The Nature of Intelligence

  • H. J. Eysenck
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 14)


The theory of intelligence goes back a long way. Plato and Aristotle already separated out cognitive performance from emotional and conative behaviours, and Cicero used the term intelligentia very much in its modern meaning. Spencer revived the term, and together with Sir Francis Galton gave it wide acceptance among educated people in the 19th century. Spearman’s notion of general intelligence or g was essentially based on these foundations, adding only a testable deduction, which in modern terms we would phrase as follows: different measures of intelligence, suitably chosen and applied to random samples of the population, should intercorrelate in such a manner as to produce a matrix of rank 1. In this context “suitably chosen” simply means that the tests should not show undue similarity, but constitute an approximation to a random sample of all possible tests of cognitive ability.


Pulse Train Spike Train Assortative Mating General Intelligence Fluid Ability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alvord, H. Quoted in Eysenck, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. Bridgeman, P. W. The Nature of Physical Theory. Princeton: University Press, 1936.Google Scholar
  3. Brierley, H. The speed and accuracy characteristics of neurotics. British Journal of Psychology, 1961, 52, 273–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brink, F. Excitation and conduction in the neuron. In S. S. Stevens (Ed.), Handbook of Experimental Psychology. New York: Wiley, 1951, 50–93.Google Scholar
  5. Chalke, F. C. R., and Ertl, J. P. Evoked potentials and intelligence. Life Sciences, 4, 1319–1322.Google Scholar
  6. Ertl, J., and Schäfer, E. W. P. Brain response correlates of psychometric intelligence. Nature, 1969, 223, 421–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eysenck, H. J. The Measurement of Intelligence. Lancaster: Medical and Technical Publishers, 1973.Google Scholar
  8. Eysenck, H. J. The Nature and Measurement of Intelligence. London: Springer, 1979.Google Scholar
  9. Fox, W. L. and Taylor, J. E. Adaptation of training to individual differences. Paper presented to the NATO Conference on “Manpower Research in the Defence Context,” London, 1967.Google Scholar
  10. Furneaux, W. D. Intellectual abilities and problem-solving behaviour. In H. J. Eysenck (Ed.), The Measurement of Intelligence. Lancaster: Medical and Technical Publishers, 1973.Google Scholar
  11. Gagné, R. N. Contributions of learning to human development. Psychological Review, 1968, 75, 177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hendrickson, A. E. An integrated molar/molecular model of the brain. Psychological Reports, 1972, 30, 343–368. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hendrickson, A. E. Translations of auditory stimuli into neural codes. Psychological Reports, 1973, 32, 315–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hendrickson, A. E. and Hendrickson, D. E. The biological basis and measurement of intelligence. Paper read at XlXth International Congress of Applied Psychology in Munich, August 4th, 1978.Google Scholar
  15. Hendrickson, D.E. An examination of individual differences in cortical evoked resonses. London: Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. University of London, 1972.Google Scholar
  16. Horn, J. and Knapp, J. R. On the subjective character of the empirical base of Guilford’s structure-of-intellect model. Psychological Bulletin, 1973, 80, 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jensen, A. Learning ability, intelligence, and educability. In V. Alle, (Ed.), Psychological Factors in Poverty. Chicago: Markham, 1970.Google Scholar
  18. Jerison, H. J. Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence. London: Academic Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  19. Plum, A. Visual evoked responses: their relationship to intelligence. Florida: Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. University of Florida, 1969.Google Scholar
  20. Shucard, D. W. and Horn, J. L. Evoked cortical potentials and measurement of human abilities. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 1972, 78, 59–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Spearman, C. The Nature of “Intelligence” and the Principles of Cognition. London: Macmillan, 1923.Google Scholar
  22. Spearman, C. The Abilities of Man. London: Macmillan, 1927.Google Scholar
  23. Sternberg, R. J. Intelligence, Information Processing, and Analogical Reasoning. London: Wiley, 1977.Google Scholar
  24. Thomson, G. H. The Factorial Analysis of Human Ability. London: University of London Press, 1939.Google Scholar
  25. Weinberg, H. Correlation of frequency spectra of averaged visual evoked potentials with verbal intelligence. Nature, 1969, 224, 813–815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. White, P. O. Individual differences in speed accuracy and persistence: A mathematical model for problem solving. In H. J. Eysenck (Ed.), The Measurement of Intelligence. Lancaster: Medical and Technical Publishers, 1973.Google Scholar
  27. White, S. H. Evidence for a hierarchical arrangement of learning processes. In L. P. Lipsitt and C. C. Spiker (Ed.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 2. New York: Academic Press, 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Eysenck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryLondonEngland

Personalised recommendations