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Inspection time, information processing and the development of intelligence

Anderson, M. (1988) Inspection time, information processing and the development of intelligence. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 6 (1). pp. 43-57.

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Three experiments are reported which attempt to relate different information-processing measures to individual differences in intelligence, and to developmental change. The first investigates Inspection Time (IT), a measure of the speed of sensory processing. The second and third investigate two aspects of memory processing; the rate of extraction of items from long-term verbal memory (Posner & Mitchell, 1967) and the rate of scanning single items in short-term memory (Sternberg, 1966). Measures of the variability of Reaction Times (RTs) are taken from the memory experiments. One hundred and fourteen children, ranging in age from 7–12, who attended a Surrey primary school, formed the subject pool. The experiments showed that IT is a special information-processing measure, showing a different pattern of relationship with intelligence and development to that shown by the memory-processing and RT variables. My conclusions are that IT reflects the efficiency of a basic processing mechanism, which is unchanging over the ages investigated, and that this efficiency may be unrelated to other basic cognitive mechanisms, such as memory retrieval.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: The British Psychological Society
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