud tone. Because a sudden loud noise usually makes an infant cry, then after a period of time of pairing, the rat alone could produce same response when originally not capable of producing such.

  • 1943

Clark Hull’s Principles of Behavior was published

-In addition to the early works of other proponents of behaviourism, Hull added some of the most important principles that better served as guide in understanding more of human behavior 16502496-abstract-word-cloud-for-behaviorism-with-related-tags-and-terms

  • 1948

B.F. Skinner published Walden II in which he described a utopian society founded upon behaviorist principles

-Likewise, Skinner was then noted for developing Operant Conditioning (actually first proposed by Thorndike) which emphasized the importance and role of reinforcements and punishments in the development of several behavior

-He then proposed that those acts that were rewarded tend to be developed faster and those that were punished tend to fade away and disappear


  • 1959

Noam Chomsky published his criticism of Skinner’s behaviorism, “Review of Verbal Behavior”

-Since behaviourism pointed out the importance of observable behaviors only, critics of the theory mentioned its superficiality in the studying of complex and diverse human behavior


  • 1971

Behaviorism_2-B.F. Skinner published his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, in which he argued that free will, is an illusion

-In this particular book, he argued that much of the motivation or desire to do something comes from the external environment that encourages one to do so, in contrast to free will which is something that comes from within. According to him, employing observable and concrete reinforcements (tokens) is far better than relying on one’s innate desire to do a course of action


As we can see, behaviourism like all other theories had tremendous era of development and criticisms that made it more succinct and powerful. Every theorist who contributed in this school of thought has exerted much dedication and intelligence to produce a more convincing body of knowledge. And in today’s world, their significance and influences remain indispensable most especially inbehaviorism the fields of psychology and education.



Kendra, Cherry . The Little Albert Experiment. Retrieved June 30, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/classicpsychologystudies/a/little-albert-experiment.htm

All About Emotional Intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.Emotional intelligence

The roots of the theory are in the use of the term social intelligence by American psychologist Edward Thorn-dike

Since 1990, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been the leading researchers on emotional intelligence. In their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” they defined emotional intelligence as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (1990).

images (1)EQ has been popularized by Daniel Goleman


The Four Branches of Emotional Intelligence

Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identified four different factors of emotional intelligence:


  • Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
  • Reasoning with Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.
  • Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean.
  • Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.


According to Salovey and Mayer, the four branches of their model are, “arranged from more basic psychological processes to higher, more psychologically integrated processes.

1930s – Edward Thorndike describes the concept of “social intelligence” as the ability to get along with other people


Measuring Emotional Intelligence

“In regard to measuring emotional intelligence – I am a great believer that criterion-report (that is, ability testing) is the only adequate method to employ. Intelligence is an ability, and is directly measured only by having people answer questions and evaluating the correctness of those answers.”

-John D. Mayer

  • Reuven Bar-On’s EQ-i
    -a self-report test designed to measure competencies including awareness, stress tolerance, problem solving, and happiness. According to Bar-On, “Emotional intelligence is an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures.”
  • Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS)
    -an ability-based test in which test-takers perform tasks designed to assess their ability to perceive, identify, understand, and utilize emotions.
  • Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ)
    -originally designed as a screening test for the life insurance company Metropolitan Life, the SASQ measures optimism and pessimism.
  • Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI)
    -based on an older instrument known as the Self-Assessment Questionnaire, the ECI involves having people who know the individual offer ratings of that person’s abilities on a number of different emotional competencies.


Kendra Cherry. Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm


History of Intelligence Testing

Interest in intelligence dates back thousands of years, but it wasn’t until psychologist Alfred Binet was commissioned to iq-test-megaidentify students who needed educational assistance that the first IQ test was born.

Alfred Binet and the First IQ Test

During the early 1900s, the French government asked psychologist Alfred Binet to help decide which students were mostly likely to experience difficulty in schools. The government had passed laws requiring that all French children attend school, so it was important to find a way to identify children who would need specialized assistance.

Faced with this task, Binet and his colleague Theodore Simon began developing a number of questions that focused on things that had not been taught in school such as attention, memory and problem-solving skills. Using these questions, Binet determined which ones served as the best predictors of school success. He quickly realized that some children were able to answer more advanced questions that older children were generally able to answer, while other children of the same age were only able to answer questions that younger children could typically answer. Based on this observation, Binet suggested the concept of a mental age, or a measure of intelligence based on the average abilities of children of a certain age group.

This first intelligence test, referred to today as the Binet – Simon scale, became the basis for the intelligence tests still in use today. However, Binet himself did not believe that his psychometric instruments could be used to measure a single, permanent and inborn level of intelligence (Kamin, 1995). Binet stressed the limitations of the test, suggesting that intelligence is far too broad a concept to quantify with a single number. Instead, he insisted that intelligence is influenced by a number of factors, changes over time and can only be compared among children with similar backgrounds (Siegler, 1992).

Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman took Binet’s original test and standardized it using a sample of American participants. This adapted test, first published in 1916, was called the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and soon became the standard intelligence test used in the U.S.

The Stanford-Binet intelligence test used a single number, known as the intelligence quotient (or IQ), to represent an individual’s score on the test. This score was calculated by dividing the test taker’s mental age by their chronological age, and then multiplying this number by 100. For example, a child with a mental age of 12 and a chronological age of 10 would have an IQ of 120 (12 /10 x 100).

Intelligence Testing During World War I

In 1917, as president of the APA and chair of the Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits, psychologist Robert Yerkes developed two tests known as the Army Alpha and Beta tests. The Army Alpha was designed as a written test, while the Army Beta was administered orally in cases where recruits were unable to read. The tests were administered to over two million soldiers in an effort to help the army determine which men were well suited to specific positions and leadership roles (McGuire, 1994).

The Wechsler Intelligence Scalesimages

The next development in the history of intelligence testing was the creation of a new measurement instrument by American psychologist David Wechsler. Much like Binet, Wechsler believed that intelligence involved a number of different mental abilities, describing intelligence as, “the global capacity of a person to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment” (1939). Dissatisfied with the limitations of the Stanford-Binet, he published his new intelligence test known as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) in 1955.

Wechsler also developed two different tests specifically for use with children: the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI). The adult version of the test has been revised since its original publication and is now known as the WAIS-IV.

The WAIS-IV contains 10 subtests along with 5 supplemental tests. The test provides scores in four major areas of intelligence: a Verbal Comprehension Index, a Perceptual Reasoning Index, a Working Memory Index, and a Processing Speed Index.

Rather than score the test based on chronological age and mental age, as was the case with the original Stanford-Binet, the WAIS is scored by comparing the test taker’s score to the scores of others in the same age group. The average score is fixed at 100, with two-thirds of scores lying in the normal range between 85 and 115. This scoring method has become the standard technique in intelligence testing and is also used in the modern revision of the Stanford-Binet test.

Kendra Cherry. History of intelligence Testing. Retrieved June 14, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/int-history.htm