Early Learning and Intelligence

  • John S. Watson


There are three important ways that learning in infancy might be related to what could be termed an infant’s intelligence. For one, early learning experiences might be determined by the level of intelligence of the infant. If that were so, then the amount and/or form of early learning could be expected to reveal something about the level of the infant’s intelligence that existed at the time of the learning. Another way a relationship could exist between early learning and intelligence is if intelligence were an effect as opposed to a cause of learning. Were that the case, then one could expect to observe some appreciable relationship between the amount and/or form of early learning and the infant’s subsequent level of intelligence. Finally, and quite separate from being either a cause or an effect of intelligence, early learning might yet stand in a useful predictive relationship to later expressions of intelligence. In this chapter each of these three potential relations between infant learning and intelligence is considered with respect to past and future relevant research. Before we turn to that discussion, however, it is necessary to say a few words about what is meant by learning and intelligence as these terms are used in this chapter.


Classical Conditioning Early Learning Intelligence Test Dispositional Property Instrumental Learning 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California at BerkeleyUSA

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